After struggling to easily find the right items to furnish her own apartment, Kuldea Co-Founder, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, was inspired to create an online platform to make home shopping as straightforward, efficient and fulfilling as possible. Here, she shares some of the tops tips she has learnt along the way for furnishing your kitchen and dining room.

When I first moved into my new apartment, my kitchen and dining room were the spaces I was most looking forward to furnishing. As someone that loves to entertain– whether it’s for special family occasions, dinner parties with friends or simply preparing and sharing a meal with my partner, it was important for me to create a space that allowed me to express my unique style while also making sure my guests felt comfortable. When furnishing your kitchen and dining room, it’s important to balance functionality with comfort which can sometimes be difficult to do. Don’t worry though, using my experience I’m sharing this article with you to help make it simple to do. Here are my top tips for furnishing your kitchen and dining room.

Top tip 1) Understand Your Space

One of the most important parts of furnishing your kitchen and dining room is taking a good look at your space and seeing, realistically, what you can do with it. When I first started planning, I had all these brilliant ideas about how I wanted my kitchen and dining room to look, but I quickly realised I had to scale some of these ideas down so that my vision coincided with the space I had. As much as I wanted that beautiful golden chandelier it simply wasn’t going to work in a tiny room with low ceilings.

Measure your space

This might seem a little obvious but it’s something many of us fail to do properly. Whether you have a dedicated dining room, or your dining area forms a part of your kitchen it’s important to know how much space you have. Make sure you measure where you’re going to put key furniture such as your dining table and display cabinets so that when you’re ready to purchase your furniture, you’ll already know where they will go and what sizes you will need to get.

Top tip 2) Decide on Functionality

What you plan to use your kitchen and dining room for will largely determine the type of furniture you buy so it’s important to decide this before making any big purchases. In dining rooms that are separate from the kitchen, you might only want to use it on special occasions. If that’s case, investing in statement pieces or more luxurious items may be a good option. You might also want to create a space in your kitchen for a separate dining table if you have enough room.

Your dining room could also double as an office or a place where your children do their homework as well as eat. If so, look for items that are made from more durable materials that are also easy to clean.

If your dining room is also part of your kitchen then you’ll need to decide if you want your dining area to be incorporated into your main kitchen or if you want it to be completely separate. Kitchen islands are a great compromise that will allow you to also use your dining area as preparation area without having to buy a separate table.

Top tip 3) Choosing a Dining Table

Your dining table is, invariably, the most important purchase you’ll make when buying furniture for your kitchen and dining room. It’s not only where you’ll sit, eat and perhaps even work, but it will inform the layout for your entire kitchen and dining room.

The first thing you need to consider is the size. As mentioned earlier, measuring where you want to your dining table to go before you begin will help you to get a good idea of the type of table you’ll need. I’ve lived in a variety of apartments and houses, some with tiny spaces and others with their own separate dining room and what I’ve found is that in cosier kitchens and dining rooms, it’s often best to go for versatility in the form of drop leaf or extendable tables. You can also purchase a round table for smaller spaces, though this may pose a problem if, for example, you want to fit a lot of people around it. It really depends on what you’re planning to use your dining table for.

For bigger or narrower spaces, square and rectangular tables are your best option. The key is to make sure that your space isn’t overcrowded, and, as strange as it may sound, isn’t left with too much space. It’s likely that you want a place that’s cosy, that people enjoy being in, and if your room is too bare then the room can feel cold and empty.

The chairs you choose should match your dining table and fit with your overall vision for your kitchen and dining room. For more contemporary spaces or in dining areas that are part of your kitchen, bar stools can be an awesome addition to your space. If you’re looking for comfort over style go for chairs that have cushioned padding. There are so many different designs you can choose from to match with your dining table and the rest of your dining room.

Top tip 4) Make Use of Storage

I’m someone who likes to keep her kitchen clutter free so when I was furnishing my kitchen and dining room, I made sure I had a range of storage and display options. If you’re completely redesigning your kitchen, then try to choose kitchen cabinets that have room from everything you can think of, drawers to store your cutlery, cupboards for plates, cups and pots or even a place to store your dustbin. In a larger dining room, display cabinets are a great way to show off your favourite crockery while also offering ease of access.

Shelves are another way to make use of what would otherwise be a space left bare. In your kitchen, mounted shelves can be used to store and display smaller items or things you use every day such as a sugar bowl or tea pot. In my dining room, I like to use wall shelves to display small statement pieces such as paintings or flowers that help to add character to the room. Alternatively, you can go for the more practical option by using the shelves to store items that you don’t want to hide away in your kitchen such as wine glasses.

Top tip 5) Create a Space That’s Unique to You

Your kitchen and dining room will form the backdrop for the memories you’ll create with your friends and family so it’s important to choose finishing pieces that reflect who you are and how you want people to feel when they visit your home. If you have a separate dining room it may be a good idea to use a similar aesthetic to your kitchen to help create sense of cohesion. To achieve this effect, choose similar colours and similar materials to furnish both rooms.

If your kitchen and dining room are one and the same, then you’ll still want to have a sense of cohesion but perhaps you’ll also want to make the dining area stand out. Strategically placed rugs can be a great way to add texture to your dining space. Choose colours that complement your overall aesthetic. You could also select chairs, cushions or table cloths that are a slightly different colour to the rest of the room, but still manage to blend in. For example, if you’re going for a rustic style kitchen, adding gingham cushions or table cloths add a spot of colour without clashing with your overall style.

Lighting

Your choice of lighting should be both practical and visually appealing. In my dining room I decided to use dimmers so that I could adjust the lighting according to the mood I wanted to create. Remember the type of lighting you use can set the mood for an entire evening. Floor lamps are also a great option especially if you’re using the room for other activities such as studying or reading.

In your kitchen you can get a bit more creative with your lighting, using anything from pendant lights for a more contemporary feel to spot lights to illuminate areas you use often such as your cooker, dining space and prep areas.

I hope this article was able to give you some ideas about how to furnish your kitchen and dining room. Remember the most important thing is to create a space that you’ll be happy eating and socialising in and to have fun while doing it.

To start your kitchen and dining room project, head to our Dining Room page for thousands of products from the UK’s leading retailers and get your transformation underway!

If you’re looking for more advice or would like to discuss this article further please feel free to email me at info@kuldea.com, and I’ll do my best to help.