The color red was traditionally thought to stimulate appetite which is why it was the color of choice in many formal dining room settings. Dining rooms were formally decorated, usually in heavy flock wallpaper at the time when coal fires were the norm and ladies and gentlemen dressed for dinner.
In the vast dining rooms of the era when these dining habits were usual, and central heating still unheard of, ladies’ décolleté required the warmth reflected off the rich reds and the textured wall coverings to absorb the warmth from the coal fires.
This style has overflowed into other formal dining settings, often still the norm in various gentlemen’s clubs and many formal hotels. However, dining room decorating is changing, with light airy themes now coming to the fore – possibly reflecting the change in dietary habits and menu choices.
Heavy colors were fine for heavy dining when many courses were the order of the day. Decorating ideas often still follow the sophisticated theme, but this sophistication is more often than not likely to be reflected in a light color scheme which, with Gustavian chairs and Waterford crystal glassware, provides a charm all its own.
As blue is not considered to have any effect on appetite, choosing blue as a color scheme for your dining room decorating ideas really does mirror modern tastes, reflected in fewer courses and less calories. There again, other popular colors for dining room settings are champagne, cream and beige, or neutral magnolia. Natural lighting best suits the modern ethos of these of decorating a dining room, although a well-lit overheard rise-and-fall lamp makes an ideal lighting accompaniment. To complete the decor, make the maximum use of the windows you have available and, for small windows, reduce the amount of drapes – perhaps by using muslin in place of heavy curtaining.