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Dining space   Breaking with traditional rules

Quite unexpected mix of styles in dining room

Dining roomOne of the best things you can do in design is to mix styles in an unexpected way people don't thought about before. When done right, it may convert a usually boring space into an inviting, artistic place.

Rustic benchDining rooms are an ideal candidate for style mixing approach. The idea behind them is simple: You need a table and a few chairs and that's it. The idea is purely functional and designer's touch is to pick furniture that looks OK to you and it has to have some connection with the surrounding space. However, if you step out of the box, or out of the dining room, you'll see that nothing is preventing you to think differently and start from the empty canvas.

READ MORE Warm and inviting dining chairs and tables

Simple benchIf you think about it, there are two basic pieces of furniture you can find in a dining room: a bench and a chair. Benches are typically used along the wall in a rustic setting or when there's no enough space to put the chairs. But, what if we put them together in an unexpected place, in a "regular" dining room? There are few advantages of that approach and they all together create a functional yet visually very interesting place to jump on your meal every day.

Dining sofaFirst, there is function. A bench or a sofa is good for accommodating more people down than what would be possible with chairs. If you don't have a very large dining room but have a larger group of guests, you'll fit them more on a bench than on chairs because the space if better utilized and - nobody has a dozen of chairs laying around. Second, a few chairs may occupy more space than a single bench for the same number of guests.

Mixing periodsAnd third, by mixing a bench and chairs, you are already into style mixing. You may use a bench that fits the rest of your furniture perfectly or you can go in a totally different direction. To make your dining space more rustic you can use a heavy, wooden bench. If you want to show class, you may even pick a traditional sofa, why not? By choosing a design from, say, 1970s, you can even mix different periods. Possibilities are endless, you just have to forget the "six chairs and a table" idea.

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