A good quality dining setting that will fit the whole family (plus a couple of drop-ins) is an investment to last a lifetime. “Choose a great table and chairs and use them every day, not just for special occasions,” says interior designer Luisa Volpato. A buffet is a worthwhile purchase, used for storing wine glasses and crockery, as well as a handy surface to place wine and platters of food when entertaining a crowd.
Consider whether a separate dining room is what you want. If what you’re really after is just a feeling of separation, this can be created within the larger kitchen/living zone. Hang a spectacular light fitting directly over the dining table, and use rugs and strategically placed furnishings to isolate the table from the rest of the room. As for the built-in bar, a retro bar cart can work just as well, while adding a quirky touch.