Okikiko.com – There is something very enchanting about small, charming Victorian homes that remind me of bygone days when life was much simpler and family life more relaxed. The dining room was not only for meals but could also be used as a place where people enjoyed each other’s company and talked about the day’s events. The place would often be used for entertaining. A good friend of mine had a beautiful little cottage on the outskirts of a large country estate in the north of England. This was his second home, which he had purchased in the late nineteen sixties. I remember going on afternoon tea with him there on several occasions.
When we would go to get some fresh fruit, vegetables, or bread, it would be followed by a long chat about the day’s activities. My mother would cook our food and we would sit and talk in the dining room. It was an ideal place to discuss important matters. For instance, if my father was away on business, she would talk to his secretary who would then report back to him. She would then discuss things with him, which would give him time to concentrate on his work and send us off at the crack of dawn.
When dinner was over, we would all sit outside in the front yard and enjoy the fresh air, the warmth of the sun, and the gardens and flowers around our small Victorian dining room. As a child, I can recall many wonderful stories about going to visit our Dining Room. We would often be served delicious homemade cakes, fresh from the kitchen, chocolates, and other sweets. They always looked so pretty, every bit as good as what they were served in fine restaurants! The place was so full of atmosphere, yet so very private and I loved it.
When I was a little girl, my mother and grandmother often used the dining room as a way to have me stay after school for tea. I was treated very well, being allowed to play games and watch television as long as I was happy. When school was over, we would often go to a lovely little cafe down the road. It was named the Adelphi, and it was actually run by a lady called Agatha Christie. It had an amazing garden and the rooms had beautiful plush carpets. I can remember my mother cooking a wonderful meal for me there on several occasions.
Nowadays, I am able to recall some wonderful memories about my visits to my Grandmother and Granddad’s Dining Room. I do admit, it was much more fun when I was small. I do miss the atmosphere though and the visits are somewhat fewer now that I am older. Many people think that Victorian dining rooms were very plain because of their very small sizes. This is not true at all. I quite enjoyed having a small Victorian dining room in my own home.
As you can imagine, having such a beautiful room also meant that there was a lot of work involved when it came to decorating it. In those days there was no iron-based furniture for instance. Everything had to be made from wood and this included the table. Because the room was so small, there was no way to have the table reach up to the ceiling as it does nowadays. There had to be a lot of planks and boards working upwards to make the table look great.
In order to have something that balanced the wall and the table was important; there had to be a lot of wooden fittings and railings in the dining room. This worked especially well if there was a beautifully carved carving on the side of the table. Another great decorative touch was having a large mirror above the table. The mirror would reflect everything in the room and this was particularly useful for seeing who was sitting next to me at the table!
Dining rooms are really not much different from other rooms in the house. You should try and keep it as tidy and uncluttered as possible. By keeping your small Victorian dining room clean you will be able to enjoy it more and will feel much more comfortable when entertaining. After all, your dining room is where you will spend your time with your family so you should like what you see and be able to enjoy it more than you normally would.