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Transforming the Study Into A Formal Dining Room + 4 Setting the Table Tips

November 9, 2022

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Every night for dinner, we sit around the round table in the dining room. For breakfast, the girls usually sit at the island. And when we have company over, it’s usually a combination of both or we eat outside. But I really wanted another overflow option for a formal dinner. Nothing permanent (we don’t have THAT many formal dinners), but for occasions like special dinners, Thanksgiving, etc… Recently we moved the black desk that was in our study into the kitchen and bought this stunning table to double as a desk and dining table, and so I had to give it a whirl to see what this space would look like, all set for dinner. Of course, it got me all excited about setting the table for Thanksgiving. We’re hosting this year!!

Before (as a study)

Mural | Rug | Chandelier | Table | Desk Chair | Ottoman | Sling Chairs

After (as a formal dining room)

Mural | Rug | Chandelier | Table

All we really did was scooch over the table, move out the leather sling chairs and the desk chair, and bring in the dining chairs! (I do have vintage folding chairs that we would use around the round table in this instance.) This table can easily seat 8-10 though so I might hunt down a few more chairs.

All in all though, it was A quick 5-minute transition!

This will be our first ever Thanksgiving in our house. Last year our kitchen was under construction, so we took to the mountains in Asheville and stayed in an Airbnb. This year we’re really excited to cook and host in a new kitchen and this beautiful setup. The plan is to seat adults in here, big kids will eat in the breakfast nook, and little kids can sit up at the countertop.

As far as setting the table goes, I have a few tips for creating an intimate and cozy dining experience.

4 Tips For Setting the Table

1. Keep a Simple Color Palette

Dinner Plates | Soup Bowls | Silverware | Fringe Napkins | Candle Holders | Taper Candlesticks | Brass Pepper Mill

You don’t have to go “all out” with patterns and colors to have a beautiful table setting. I stuck to a very simple color palette using stone-like chargers, burgundy dinner plates, white soup bowls, and olive colored linens. I grabbed what I already had, and together it all mixed together for this moody, fall-esque scene. Even the warm wood tones and brass candlesticks are considered “colors” and really brighten up the whole table.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match

The only thing at this table that came as a set is the flatware. Everything else is just a composition of what we already had. You can even mix and match each table setting if you’d like! Don’t ever think that you have to have enough of one type of dish to set a nice table. Get creative, play around with what you have, and see how it all comes together! I even mixed and matched the metals by bringing out the brass candlesticks and the silverware.

3. Add Height and Color with Tapered Candles

There aren’t really any rules, but it’s a good idea to have an assortment of shapes, sizes, and heights. Bringing in some tapered candlesticks not only adds height to the table, but the taupe candles add color and, of course, an intimate ambiance.

4. Keep Flowers Simple

Don’t overthink the greenery! Grab some clippers and head to the yard to see if you can snip some fresh fall stems for a vase. I grabbed these nearly-dead flowers that were days old from the grocery store, and set out two simple pitchers. The flowers themselves are a little funky, and the pitchers don’t match, but all together I think it’s beautiful. I like to make sure the arrangements are short so people can still easily chat across the table.

As for the kid’s table, I might put out some tapered candles for fun, but other than that, it will be simple. Kids really just want to get in, eat, and then go play! I did get this 24ct pack of coloring placemats, and I’ll put out some jars of crayons to keep them occupied and in their seats.

Should I Keep It This Way?

I’ll admit, when I saw it all set up like this, my heart stopped. I tried to convince myself and convince Chris that this is our new dining room! We both laughed. Realistically, we don’t really have the need for such a formal dining space as often as we need a study–which is used every day! Even though it’s gorgeous, I think setting it up like this for special occasions will make the occasion feel even more special, so we’ll keep it as a study for everyday use.

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