A good place to begin is with paint color. You may want to use a monochromatic paint color. So if you are using, for instance, the color tan, you would have two or three shades of tan that would go together and look very nice. If you want a little more color, you can combine different colors, but just make sure they are the same intensity.
If you would like to add drama and depth to a small dining room, paint one wall in a deeper, intense color. It may only be one or two shades darker than what you have on the other walls, but it really helps to add some depth to the room and makes decorating the room that much easier.
One of the best ways to encourage lingering after a meal is to provide comfortable furniture. Hard wooden chairs with no padding don't encourage people to sit for long periods of time, and you may find your family and friends eager to jump up from the table after a meal. If you choose soft furnishings or padding for wooden chairs, guests can sit back and relax without feeling uncomfortable. The table should be a comfortable height, with the edge not too low where it hits people's knees. Any larger pieces of furniture should match your colour scheme and feel warm and inviting and not too formal.
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