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The Role of the Dining Room has changed with the Pandemic

Once reserved holidays and dinner parties, it has become a multipurpose space


Designer: Eloise Kubli, ASID Publication: Miami Herald - Special to South Florida Home
Text: Jana Soeldner Danger Photographer: Kim Sargent Photography

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Dining Room - A large Macassar Ebony and stainless dining table was custom made to accommodate large parties. The glass table top appears to float under the Marino LED chandelier.


A large Macassar Ebony and stainless dining table was custom made to accommodate large parties. The glass table top appears to float under the Marino LED chandelier.

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So much has changed during the pandemic. Even the role of the dining room. Once reserved mostly for holidays or the occasional formal dinner party, it has become, in many homes today, a multipurpose space. Although the dining room must still serve its former role, during the day it often becomes an office or schoolroom. In the evening, it can transform into a sanctuary to enjoy leisurely family dinners that offer a far more special feel than sidling up to the kitchen island on a stool. “I’ve always loved the dining room for entertaining, but now people are using it as an activity area for children, since a lot of people have their kids at home,” said interior designer Eloise Kubli of Collective Construction and Design in Plantation. “It’s especially nice if it’s secluded. And eating in the dining room can make dinner special, something to look forward to every evening.”

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Designer: Eloise Kubli, ASID Publication: Miami Herald - Special to South Florida Home
Text: Jana Soeldner Danger Photographer: Kim Sargent Photography

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Warm Wood - Sheers diffuse the neighboring view and are anchored by grey linen embroidered panels. White leather chairs surround the charcoal and polished nickel dining table.


Sheers diffuse the neighboring view and are anchored by grey linen embroidered panels. White leather chairs surround the charcoal and polished nickel dining table.

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Choose the right table

The table is, of course, the centerpiece. Kubli prefers a table with self-storing leaves that pull out from the ends and then fit underneath when not in use, rather than a construction where leaves are stored elsewhere and dropped into the center when they are needed. “It’s a nicer look when you don’t have the seam in the middle of the table,” Kubli said. “If you extend it from the ends, it looks like part of the design.” Many people prefer a wood tabletop, she added. “Protect it with a custom pad or a tablecloth.

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Designer: Eloise Kubli, ASID Publication: Miami Herald - Special to South Florida Home
Text: Jana Soeldner Danger Photographer: Kim Sargent Photography

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Modern - A smoked-oak dining table base supports a double-bevel crystal clear glass top, and is surrounded by eight tall leather side chairs. A colorful metal Coin Toss sculpture is displayed on a custom pedestal. A pair of two-tiered floor lamps connects the Dining Room to the Living Room.


A smoked-oak dining table base supports a double-bevel crystal clear glass top, and is surrounded by eight tall leather side chairs. A colorful metal Coin Toss sculpture is displayed on a custom pedestal. A pair of two-tiered floor lamps connects the Dining Room to the Living Room.

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Seating

With the table in play both in the daytime and evening, seating is also getting more use. “Chairs are more important than ever,” Kubli said. Comfort and style are both key.

Kubli recommends upholstered seats and backs, but with wood or metal legs. “You want the dining room to have a little extra style, and legs are very important,” she said.

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Designer: Eloise Kubli, ASID Publication: Miami Herald - Special to South Florida Home
Text: Jana Soeldner Danger Photographer: Kim Sargent Photography

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Adding Softness - The sensuous grain of the wood on the dining table and console is contrasted by polished stainless steel. The chic white leather chairs, drapery, and rug complement the natural beauty of the exotic wood.


The sensuous grain of the wood on the dining table and console is contrasted by polished stainless steel. The chic white leather chairs, drapery, and rug complement the natural beauty of the exotic wood.

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On the floor

What is best for the floor? Kubli often uses large (24-by-48) marble tiles. “Or even larger,” she says. “It’s a newer look, expands the space visually, and there are fewer grout lines.” For those who don’t want to spring for the price of marble, there are porcelain tiles. “They’re extremely durable, and a cost savings compared to marble,” Kubli said. “If you have kids and dogs, they’re a great option.” Then add some softness. “A rug under the table absorbs sound and gives a warmer, more inviting feel,” Kubli added.

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Designer: Eloise Kubli, ASID Publication: Miami Herald - Special to South Florida Home
Text: Jana Soeldner Danger Photographer: Horton Photography Inc.

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Chandelier and Draperies - Kubli was involved with the complete design, colors, finish selections, and furnishings of this Intracoastal home on Las Olas Isles. Working with the owners, architect, and custom builder, it was a turnkey project.


Kubli was involved with the complete design, colors, finish selections, and furnishings of this Intracoastal home on Las Olas Isles. Working with the owners, architect, and custom builder, it was a turnkey project.

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Chandeliers

A chandelier is frequently part of dining room décor. It should provide enough light for work or study during the day, but be equipped with a dimmer for evening. “We’re seeing blown glass and organic shapes like globes or leaves,” Kubli said. “It’s a more modern look. Gone are the days of wires and all those little shades.”

And the rest

Kubli likes a large mirror in a dining room, “It reflects candlelight,” she said. Window treatments are important. “We’re still mostly doing draperies, but they’re lighter and more European style,” Kubli said. “With large windows, a sun shade looks like a big sheet.”

What colors are good for the dining room? “Colors are still pretty neutral, like whites or grays, except maybe for a focal wall in a deeper color,” Kubli said. Try a creative touch. “Some people are putting up family pictures,” Kubli said. “Frame them and group them a wall to teach their children about family history.”

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Women's Business Development Center

Eloise Kubli is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Arthur Kubli is a General Contractor licensed in Florida and numerous other states. Both Kublis have received numerous industry awards for their work. Established in 1983, Collective Construction & Design, Inc. is proud to be certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council as a Women's Business Enterprise.

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