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Use Amish Furniture To Create An Elegant Dining Room

What is the function of a dining room? The obvious answer is that it's a place to sit down and eat, but a dining room that includes Amish furniture is so much more than that. People can eat in the kitchen or the TV room, but the dining room makes a statement about the residents' taste, style, and dedication to feeding their guests in comfort. It's one of the most public rooms in any home – usually open and visible from the other public areas, such as the living room and foyer. The dining room is often the cleanest room in the house, because it's not in constant use. So it may be pressed into emergency service when unexpected visitors stop by. The dining room shows how the inhabitants of the house treat their guests, whether it's business, family, or fellowship.

So the dining room has to be elegant and inviting. However, it's also the place for the kids to spread out their science fair project and the scout pack to do their arts and crafts. It's the place to go when the insurance agent or the plumber wants to sit down and go over some paperwork. The bridge tournament or the poker game may end up in the dining room, along with the family Monopoly game. During a big party, the dining room is usually food central, as well as a place for guests to congregate. So the furniture has to be practical and durable enough for years of heavy use by a wide variety of people.

When it's time to eat, the dining room becomes a staging area, along with the kitchen, for serving food to a large number of guests. That's why sideboards, benches, and other complementary pieces are as important as the main table. Plus the dining room is usually the storage area for all the silverware, fine china, gravy boats, and platters that see only occasional use. That's a tall order for any kind of furniture – practical storage that is also elegant enough to be a display cabinet. Finding the right hutches, pantries, and corner cabinets to store necessary serving pieces is crucial to overall functionality. Smaller pieces can often solve storage problems too, such as wine racks and curio cabinets.

But let's start with the table. It's the centerpiece of the dining room in more ways than one. Over the years, people have discovered that Amish artisans handcraft incredible dining room tables that are beautiful, durable, and distinctive. Nobody knows more about seating large numbers of people than the Amish, who conduct worship services, school lessons, and feasts in their homes with regularity. They also know more about constructing solid wood furniture than anyone else, and they specialize in large tables with many leaves and legs. They build their houses with interior walls that open to accommodate bigger tables, and they understand how many uses that table will see.

Once we decide to go with Amish furniture, we haven't limited our choices. Renown as craftsmen and furniture makers for hundreds of years, the Amish are familiar with many styles, from the popular Mission style to Bon Bell, French Country, and Chippendale. For durability, they work in a great selection of prime hardwoods, from red and white oak to maple and cherry, and they're experts in various stains and finishes. Lighter stains in the country style have been popular for some time now and work well with most decorating schemes. Larger dining spaces and rooms with light-hued floors and walls often look great with medium and darker tints. The same colored stain or wood can often tie together different styles of furniture and extend the look into other rooms.

Chairs are an important consideration, and the Amish are famous for making chairs that fit the body as well as the décor. Whether the styles are traditional or contemporary, they never scrimp on comfort or durability – an Amish dining room set is built to last for generations. Benches are a practical addition to the room on their own, and they can functions as auxiliary seating when the table expands to its maximum size. Since chairs are usually the first articles to show wear and break, that isn't the place to scrimp in any budget. Amish oak furniture is the way to go.

In choosing complementary pieces, plan how you would serve a complicated meal to a maximum-sized dinner party. Every server knows that agony of reaching the table heavily laden with food and not knowing where to set any of it. A well-placed sideboard gives serving space and storage, and it also functions as a way station for dirty dishes headed back to the kitchen. A matching bench can serve as a rest stop for bulky platters and dishes, too, and it's emergency seating during a party. Hutches, curios, and corner cabinets make excellent use of wall space and also allow flexibility that shelves alone don't. If you need that extra trivet or candle, it's nice to have it close at hand.

Dining rooms have always strived to be warm and inviting, and any color scheme should do just that. Check out the colors in your favorite restaurant to see how they work so well together. Painting one accent wall a slightly brighter but complementary color to the main scheme works well in a dining room, and so do colorful paintings, tapestries, and other wall hangings. Don't be afraid to compare samples of paint and wallpaper with the furniture that will co-exist within the same room, always leaning toward warm and friendly instead of cold. Steal some accents from the living room and other nearby spaces.

Most dining room have a large window that lets in a lot of natural daylight, but a dining room will be used at all hours. A dimmer controlling the main chandelier or overhead light is a very good idea, because the lighting demands can vary greatly from a candlelit dinner to that aforementioned Monopoly game. Subtle track lighting along the walls and in the corners will help to illuminate artwork and the handsome Amish hutches and corner cabinets. It will also keep the lighting consistent across the length of the room.

The dining room is a fun challenge to decorate, because there is only one objective – get the guest to sit down and enjoy himself. Being elegant and fashionable is great, but a good dining room must be friendly enough to get the immediate family to sit down and eat together. There is no greater way to accomplish this than with Amish furniture.
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Article Added on Monday, January 8, 2007
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