As the holidays approach, having a fabulous, functional dining area is more important than ever. It’s where we gather family, where we entertain guests, and where we enjoy the hearty meals that are often at the center of our celebrations. So it goes without saying that when you’re ready to build your custom home, you’re going to want to pay special attention to the space where meals are shared.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you begin envisioning the perfect dining area, to ensure that you can always serve up the holidays in style.


The first choice you’ll need to make comes down to your home’s architecture. Do you want your dining area to be its own individual room, separated from other areas of the home—or, do you want it to exist within an open floor plan, featuring an easy flow and connection between other rooms?

Both options have benefits: a private dining area can feel elegant and cozy, not to mention that you don’t have to worry about your guests viewing a messy kitchen while they eat! However, an open floor plan allows for greater synthesis throughout the home and avoids overcrowding in any one area, which makes entertaining a breeze. Plus, you can still interact with your guests while cooking, instead of feeling confined to the kitchen.


Lighting sets the tone of the room—and this goes far beyond how bright or dim the bulbs are. So consider what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Chandeliers, for example, often inspire a glamorous and formal mood, while a row of hanging pendants or globe lights offer a more laid-back, casual vibe.


Because lighting cannot be changed as quickly and easily as other décor, selecting the right type of fixture is an important decision. But even permanent light fixtures can be tweaked to a certain extent: you can swap our regular bulbs for vintage-style Edisons, or decorate the fixtures with garlands or other foliage. For an extra hint of holiday flair, add in some candles, too!


While your guests will most likely be paying attention to what’s on the table, chances are you’ll have a whole host of other things on your mind while dining. Do you need another bottle of wine, more napkins, extra plates for dessert? But if you plan properly and set up your dining area with multi-purpose storage space, you can anticipate all those possibilities, and minimize extraneous trips to the kitchen—thus ensuring your evening is as enjoyable and stress-free as your guests’.

Consider incorporating a buffet into the room, a unique hutch, or even floating shelves on the wall to display artwork, seasonal decorations, and gorgeous dinnerware.



Ultimately, creating an incredible custom kitchen deserves a blog post of its own, but it’s worth mentioning here that the success of a dinner party—and thus, the success of the dining area—is directly related to the kitchen.

Regardless of which floor plan is right for you, kitchens are often considered the focal point of the home, and it’s almost guaranteed that guests will congregate there before the meal is served. They may ask to help chop, or they may just want to chat. And who wants to be stuck in the kitchen while all the guests are relegated to another room?

To maximize the kitchen’s potential as a social spot, and even make it a satellite area of the dining room, try adding an island with bar stools. In addition to facilitating flow and offering more sleek storage space, an island is a great place for guests to relax without making the kitchen feel crowded or chaotic.



Once all the big decisions regarding architecture, light fixtures, and built-ins are set, you get to start thinking about the little things—and the fun continues from there!

From table settings to décor and even furniture choices, those little details unique to you are truly what makes your custom space shine. The only limit is your creativity.

Of course, the special decorations surrounding your dining area are entirely up to you, but Smith Brothers is here to help out with the big picture decisions such as architecture and floor plans, so that your new custom home is the perfect place to eat, drink, and be merry all year long.

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