Creating a Warm Holiday Dining Experience

By November 26, 2014 Uncategorized
Smiling woman at dinner table

The holidays are in full swing, and nothing says “home” quite like the feasting we tend to do around this time. From holiday birds roasting in the oven to tons of sides of potatoes, vegetables, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and beyond, we love getting our family, friends, and loved ones together to celebrate the holidays. How do you create a warm and cozy holiday dining experience? Read our tips to find out!

Harnessing The Beauty of Natural Light

If your dining room is lucky, it’s a space full of natural light. Considering many people choose to host holiday dinners in the middle of the afternoon, it’s not unheard of to be serving in the daytime. At the very least, some people host dinner, but have an ongoing buffet­style lunch and appetizers set up in the dining room so no one goes hungry waiting for the big meal. In any case, take advantage of natural lighting. It’ll make the space look larger and give the room warmth, even if the weather outside is frightful.

Is there a large bay window in your dining room? Take advantage! Watch the snow fall outside as you dine through the giant paned glass. Or, opt to give your dining room a quickie makeover that uses natural light best. For example, add a large mirror on one of the walls so that the light plays off the mirror, thereby making the space look even bigger.

If you have large windows with built­in seating, you might want to consider letting the kids eat their instead of at a designated table so they can look out and enjoy the view. Besides, window seats help add seats to a small space, so if you’re expecting a ton of people for the holidays, it’s a great way to offer unique seating without having to rent or buy more chairs.

Chandeliers and Other Lighting Fixtures

Nothing says opulence quite like a chandelier. These are the grand statement pieces of lighting ­­ they pull a room together, and are usually in dining rooms because they’re so luxe. However, that doesn’t mean go all­out with an ornate crystal version. A small sparkling chandelier contributes just as much to a room. It really depends on the rest of the dining room.

Is your dining table set classic, with curved chairs and a touch of elegance? Or is it a large, rustic table with benches for seats? Did you mix and match materials, like wood and metals, or are your chairs and sideboard deliberately distressed so the room is eclectic and quirky? Whatever your dining room space is like, it’s going to affect your lighting fixture choices. Generally, you want statement lighting like a chandelier in a more traditional space. Less conservative spaces can play with clean lines, brighter colors, and modern lighting shapes like overhead lamps.


The most romantic way to light up a room, candles are a definite must­have if you’re serving at night. Not only will they keep the space intimate, but they’ll also work nicely against a dark winter backdrop. And they come in so many scents, especially around the holidays! Fresh, clean scents may work best for your dinner, or you can splurge on a variety of scents featuring pinewoods, evergreens, cedar, mistletoe, berries ­­ even gingerbread!

Handmade wood boxes create a focal point where you can display tall tapered candles, plus they can be filled with other types of seasonal decor during the year beyond holly berries. If you love the farm­to­table look, mason jars are a cute addition to the table. Fill them with water place floating tea light candles inside, or fill with epsom salt and stick in larger votive candles. Or use large hurricane candles as the centerpiece of table centerpieces by including other details such as shiny ornaments and frosted pine cones.

What’s your favorite way to light up the dining room for the holidays?

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