Dining design secrets revealed: 'give guests something to talk about'

  • 20/05/2019
  • Sponsored by - Resene
You can easily re-create stylish restaurant ambiance in your own home Photo credit: Getty

Have you spotted an inspiring style trend in a restaurant you just can’t wait to get home to replicate?

Christchurch based Resene colour consultant Brooke Calvert shares a few ideas on how to do exactly this in time for winter dinner parties.

"Key features that can be easily transferred from a restaurant setting into your home are comfortable seating with moody paint tones, dim lighting and indoor plants," she says.

Her advice is to concentrate on a separate dining area and make it extra special. "If it’s a separate room you can be over the top and super creative."

Resene Seeker with Resene Alabaster and Resene Smitten, plus Resene Hive. Project by Lou Barker. Photo by Kate Claridge. Photo credit: Resene

"If you’re working with a small space introduce a mirror," she says. "It will open up the room, and is effective if placed opposite a window for maximum reflection."

"Think about painting ceilings in a strong colour for impact. Dark ceilings are great for creating a cosy space."

Calvert admires a restaurant in Christchurch called Bessie. "I just love their toilets. They’ve painted all their walls in a dark colour. There's also a beautiful glass mirror and dim lighting. Everything is dark and moody. I didn’t expect this and it looked stunningly beautiful. They also had a sheepskin rug on the seats to make them extra cosy."

"In your dining area embrace a moody bold colour like Resene Indian Ink on your walls paired with soft candle light, timber furniture, plush sheep skins over dining chairs creating a romantic dining experience in the comfort of your own home," Calvert suggests.

Resene Half Fossil with Resene Bermuda Grey. Project by John Mills Architects. Photo by Paul McCredie. Photo credit: Resene

"If you are not feeling committed to painting out your walls, try painting a piece of furniture in a bold statement colour using Resene testpots."

Calvert suggests giving your guests something to talk about with bold statement Resene wallpaper in your bathroom or toilet, as this is an effective way to create that wow factor with minimal effort.

"Spice up your kitchen wall or pantry door with Resene Blackboard Paint. This provides a bold black colour and practical element to any space, perfect to display your most loved recipes or keeping track of your weekly shopping list."

"Exposed shelving in kitchen not only looks great but provides an area for you to display your most loved cook books and is an easy reach place for your most used items."

To create a romantic and sophisticated living area with moody painted walls try Resene Eighth Bokara Grey paired with a rich tan leather sofa, plush rug, layered accessories and dim lighting.

Moody tones to explore include Resene Porter, Resene Indian Ink, Resene Eighth Bokara Grey, Resene Coast, and Resene Atlas.


Resene Half Dutch White. Photo by Bryce Carleton showing great use of indoor plants. Photo credit: Resene
Top tips and tricks:
  • Reupholster old tired furniture
  • Repaint your walls – the most effective and budget friendly way to transform a room with minimal effort.
  • Create a brick or timber feature wall
  • Change out light bulbs for a dimmer effect
  • Change out kitchen cabinet handles
  • Floral arrangements - dried floral bouquets are very on trend, try hanging from the ceiling for a statement piece
  • Take advantage of spaces with large amounts of natural light by introducing a colour with a bit more depth
  • Play with a moody tone-on-tone colour palette - introduce different depths of colour with a mix of dark and light and soft textured
  • Display collectable items - mix and match for an eclectic style
  • Introduce indoor plants – hanging and exotic plants
  • Get creative with shelving and displays for a wine collection
  • Bespoke furniture – try a built-in booth area
  • Industrial style - soft polished concrete floors
Resene Quarter Cararra. Project by David Wraight Cottages. Photo by Juliet Nicholas. Photo credit: Resene

For more on dining colour style tips and tricks visit HabitatbyResene

This article is created for Resene.