Turn a small dining room into a grand dining experience


My job brings me in contact with all kinds of people, giving me a front-row seat to their personalities, tastes and needs.

My job brings me in contact with all kinds of people, giving me a front-row seat to their personalities, tastes and needs. As a designer, I sometimes have to nudge my clients out of their comfort zone and get them to go just a little further with their project, still keeping in mind their style and requirement. Boldness may not be the most important trait of our personalities but should, in my opinion, be an essential quality of every first-rate designer, who, forever afterward, will know how to balance it with the personality of their clients.
The most interesting projects are sometimes not the biggest, nor the most expensive, but the ones where the designer's solution completely changes the look of a room. For this type of project, your boldness and creativity requires only straightforward common sense. When I say "boldness," I don't mean using overly flamboyant colours or off-putting materials. I mean that you, as a designer, should break out of the mold you know and see any room beyond its four walls. You need to, as one very common expression so aptly points out, "think outside the box."
Last year, thinking along these lines, I had the chance to work on a really interesting project — a dining room that was an integral part of a complete home renovation. Throughout the project, however, this room was a challenge because its size limited my client and me tremendously. What would we need to do to make this small room look larger?
That's when I came up an idea. Despite the dining room's minimal floor space, it came with an amazing asset: height. With this height, I could be bold and out of the box. So, to save space, we opted for a corner bench rather than taking the traditional dining room route. Afterwards, we played with the bench's height to push the eye upward and added texture above it to once again play the "height" card.
Adding decorative elements was a master stroke for us. Adding different-sized light fixtures, ceiling-to-floor curtains and wood covering to the ceiling made this room into the client's favourite. We managed to turn a tiny room into a grand room, which was originally just one piece of the home renovation puzzle. Today, this room has become into a magnificent room that everyone wants to have in their homes, despite its small stature. So, do you now have the courage to climb out of your box?

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About the author

Caroline Larocque began her career as a kitchen designer right after she completed her studies.

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