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Q: We have an open kitchen and dining area. How can we make the dining area feel more defined?

Tamara says...
It's a great idea to keep a sense of a formal dining area rather than just an eat-in kitchen. It makes guests feel special when entertaining, but it also helps up your resale value down the road. Start with a chandelier as a focal point. Choose the right size—about two-thirds the width of your table—and hang it between 30 and 36 inches above the table for a sense of importance. Install it on a separate switch than your kitchen lights, and add a dimmer for instant drama. An area rug anchors the table, defines a space and cozies it up. Pick one that suits your lifestyle—perhaps a woven vinyl rug that can be hosed down if dinner guests often include the toddler set! If space allows, add a piece of furniture, such as a hutch. Finish by hanging a mirror to reflect light or a large piece of art.

Tamara Chiarello's interior design company, In Vision, does both residential and commercial work. Send her your decorating questions here.