You may opt for a formal dining-room, but if you're anything like me you will probably feel most comfortable in a not-so-formal one. Formal dining-rooms are very beautiful but the pressure to sit-up straight as a stick, to not have a finger or elbow out of place and to eat with formal dining etiquette (this fork for this, that fork for that) can be a bit much for my digestion. My idea of a dinner party is, close friends, dim lights, a quiet chatter or even, dare I say, gossip. Reaching over the table for hot bread buns, a shared dish of butter... this is what I see for a dinner party in my home. And for a dinner party like this, or for any dinner like this for that matter, one will need a comfortable, cozy and friendly atmosphere.
A FEW ATTRIBUTES TO MAKING IT COZY
FIREPLACE... Add warmth, now that's cozy
Maybe it is because we envision winter time when we see a fireplace that make us feel so comforted; sitting around a fire during a storm reading a book with a cup of hot chocolate while we wear our most warm and comfortable.
DINING-ROOM FURNITURE... That isn't exactly dining-room material can be cozy
A large dresser drawer there and a table lamp here, all on a beautiful arabian rug can exude an atmosphere that makes diners feel that it is okay to 'let go'. "Forget formal dining etiquette" it might say.
THE LOVE SEAT... Cozy for two, cozy for all
Adding other non-traditional seating, such as a love seat is probably one of the most simplest ways to transform your dining area into a cozy one.
THE FRIENDLY CHALKBOARD... a casualness that comforts by saying "you'll be okay here"
Perhaps it is reminiscent of our childhood that makes chalkboards so friendly and warm, remember your 2nd grade classroom? The room with its colorful tightly knit carpet, games and toys off in one corner, colorful 2nd grades drawings all over the wall, and in the corner a little alcove where one had cubbies and hooks to put their belongings... and of course at center, the chalkboard.
ALCOVE SEATING... Snug
The bench seating that goes around the table reminds us of alcove dining areas that are dimly lit and comfortable with its cushions and throw pillows. Cozy.
AMBIENCE... It's just cozy
Keeping it casual is the best way to keep it inviting, thus, cozy.