THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DINING AND EATING. DINING IS AN ART. WHEN YOU EAT TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MEAL, TO PLEASE THE PALATE, JUST AS WELL AS TO SATIATE THE APPETITE, THAT, MY FRIEND, IS DINING. Yuan Mei
It is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration to describe my flat as having a dining room. There is certainly room to dine, but it is not a separate room from the rest of the flat. Instead, as the living area is open plan, I have used furniture to section off the study and both the sitting and dining areas. I have also used bunting in a blue, white and red theme to create a visual marker between the dining room and the kitchen.
The dining table is a simple wooden IKEA table which cost less than £30. I bought this beautiful tablecloth several years ago when on holiday; it is oilcloth which makes it perfect for wiping up spills and crumbs.
Rather than wasting time separating cutlery into its separate sections in a drawer, all the cutlery is kept together in this candy-striped tin; everyone can help themselves to what they need, when they need it and it makes drying up much quicker.
This gorgeous vintage radio was a Christmas present from my sister several years ago. We both loved it when we saw it in a Second hand shop, so had agreed that it would be fair if neither of us had it. However, unbeknownst to me, she later returned and bought it for me. It was a lovely surprise to open on Christmas morning! Sadly it doesn’t work, but I think it looks great in the dining room.
The dining chairs were a brilliant bargain: I bought 5 of them for £6 on eBay. They were old wooden school chairs and were very dusty and scratched when I bought them. I sanded them down and then painted them using Dulux gloss paint in a stunning pillar-box red. I bought 4 tie-back seat-cushions which have different patterns, but which work together with the bright red chairs and the vibrant tablecloth. Both eBay and Freecycle are excellent sites for local bargains – just remember to check ‘Collection Only’ on eBay and adjust the distance from your home postcode to refine your search area. Don’t be put off by what items might look like initially – try to see the potential in each piece and imagine what it could be like with a fresh coat of paint, or re-upholstering.
Paintings and Pictures
Above the dining room table, there are two pictures: one is a copy of a self-portrait of Lucien Freud which I painted years ago when I did GCSE Art and the other is a postcard from the Guinness factory in Dublin which I visited a couple of years ago.