Addie Collins. Dining Room. February 05th , 2018.
Crystal or Glass? Glass is made from a mixture of sand, soda ash, marble, dolomite, potash and borax heated to 105ºC. By adding lead oxide (at least 24%), it becomes lead crystal which is tougher than normal glass. Ironically, though, because crystal, costs more, it's often treated with more care than regular glass. It also appears more sparkly than simple glass because it has a higher refractive index. This makes cut crystal especially pretty in candlelight.
When decorating the room, let's not forget that using food as a decoration can really put people in the mind of partaking of a meal. Try setting platters of fruit around where they could look good. A platter bountiful with fruit placed next to your tea service should look very attractive. And of course, when considering dining room decorating ideas, let's not overlook the contribution that the right kind of lighting can bring in. Certainly, a beautifully shaded lamp or two casting a warm glow next to the table should be very pretty. If you could afford it, a chandelier with tiny bulbs right above the dining table should light everything wonderfully, only not too brightly. If you could put in a large mirror on one wall, that would lend a slightly unexpected expansiveness to the dining room that should really make for a dramatic effect.
There are few things more satisfying on a chilly winter's day than a warming soup served in a chunky bowl. And what is it about drinking tea from delicate china that makes us sit up that little bit straighter? Every day we use tableware to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we rarely consider the huge effect it can have on our enjoyment of the food or drink we're about to consume. Modern lifestyles have had an influence on the way we eat, and we're much more casual diners than our grandparents or even our parents were. The slow but steady demise of the dining room has also played a major part in the way we serve our meals, with families and friends more likely to gather round the table in an open-plan kitchen than make time for a formal feast. 'Social norms have relaxed so much,' says Australian chef Bill Granger. 'It's ironic that in sophisticated urban environments, we're dining more like French peasants did 300 years ago.'
Care and cleaning. The majority of modern tableware is now dishwasher safe. New plates usually have glazing over the decoration, so the pattern will not fade. Older or hand-painted items won't have a protective glaze, so will fade over time even through hand washing. You can tell if an item is not glazed by feeling for a slightly raised pattern. If in doubt, wash by hand. Check manufacturers' instructions to see whether items are suitable for the microwave, oven or freezer. Any gilded pieces will not be safe in a microwave.
As with any purchase looking for quality is important. You want something that is made of a solid construction to with stand the test of a high use space like your dining room. Redesigning your dining room can be difficult, frustrating, and most of all expensive. But it doesn't have to be this way! There are plenty of ways to stretch your designing dollar, to ensure that you get the perfect dining room furniture for your space, without spending an arm and a leg to do it!
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