Cheap, but chic dining room makeover ideas

Eating together, preferably at a table, rather than balancing plates and trays on your knees while watching the television, has been a much talked about and debated topic recently. Many of the 'experts' in family life, health and well-being are telling us that we need to talk to each other more and what better place to strike up a conversation than at the dining room table. This may be easier said than done for many people and while the 'new going out is staying in' wining and dining with friends and family, if you don't have a large budget sorting out the priorities for a dining room can feel a little daunting. Take a look of some of our suggestions and see how easy and possible it is to give your dining area a cheap, but chic makeover.

1. Don't be too critical:

Although we usually say be critical, sometimes yu have to bend the rules slightly! So, take a look at the dining space you have and be realistic in how you can change or alter it without major refurbishment.

2. Update furniture:

Dining room suites, table, chairs and sideboards can be very expensive, so why not take a more relaxed approach and use an old table which will give an eclectic and whimsical look. If you prefer something a little more formal a multitude of sins (scratches, water-marks etc.) can be hidden under linen table cloths.

3. Look at your windows:

Simply by using cheap curtains in a new colour or pattern can bring a new look to a dining area. Co-ordinate with window blinds if you need the privacy or need to be able to prevent the sun from dazzling into people's eyes while they're eating.

4. Floors:

Irrespective of what type of flooring you have or the condition its in large dining room rugs are bang on-trend. Place under the table and chairs leaving a sufficient amount of rug available for when the chairs are pulled they remain on the rug rather than dropping off the edge.

5. Introduce a new colour:

A quick lick of paint will make an instant impact on the look of your dining area. Red and green are ideal colours as red will help to stimulate appetite and green is energising.

6. Lighting:

Dim the bright overhead lights when you have guests and use floor or table lamps to create a softer look. Just remember that you and your guests will need to see what they're eating so you may need more than one table lamp!

7. Focal point:

The focal point doesn't have to be your table, although when its laid up with a linen table cloth, napkins and a centre-piece it probably will be – for normal day-to-day living your sideboard could take its place.

8. Seasonal accessories:

make cover-slips from seasonal coloured or patterned curtain fabrics to keep your dining room looking well kept and trendy. Your centre-piece is the ideal place to use seasonal accessories.

9. Add texture:

place shiny reflective surfaces next to matt ones to add depth and character to the tale and the room itself.

10. Natural touches:

Large clear vases filled with flowers, or storm jars willed with coloured sand and candles will add personal touches to your dining room, making it unique to you and your family.

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