Dining spaces are at their most versatile when they embody a neutral, earth-toned colour palette. Not only does this aesthetic provide a sturdy visual backdrop for all the events that are hosted at the dining table (birthday celebrations, holiday dinners, and themed cocktail parties to name a few), these tones are classics and will stand up much better to the ebb and flow of ever-quickening trend cycles, meaning your investment will look as chic in 10 years as it did when it arrived on your doorstep. Neutral tones also evoke a sense of grounding and peace; exactly what you want when settling down to enjoy a meal with friends and family (especially if you were the one behind the scenes in the kitchen). Additionally, dining spaces are increasingly used as a ‘change of scenery’ for those of us who are remote working; having a clear, harmonious space to set up in if you want a break from your usual office space can increase productivity and makes your dining space more useful and versatile.
Following in the wake of Dulux’s Colour of the Year ‘Brave Ground’ (a warm, earthy, sandy shade of brown), follow the subheadings below as we go from element to element found in the dining room, and suggest our top neutral picks for each component from the Out & Out catalogue.
Chairs & Tables:
The table and chairs are the backbone of the dining space, and mixing and matching to create a bespoke dining set can help you customise your colour palette through the use of different materials and textures. Our Orson bucket chairs, with grey upholstery and wooden legs, are perfect to match with our Alba white oak dining table; the legs of the chairs tie in with the table, and the grey textile provides comfort and visual dimension against the sleep finish of the wooden elements. The Alba table also comes in longer/extending versions, and the chairs are a set of two, so you can customise the size and capacity based on your needs and space available.
If you’d rather buy a prearranged set than mix and match shades, our Alexandra dining set is a safe bet. With a bright white central square table to brighten even the darkest of kitchen corners, and flocked by four grey upholstered Scandi-esq chairs, it’s a modestly sized set fit for a high-ceilinged pied à terre. If you’re looking for something more rustic or industrial, the Easton bench dining set could be the set for you. As much ‘barn conversion’ as it is ‘converted loft’ in style, it has versatility and playfulness (the layout is reminiscent of childhood picnic tables) in spades. The ashy wooden tops and grey metal structure make it a cooler-toned option as well.
Extra storage is always a benefit in the dining room for a number of reasons. It can hold additional glassware cutlery, and china for unexpected guests, ‘working from home’ equipment for that change of scenery discussed earlier, as well as accents for holiday and birthday celebrations (you’ll need somewhere to store your vases and details for tablescapes, like the Spring themed one outlined in my previous article here). For those with more space to play with– and an appreciation for mid-century silhouettes– the Caso sideboard is perfect. With four drawers, two sliding doors, a vast top surface, and chunky wooden hairpin-style legs, it’s sure to be a solid statement piece to use and treasure for years to come. For slightly tighter spaces, the Diana sideboards in oak and walnut add a touch of class with elongated hairpin legs and more open shelves for display purposes, as well as three closing cupboards. The materiality options give both bright and moodier neutrals to play with.
A dining space is made all the more striking when crowned with a low hanging central lighting piece above. The Morom Pendant lamps in solid bamboo, black, and white, and in both standard and small sizes, add a neutral focal point to bind the space together. They also increase the lighting thrown onto the table, making dining and working easier on the eyes.
To summarise, neutral tones are a design classic, especially in the shapes and forms present in the Out & Out catalogue. Resisting the pull of trend cycles involving bold colours and patterns when making large-scale investments such as those outlined above will help keep your pieces in style and timeless, and reduce the amount of surplus and unwanted furniture in circulation. They will also help foster a calm, serene atmosphere in domestic dining spaces.