Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Harmonious dining

When I think about the ensuing holidays, I can't help but think about the act of eating and dining. The holidays have always caused me a sort of stress, and at times even dread. The thought that you're forced to sit in a room with people you may or may not like eating someone else's food that you may or may not like and forcing small talk about topics like religion and politics that always end in some sort of shouting match or turkey throwing...
I often wonder if people eat so much at Thanksgiving not out of actual desire to stuff themselves, but rather out of comfort. Maybe my view is too cynical? Perhaps I've been ruined by previous discord and holiday unhappiness?
As I get older, I've learned to control my environment a lot more and these utterly stressful times, have become times that I've begun to look forward to. I understand that I have a choice in what to talk about, what food to eat, and even whom to eat with. This has made all of the difference.
B and I don't yet have a dining room. I'm not sure if we ever will, but these are my mind today. Places to eat, and enjoy each other. I wonder if a good looking dining space makes for a happier dining experience? Probably not, but it's worth the effort.













{all images via decor pad}
How to you ensure harmony during holiday meals?

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22 comments:

Ginger said...

I too know something about the unhappy holidays. I solved family strife and discord (as well as dry turkey and inedible stuffing) by hosting the holiday myself. I cook (which is theraputic for me) so I can control the food quality, and I invite friends, family, a good mix of attendees to ensure an interesting flow of conversation, and no dwelling on old family grudges and such. I look forward to the holidays now;)

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

I don't think a beautiful dining room makes for a happier dining experience, but it's such a pleasure for me! I really enjoy setting up a beautiful table! xo

Danielle said...

Those are all beautiful dining rooms! those flower arrangements on the tables are lovely as well!

Hanako66 said...

these are gorgeous! we are families of total goof-offs so dinners are always a lot of fun:)

FROM THE RIGHT BANK said...

I think a beautiful room does enhance the experience. Who wouldn't want to eat in one of these rooms? I love them all but guess which one I love most? Shockingly, it's not the white one! It's the second one. I'm going to file it away. :)

Jaime said...

Love the first room- flowers are gorgeous.

Being Brazen said...

I like the chaos of my family - its fun. Hard to get everyone around a table at the same time

Love those pictures :)

flynn said...

my mother always has ... a treasure hunt.

all those too old to participate sit about drinking and creating relatively simple clues and hiding them about the yard or with neighbors, etc.

then the (mass of) children always present for the holiday have to go from clue to clue until they reach the "treasure," hidden at the end, which is normally a bag full of dollar store toys and other things to keep them busy (and out of the kitchen) 'til dinner is served. the kids are amused, the adults aren't bickering; holiday bliss.

Sam said...

I can't imagine what it would be like to have a cast of thousands over at Christmas - it must be quite fun! Love these dinning room shots - wouldn't mind living in any of these places!!

Diana said...

it's okay, we don't have a dining room table.
we have a bar but it's not the same!
maybe one day...
as for holidays, we rent a long table and put it in the living room.

drollgirl said...

UGH. the holidays sort of fill me with dread. sort of. a large part of the dread depends on the destination and the guest list! if it is at my sisters, it is chill and FUN, but if at my parents and a few fuckwads attend (MY STUPID OLDER BROTHER AND MY STUPID OLDER SISTER, amongst others), it is rather stressful. but the food is always delicious, so that is a bonus. oh, and at the parents house there is never any booze. definitely not. and that is where it is needed the most!

and i love these dining rooms! you have such fabulous taste! i would be quite happy in any of them!

eco-stylista said...

I would desperately need a decent place to eat, I think it would improve my sons' eating habits. I would also need to cook better, but a nice dining place seems to be easier to achieve...
I do not have very good experiences about holiday dinners either, I am enjoying it with my husband and sons, but with the bigger family it can be totally stressful!

Nicole said...

I ensure harmony by not spending the holidays with my dad... he gives me indigestion.

Pixel Wild Child said...

I strongly believe that a nice dinning room helps making a better dinner experience, the good atmosphere is a must to me! It is not only about the beauty of the plates and utensils, etc, it is all the surrounding environment. I like all your photos, I love spaces decorated with bright white as the main colour ;O)

(About FP it will just happen you will see ;O))

Kellie said...

Wine. Lots and lots of wine. :) Love the one w/ the huge hydrangeas on the table top! Gorgeous!

The Cottage Cheese said...

The kitchen/dining room in pic #1 is gorgeous! I love those chairs. And I'm dreaming of that chandelier in pic #5 that looks like a branch of flowers.

I get a bit angsty around the holidays sometimes too, when it's not just my immediate family (or my husband's immediate family). This weekend I'm meeting a bunch of my husband's aunts, uncles, and cousins that I've never met before. Eek!

Magchunk said...

That top image is one of my faves.

We have juggled holidays. Ryan's side has three Christmas visits, and we have my parents' and aunts and my sister's family... it gets to be too much so we have to trim. So that can be stressful (picking sides isn't fun) but I try to still soak up the joy of the season and the spirit of goodwill. This year I'm hoping to make a lot of our gifts and ignore that icky corporate side as well, except for some well chosen meaningful gifts.

jeannie said...

All of these rooms are gorgeous! I want them all!

Gabbi said...

Gorgeous and inspiring... must work on my dinning area!♥

nicole addison said...

those dining rooms are lovely. i know what you mean about the holidays.. i never felt that sort of stress until i started dating josh. and spending more of our holiday time with his family, whom i love but really arent my family, you know. i was always worried about impressing them or holding conversation. but you're right, i can talk about what i want to and who i want to talk with and there's nothing to stress over :) woah novel here, sorry! hehe

Courtney said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am currently designing and organizing the floorplan of my dining room (which currently sits empty). I love these images - great inspiration for my lonley space.

Bromeliad said...

I don't do them.

Happy to say, though, that when I do get together with family for a big meal, we have a great time. Could be because I live 500 miles away from all of them. And they all cook really really well.

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