There is no place like home – I’m sure we have all heard this a million times but it doesn’t get old, does it now? As we wake up each day and walk through each room in the house, we are offered the possibilities of new experiences, new beginnings and a chance to make something beautiful.
One room in particular though, stands out just that little bit more – the dining space.
The dining room will always stand out as a special spot in most of our homes because it is a space that offers so much - the coming together of friends and family, a place to nourish our souls, celebrate important milestones, share experiences and create memories.
In this article, we had the opportunity of talking to Jasleen Singh, a decor aficionado who shares with us the role of the dining table in her home.
Jasleen forged a career in journalism for nearly 20 years, writing and editing content for magazines like First City and Parenting. Her foray into décor and design happened quite by accident when a couple of friends asked her to do up their homes. Her Instagram journey began four years ago, starting with her sharing pictures of her beautiful three-bedroom home in Delhi. She currently does styling and collaboration work for many brands via Instagram.
Jasleen’s home is a gold mine for a decor enthusiast. Her personal style combines contemporary and earthiness with a modern elegance interlaced with the subtlety and beauty of Indian fabrics which you will find is used generously across her home.
All the images featured here have been styled and shot by Jasleen. You'll find more such beautiful pictures on her Instagram handle @theketlihome.
For Jasleen, the dining table forms the nucleus of her home and here’s why.
It lends itself to being a private haven as well as a social space.
The dining table serves as a private and intimate space where family conferences would take place whether it was about sharing each other’s day, discussions on important family matters, and extended conversations post meals. It is also where the family would spend a lot of time over the weekends, when the boys and her husband would whip up delicious meals and spend quality time together.
This place also serves as a social space when entertaining friends or family. It usually starts off being a place for people to gather, pour themselves a drink, exchange news but without realising it, the dining table has suddenly turned into the hub around which the party happens.
Pic Courtesy: Jasleen Singh
A perfect vantage point - a central space that connects every other room in the house.
When Jasleen moved in, one of the first things she did was to do away with one wall of the third bedroom and convert the room into an open space that became half dining area and half kitchen. So the dining space is the connecting thoroughfare, so to speak, between the living room and the kitchen.
It worked as a perfect vantage point – it helped her watch over her boys when they were younger, guide the cook, complete her work assignments, and take calls.
Jasleen went to lengths to make sure that this passageway had a nice cheerful vibe to it. She has used subtle colours, patterns. She says the most important thing is to keep it clutter-free. Simple clean lines contrast with the crockery laden open shelves in the kitchen, which form the backdrop to the dining area.
Pic Courtesy: Jasleen Singh
One room, many occasions.
The dining table served as a perfect space that brought everything together in their home from family brunches to a study place to a perfect spot for a nice wine brunch with her girlfriends to social gatherings and often some alone “coffee” time too.
Jasleen’s dining table is designed to be a four-seater but with the help of an additional bench or stool, it could take up to six people. When entertaining however; she prefers to set up a buffet table where the table is utilised to keep crockery, plates and cutlery. The dining table would serve as an extension to the peninsular counter (right next to the table) which is used to lay out the spread. This helps because there would still be enough place at the table in case somebody decided to eat at the table.
When having her girlfriends over, she goes a little out of the way to make the table extra special because they can see and appreciate the effort gone into setting up the table. After all, who doesn’t like a little appreciation, right!
Pic Courtesy: Jasleen Singh
Jasleen’s tips on setting up the dining space and table.
In a dining room, the table is the largest piece, whether it’s a living-cum-dining, an open passage that connects other spaces or a separate room in itself, you should carefully plan how to make it aesthetically pleasing.
#1 Control the clutter
Keep your dining room clutter free by discarding things you don’t need. This helps in having a calm and welcoming space for both family and friends to unwind after a long day.
#2 Choose carefully
The tablecloth is one of the most important things that covers your dining table and you would like to make it stand out. It’s important to go with what best suits your space and not just pick one because you like the colour or print.
If there is a lot going on in the space like a gallery wall or a busy wallpaper, go with solid colours, stripes or a self-pattern table cloth in neutral shades.
Printed patterns or florals work well in a minimal setup.
She usually has two to three table cloths that she uses interchangeably, which are mostly neutral shades. Before choosing the right colour or pattern for her tablecloth, Jasleen takes into consideration not just her dining room but also how it plays with the kitchen since it’s an open kitchen on one side and the family/lobby room on the other.
#3 It’s all about the centrepiece
A vase with flowers or green leaves, or even a pretty platter could be your centrepiece. If you choose to use a tray as a centrepiece, use some nice storage jars that look pretty and pleasing to the eye, but are also functional for storing essentials like achaar within easy reach. If it's constantly on your table it has to be functional as well as look aesthetic.
Jasleen makes sure the table looks appealing in an everyday setup. Nothing too fancy but just adorn the table with a beautiful cotton fabric cloth (usually grey as it is her preferred neutral) that doesn’t interfere with pulling out the chairs, and finally a centrepiece.
She feels that The Yard House products are truly godsend right from the print, to the look and with the spill proof and anti-skid features combined, what could be better. She picked the winter grey tablecloth for her home as it has a runner pattern running through the centre with two different shades of grey that makes it interesting without stepping away from the neutral category which she loves.
Her closing tip is that the entire space should feel like it’s all coming together, look calm, organised and pretty.
Deepthi Velkur (@deepthi9844) is a Bangalore based freelance digital content writer, and mom to a busy 10-year old. Her writing credits include health and fitness magazines, running stories and wedding planning articles. While redecorating her apartment she fell in love with home styling and now marries her love for home decor with writing.