The pros reveal how to make the most of a space that's sometimes ignored (while everyone eats at the kitchen counter).
By Abbe Wright
Don't Leave Them Hanging
"Switch up the art on a major wall. It's a simple change, but it affects the whole feeling of the space." —Jennifer Post, whose design work is the subject of a new book, Jennifer Post: Pure Space, Elegant Minimalism, by Anna Kasabian
Make Room for More
"We like to have a great bench that can rest up against the wall and be pulled up to the table when needed. (It can also live part-time in an adjacent hallway.) The idea is that it's ready and waiting when the inevitable moment arises when you've got to squeeze in eight guests at a table for six." —Suzanne and Lauren McGrath, authors of Good Bones, Great Pieces: The Seven Essential Pieces That Will Carry You Through a Lifetime (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
"The best way to encourage comfort and conversation for your guests is through great seating. Invest in dining chairs that invite your family and friends to eat, drink, stay and relax." —Kishani Perera, author of Vintage Remix: The Interiors of Kishani Perera (Abrams)
Go up a Wall
"For a fast and easy way to update your dining room, paint one wall to make an eye-catching statement and add mirrors, which reflect light and add sparkle." —Annie Kelly, co-author of Rooms to Inspire by the Sea (Rizzoli)
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