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Design Essentials: The Dining Room

Have you ever walked into a room and felt as if it just didn’t feel complete? That it didn’t give you the warm fuzzies or that sense of delight? It is most likely because it is missing a key element to the design, if not several key elements. In this series, we will be discussing design essentials for every room in your home! Whenever Asha Maía Design is hired for a project, we consider a specific set of elements in each design. Because room size, shape, and/or design style vary, not every project always calls for each specific item; however, it is still our goal to incorporate these essentials into each finished project.


The dining room is the perfect place to make special occasions even more meaningful. It's a place to sit down together and enjoy the wonderful aromas and flavors created in the kitchen. It is a space to host friends and family for an intimate evening of conversation and shared stories. The dining room is the final destination where we all come together to enjoy the company of others, create unforgettable memories, and enjoy our favorite holidays like Thanksgiving and, of course, Christmas.

It's always our goal to ensure that the dining room feels like a space that can not only host all of those special gatherings but also a place that feels warm, inviting, and primed to gather. A dining room requires specific elements and furnishings to make it successful and feel complete. We believe a successfully designed dining room has three main categories of furnishings 1.) Furniture & Fixtures 2.) Lighting, and 3.) Styling. Each of these categories is important to a full and cohesive end result. The furniture sets the foundation, the lighting (as well as color) sets the mood, and the styling brings everything together and creates a sense of home.

Here is our list of our essentials for an impeccably designed kitchen:


  • Dining Table

  • Dining Chairs

  • Sideboard/Credenza - Functions as an extra surface for serving and additional storage space.

  • Bar Cart - Showcase your collection of fine spirits, glassware, and other bar accessories.

  • Accent Chairs - For additional seating when hosting those larger gatherings!

  • China Cabinet - Serves as a dedicated location for storing and displaying your dinnerware & serving dishes.

  • Built-Ins (optional) - Adds a layer of organization to your dining area, ensuring that all your essential items are easily accessible when needed.

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  • Chandelier - For over the dining table.

  • Sconces - Sconces are great for adding ambiance and style to the room.

  • Buffet/Table Lamp - Typically, these are slender & tall, so they can provide focused lighting without getting in the way of serving while still setting an inviting ambiance and enhancing the overall aesthetic.

  • Floor Lamp - Contributes to the creation of a mood, defines spaces, influences social interactions, and expresses personal aesthetics; we recommend one that has a dimming functionality.

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  • Area Rug - We always include an area rug for under the dining table; this helps define the dining room space.

  • Shades/Drapery - At AMD, we recommend a shade and curtain panel combo for a dining room for simplicity and functionality. The shades will provide privacy when hosting those intimate gatherings, and the curtain panels, stationary on each side, add an extra layer of style and sophistication to the space.

  • Vases - We also add greenery to our spaces and love filling a vase or two with eucalyptus or other stems and placing them on the counter or table.

  • Large Trough/Bowl - These are great for styling with either green moss balls or even keeping fruit or veggies on the counter while also adding simplistic style.

  • Dinnerware/Serveware

  • Wine, Liquor, Liqueur - For bar cart.

  • Art

  • Plants

  • Candles

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts on this list and if there is anything you’d add!

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Interior Designer Serving Alexandria, Virginia; Arlington, Virginia; Chevy Chase, Maryland; Bethesda, Maryland; Potomac, Maryland; North Arlington, Virginia; Mclean, Virginia; Washington, DC; Falls Church, Virginia; Great Falls, Virginia; Vienna, Virginia, Fairfax, Virginia


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