I decided to focus on dining area finds with a more 'cottagey' vibe and to show some quick and easy ways to 'spruce up' the eating area in a cottage rental - making for an ideal spot where guests will enjoy sitting down to eat and visit with one another.
(Find these items at: Ikea)
Ikea is sooo great for affordable finds! Especially great for those vacation rentals where things often need frequent replacing due to regular or seasonal wear + tear and for those times when things go mysteriously missing!?
Adding Some Simple Thought and Charm
Simple things like new chair pads add not only comfort but give a fresh updated feeling. I think they are so cute in a cottage or cabin tied in with other modern rustic furniture elements. More on chair pads and furniture in a moment.
Thoughtful touches like a vase, glass jar or old canister packed with freshly picked wild flowers (or store-bought if you haven't a green thumb!) can really add some colourful charm and shows guests that you thought of them and were anticipating their arrival (warning! just be sure to check the flowers for bugs!!!).
Styling the tabletop with everything ready for your guests first meal makes for a memorable touch too, we'll chat about that as well.
DESIGN BOARD EXPLAINED
Mix and Match Dining Furniture
As I noted in the 'Field Style Tip' and shown with images in the above design board, I love this look for in a cottage when all of the dining chairs are one colour and the dining table is another, it can really help in adding some interest and charm.
This makes for fun shopping too! If your anything like me - who is not a fan of 'sets' of matchy, matchy furniture and your looking for affordability, then shopping around at flea markets, antique stores, Kijji, Craigs list, yards sales, etc are great ways for finding unique furniture pieces that can really add character into your cottage rental dining area. Plus its nice to recycle old pieces and give them another life other than the landfill!
Don't pass up on a piece that really catches your eye either! If worried about chipped paint or dents - those imperfections can all add extra charisma & personality which is whats desired in creating a thoughtfully designed dining area for guests. And again, if your anything like me - you can visualize what a beat up, dented old dining table can become with a few coats of a fabulous paint colour!
Not Your Grannies Chair Pads
It's not everyday I would suggest chair pads when decorating just any dining room! But I must admit, there's something comforting and almost a given' with introducing chair pads into the cottage (although now that I think about it - perhaps one of the only places they belong?). If opting for chair pads in a cottage rental, permission partly granted for using florals and perhaps a ruffle or two!? Do stay away however, from going overboard with accidentally diving into the look of an old grannies place!
I would recommend keeping chair pad selection all the same, so to avoid to much going on for the eye to look at, in terms of colours and patterns, etc, as when it's not done properly, mixing patterns that is, can often turn into a humble jumble look!? Which is what we don't want!
Check on care labels before purchasing for machine washable. These will need washing fairly frequently being in an eating area and all, more so if guests are the ones with sticky, messy, little fingers!
If it's a cottage rental property that's an up-scale one, targeting a more distinguished type of guest, then investing into chair pads that are plush, of better quality, style and comfort will be much appreciated and lend to a more put together look.
Styling The Dining Table
As I noted earlier, fragrant flowers and vibrant greens placed in a vase, old bottle, canister, glass milk jug or pitcher, etc add such a pretty, simple, and thoughtful touch to the dining table for a guests arrival.
Tableware styled nicely will add interest and purpose atop the dining table. How nice would it be if knowing you have a family of 4 checking in, to go ahead and set the table for them with 4 matching, washable or wipe-able place mats, fun dinnerware like the plates, bowls, utensils and glassware (expect a future post on this topic!)? I bet those guests would be surprised!
As pictured in the design board, the decorative water hycacinth place mat which I don't believe is heat proof?, but will help in protecting from heavier serving dishes plus it looks great! A heat resistant trivet is a good idea to have in eye sight as it will limit the amount of damage incurred from hot pots and pans to the table and countertops.
Washable table linens are so great, so fun and create visual impact! There are literally a zillion options to choose from, there easy to shop for and are refreshing to change up with the seasons. You can wash them with the rest of your linens upon a guests departure and are also way better for the environment than paper napkins!
'Field' Styling Tips
- Napkins tucked into drink-ware brings in height and colour for some added interest!
- Now picture guests arriving, they've been driving or flying all day just to get to a property and they walk in to see a beautiful dining table set up just for them! What a nice memorable touch.
Let me know what your guests or you as a guest have found to be a nice added touch in the dining area!