3 Ways to Add Style to your Dining Table

Just about now you're trying to decide on a new look for your dining table area.

With all the Spring festivities like holidays, barbecues and also birthdays, your table will be the center of attention. 

Maybe your table needs a little accessorizing. Like jewelry, it's the little things that pull an 'outfit' together. 

Where do you start? What can you add that doesn't 'break the bank' or require major overhaul?

Here's what interior designers do that you can do today to change out and create a beautiful dining area:


  • First - take a photo of the dining area. It's a great way to see how the space looks so you can focus on the area in question. Is the table bare? Could you add some perky candlesticks and/or a centerpiece to add interest?

  • Look at the area in the photo. Do you need a more interesting chandelier? Would a touch of glamour, a touch of sparkle or a hint of industrial chic create focus with a new chandelier?

  • Add color! Use a bright color for placemats or a runner. Or add a pale shade for placemats in a color to contrast with the table top. It's contrast that makes a table interesting. 

It's all about layering, adding contrasts, color and sometimes some whimsy. I know you can do it!

For professional interior design for your home, office or commercial project call:



Call Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith Interior Design - serving New Jersey, including Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore.

To schedule an appointment call: 732 608-7583 or email me at masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com 


M. A. Smith Interior Design
Allied Member ASID

How to Change Your Dining Room from 'Blah' To Beautiful - Part 1

You've seen amazing dining rooms on Pinterest or TV. But if your dining area looks more blah than beautiful - start here first. 


While the trend these days is for 'open plan living' versus a separate dining room, we all have the same dilemma. The dilemma is how to enjoy our dining table and chairs and keep them looking fresh and new.



So, do you have a Dining Room chair or Dining Room table dilemma?



We may have children, or grandchildren enjoying meals or it could be just the two of you - or just you. Either way, the table and chairs get a lot of use over the years. So, there are a few things to consider when looking to refresh or purchase your dining furniture. Let's start with the dining chair fabric. 


Here's my quick and easy 'cheat sheet' of suggestions for Dining Room chair fabric:



  • Look for fabrics that are easy to clean and maintain. If you have a boatload of kids or messy adults, consider using Sunbrella or other outdoor use fabrics. Kravet Performance Fabrics 's Soleil fabrics offer not only durability but a great variety of patterns in scrumptious colors.

  • Consider the shape of the Dining Room chair cushion and the design of the chair back when choosing a fabric pattern. For instance, if the chair is simple in design, perhaps the fabric could have a bold pattern or lively and lovely fabric color as shown below.

  • Not sold on outdoor fabrics for your Dining Room? Go ahead and take a chance on that gorgeous fabric, but make sure it can keep it's good looks by adding Fibreseal protection.
Chair courtesy of Maine Cottage



In my own home, our Dining Room chairs have a Robert Allen fabric that is woven with a fabric protectorant. Even after years of use, a quick wipe with a damp sponge or a spray foam application of Scotchguard keeps the fabric looking as good as it gets!

In Part II, we'll talk about dining tables and the why's and wherefores of selecting one type of table over another. 


For professional interior design for your home, office or commercial project call:



Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith Interior Design - serving New Jersey, including Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore.

To schedule an appointment call: 732 608-7583 or email me at masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com 

M. A. Smith Interior Design
Allied Member ASID

Why Just One Step is the Best Way to Get Your Renovation Going


Schumacher's Monarch's March 

"Spring ahead" they say. Yes, Spring with all its promises for warmer temps, daffodil and tulip bulbs sprouting gives us a new outlook. Butterflies will return to your gardens. As well as to-do lists.

Ugh - those dreaded tasks to get the house ready for the seasons ahead. Where to start, what to do first? Trust me, I'm there with you. If you own a home it's guaranteed that every season "Somethings Gotta Give" you frustration. So many lists, so little time.

In our home, we've got a list for every room. We have busy days and mostly weekends left for our to-do lists. So this weekend instead of moaning the lack of time to get a project done, I looked at it with a new perspective. I think I've found a way to make this work for our project and hopefully for yours too.

Instead of looking at how 'much' you need to accomplish, do this. Look at the smallest one thing that needs to be done. For us, it was to remove the doors on our built-in TV cabinet. Next, I emptied the contents and either threw away the old papers, etc., moved items to another room, or moved the items to be dropped off and donated to places like Habitat for Humanity.

And by the way, that's how it works in new construction or any renovation project. It's all done in little steps. 

You can do this! 

Feeling Discombobulated Lately? Join our De-Cluttering Challenge Today

Photo courtesy of House Beautiful and Ikea

More Clothes and Less Space?

After the holidays were you given wonderful new outfits, purses, scarves, etc.? All is well and good till you try to add them to our already cramped closet. 

Or, maybe you threw yourself into cooking over the holidays and have added spices, new pots and pans to your cramped pantry. 

While Architectural Digest is not coming to inspect your home, you know you'd feel better, more in control and even lighter if you could organize your spaces. 

 Enter this year's challenge. Pick one space you would be so happy to see organized.

Schedule it in your calendar to tackle. 

Tell us your plan or challenge. 

Send us photos when you are done and you will have more praise than you've received in a long time.

What's your organizing challenge?