Wednesday 27 March 2013

How To Create A Stunning Dining Room Using Candles

Today we're going to take a look together at how to make your dining room look absolutely stunning using candle-light.

Using windlights is an easy, and relatively low cost way of adding sparkle and pizazz to any room but works especially well in the dining room where people are seated around a table for social activity.

Just take a look at these images to see how well this look works, even during daylight hours...and then grabs more and more of your attention as the night draws on. 

However, plonking a few Ikea tealights round and about just won't cut the mustard. won't do the room any favours. What you need is a showpiece. A focal point. Some real eye-candy to make the statement that this is a thought-out part of your lighting scheme and not just an after-thought add-on.

Here are five rules that will guide you through the process of how to create a real design statement using windlights:

Choose stunning centrepieces.
This is an essential part of dressing up your dining space with candlelight. Choose carefully. You want something that really catches the eye but mustn't overly dominate the table. Look out for gorgeous details, beautiful design and built-to-last workmanship.{The two we use on our dining table are Lombok Seta Rectangular Windlights....and I've just noticed they're on sale!}

Use symmetry
I love the Country-idyll concept of using candles for evening lighting: romantic and soft.....BUT by using choosing windlights that have particularly strong design, and highlighting that design with the help of symmetry, you can create a very Modern take on it to ensure you have the best of both worlds. Yes, my sweets, that's the joy of Modern Country.

Size matters
Keep items on the table low so that you can actually see each other. This is such a common mistake (just check out some of the gorgeous but impractical images in this post). That's where these Lombok windlights are perfect because they're substantial in the right ways - long and heavy (so stable on the table) but, importantly, not too tall. Most windlights in this style are either simply too enormous to sit comfortaly on the table or too tinsy-tiny to encourage the eye-popping, stunner of a look that we're after.

Place your windlights at either end of the table.
Making the most of symmetry has a dual purpose as this allows you to keep the centre of the table free of clutter to leave room for people passing the wine, clearing plates, leaning forwards for intimate chatter and all the other lovely things you want to encourage at your dinner parties....

Use other candles around the room.
Think of using candles as building up layers of visual delight. When you have created a beautifully strong focal point with your choice of windlights for your table, you can use lots of other candles around the room to compliment this first layer.

And there you have it....
Modern Country Dining at its very best: 
relaxed, informal and oh-so-stylish. 

All images: mine

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Monday 25 March 2013

Dining By Candle Light

Here in the Cotswolds, the nights are still long and the days are still freeeeeeezing. Where's our Spring, I'd like to know? It's the kind of cold where it really gets into your bones, as grandparents around the world are wont to say. With that in mind, let's take a look at candle light....the mainstay of warming any space up, both literally and figuratively.

Candle light is rightly well-known for the warmth of its mellow, golden glow, which casts a flattering flicker over anything it touches. And that, my friends, is why you need candle light in your dining space. Where else do friends and family stare at your face for hours on end, particularly after a long day at work when you might not be at your perky-best? Yes, candles are DEFINITELY the way to go!

The problem is that candles can clutter up the table to the point of ridiculousness. If you look at some of these images, you'll see that they demonstrate my point perfectly. 

It's easy to make them look scrummy when there's nothing else on the table but add in food, sauces and a jug and there'll be no room left for relaxed elbows-on-the-table chatting...and that would never do.

I always say that there are a few rules to be guided by when picking your candle lights....

Let's take a look a good look at them on Wednesday. 

Images via Casa Tres Chic, Nicety, Bright Bazaar

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Friday 22 March 2013

Magazine Round-Up: April

Lying in bed one night, my thoughts turned to a question that I'm often asked: Which magazines do I recommend for Modern Country Style?

Then it struck me. Wouldn't it be great to have a resource that showed, each month, where to find the very best articles, pictures and offers? And that, my lovely Modern Country chums, is what you're going to find here. 

I proudly present to you.....
The Modern Country Magazine Round-Up.... 

Care to join me for a browse...oh, and some Cadbury's chocolate fingers?

First up is Country Homes and Interiors....

April's issue is jam-packed with yummy homes. Just enjoy a little look-see at some of these rooms...

{And don't forget to help yourself to biscuits as we go through...}

There's a fantastic 'The Look We Love...' feature on French Ticking which is styled exquisitely. Reader, let me tell you that I almost wanted to lick the pages. 

Anything to do with Kate Forman, designer of beautiful faded floral fabrics, always catches my eye, so a whole interview with Kate had me jumping merrily around the room.

Rather exciting offer-wise, is this 20% off at Garden Trading (remember these baskets?). Niiiiice!

Possibly my favourite article in the magazine is this:

The kitchens are so beautiful that, be warned, you'll find it veeeeeeerrrrrry hard to tear yourself away to look at....

April's edition of Ideal Home.

{L:O:V:E} that study:

 Something Ideal Home do really well is their pages showing you current buys inspired from gorgeous rooms. As an example, take a peek at this room, Yummy, no? Want to find out how to do it yourself...?

Now you can! Here's how...

See what I mean? This month's Ideal Home is full of practical information to help you interpret these looks for yourself.

One article that bowled me over was Know Your Greys.

The in-depth look at the different undertones of greys is styled to perfection. Mmmmm....

Plus LOOK!! If you loved the home tour I shared last week then this will make you super-pleased:

Loads of hints and tips to help you get the look!

By the way, have you heard about the new Country Homes Ideas iPad app? It contains a whole bucket-load of decorating, craft and recipe ideas to help you create your dream country home. Definitely worth a peep.

Living etc is simply fab for inspiration on the modern side of Modern Country.

There are tonnes of ideas sprinkled through the pages of how to upcycle industrial items and blend them deliciously into your Modern Country home. Take a peek at that Boulangerie sign....

or this water-container repurposed as a vase...

But it's what I found next that made me 'Ooooh' out loud. Remember this amazing kitchen/dining room that I shared on Modern Country Style in June 2011? April's Living etc has an extensive feature on the whole house...I do hope you're Ooooh-ing in anticipation!

It has LOADS of perfect images that'll have your eyes out on stalks..

You're in for a treat!

And last but not least....Homes and Gardens

The styling in April's edition is just about as good as it gets.

This is my magazine of the month.

Nearly every page has eye-popping details...

...or fantastic offers...

....or beautiful homes...

...or gardens... drool over.

The truth is, there isn't one magazine entirely devoted to the rolling, verdant hills of Modern Country Style, and I rather like it that way. It's much more fun pulling together looks you adore from a variety of sources and we're so lucky in the UK to have a really fantastic range of magazines that cover a variety of styles. 

One of my great pleasures is dipping in and out of a range of magazines, armed with a hot mug of tea and a bowl of my favourite biscuits, and drawing ideas and inspiration from their delicious pages.

I do hope you enjoyed this month's Modern Country Magazine Round-Up...ideas and recommendations are very welcome!

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