HOME STYLING: The Dining Table

August 28
Comments… I started getting obsessed with all things home and one of my favorite home pieces is my customized marble dining table from Custom n9. I must say customizing the table top material, legs, dining chairs etc was so new to me. I spoke to Amy, the founder of Custom n9 on her business, how to choose your dining table, your dining chairs, how to take care of them and how to style them.
Shop Custom n9 here

How did Custom n9 come about?
We started back in 2018 as a simple Instagram page with one vision; to help people bring their Pinterest boards to life through furniture.

I have lived in Dubai for almost 8 years, and I started to tire of seeing the same ‘single use’ furniture wherever I went. Many of us are here to pursue a ‘short-term dream’, with no real foresight how long we’ll be here for, and we therefore don’t think about investing good quality furniture that fits our style and taste. We spend time thinking about the home we’ll build ‘one day’. I was buying cheap furniture that wasn’t even good enough to sell after just two years and I reached a point where I wanted to design and make something of my own that suited my style and would last. So I made my first piece and we went from there!

For as long as I remember my travels have been built around buying unique pieces for my home that have a story and a meaning, and on top of the furniture side we launched an evolving home décor range in 2019, offering hand crafted steel planters and plant stands.

Inspired by the creative brands around the city building their own homegrown concepts, we built the business up further to launch our very own collection in 2019, and more recently launched an immersive ecommerce site giving customers the ability to design their pieces online with a 3-week production time.

The business now creates bespoke furniture and home décor pieces for direct customers, whilst working on multiple furniture and interior projects for global and local commercial brands across the UAE.

What do you have to think about when buying a dining table?
Look at the realistic space you have available. Don’t try to cram a big table into a small space. I always find it helpful to cut up old newspapers and lay them out as per the table size. It helps to imagine how much space will be taken up.

When thinking about the size, consider how many chairs you want to get around it. If you like to entertain people, perhaps looking at benches as seating will help get a few more people round. Alternatively, you could think about going thicker on the width to fit two chairs on each end.

-Most of your materials are marble and Terrazzo, what care tips can you share?
There is a real beauty in having natural stone in your home. They have a real and unique story to them. However, you have to be extremely diligent in your care process. You’ve invested in a beautiful natural stone piece, therefore it’s important to understand before purchasing that you must invest the time to maintain its beauty.

We have a full ‘furniture care’ guide on our ecommerce platform online, but my top tips to keep in mind are as follows:

Drinks, use coasters.
Meals, use placemats.
Detergents, use organic.
Spillage? wipe away immediately.

We recommend contacting a stone restoration specialist after a couple of years to come and assess any stains or etching marks that may have occurred from general usage. They will be able to bring the piece back to its original state! Our recommended partner for this would be Marble Restoration Dubai.

On the other hand to marble, Terrazzo is relatively easy to maintain, and is less prone to scratching and etching marks. Our signature Terrazzo has a beautiful pattern made up of earthy brown, pink, black and red stones. It’s beautiful, but you have to make sure it’s not going to look busy in your space. The colours in the table should be complimented with neutral place settings or décor items that don’t clash with the colours. The key is to pick contrasting pieces that bring the best out in eachother.

Your signature legs are the Floyd and the Stevie? How should I know whether to go for simple legs or ones with a twist?
The beauty of our ‘made to order’ collection is that it offers you a chance to select leg designs that fit your personal interior style.

The Stevie was designed as more of a unique leg offering something very fresh from a design perspective. It has become our most popular leg so it’s nice to see customers taking a chance on a fresh look! You definitely have to put thought into your chair selection on this leg.

The Floyd and Marley legs offer a more subtle and classic look, perfect for modern and sleek interiors.

It’s also good to have a really hard think about whether you might be the type of person who likes to change up their interiors regularly. If you are, go for a classic and simple leg frame style that you can change up with accessories over time.

The collection was designed to inspire our customers to really think about personalising their homes and investing in something that they’ll have for years.

Dining chairs, what tips can you give when shopping for ones to suit your dining table and home?
First piece of advice would always be to check your sizes. Make sure the chairs are going to fit around the table.

Secondly, only work with matching colours when you absoloutely know they are the same material and finish. Often when you try to ‘match’ colours, for example gold chair legs to gold table legs, the finishes are not exactly the same therefore it looks a little too forced.

Try to make sure you don’t have multiple patterns and colours going on at once. The chairs should complement the colours and materials of the table. And vice versa.

When the dining table legs are busy, you can also mix and match with chairs on one side, and a simple bench on the other to keep it casual and low key.

What are your favorite decor items to style on a dining table? 
Definitely a big vase of either fresh green leaves or a colourful bunch of dried flowers (from Flower Moment on or In the evening, I’ll always light some tall candles as I think they add a classic touch of warmth and romance to any evening. I also like to collect place mats. I’m currently donning a linen set from Sri Lanka with the Sanskrit alphabet printed all over them.

Lastly, what are key items you suggest when decorating your dining area/dining room?
You can never go wrong with the scent of fresh flowers in rustic earthy vase either in the centre of the table between meals or on a sideboard. An open sideboard unit with tableware and crockery can also add a really homely and chic feel. Large pendant lights always add some drama when hung down over the dinner table. Just make sure they hang low enough and are big enough so that the proportions work.

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