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Dining Trends: Women’s Month Inspiration from Isabelina

This month we celebrate the women who make the design industry in South Africa great! Today we chat to Judith Matthews from Isabelina. She’s the ultimate dining specialist and creative homemaker!

How would you describe the general style of Isabelina’s Dining Table range?

Luxe and contemporary with a touch of elegance.

What is your ultimate designing table scape?

My ideal table scape includes – and in fact begins with – on-trend tableware and cutlery. These are at the core of any table setting. There are endless dinnerware and flatware designs and looks to explore, though my favourite is gold flatware. This is a luxe addition to any table setting and is a look which is set to be huge trend.

Gold metallics effortlessly transform a dining table. Combined with other luxury materials and patterns such as marble dinnerware or crystal stemware, gold table settings can be easily layered with other colours to add vibrancy to the look.


Any new dining tables you have recently launched?

Yes! We have recently launched the Edge collection – with a combination of beautiful wood stains and bright gold, shiny silver and other metallic hues, in store. They are all customizable with regards to finish and size. We are proud of the versatile design with clean cut edges, hence they are named for their style and are all designed and manufactured in South Africa.

Which shape of dining table is the most popular and why?

Definitely the most common shape are rectangular dining tables, which are great because they can seat a large number of guests for large-scale entertaining. Round dining tables are a close second and are ideal for smaller gatherings and look good in any shaped room. Additionally, round tables allow everyone at the table to see and easily converse with everyone else, fostering an intimate, inclusive atmosphere. Round tables are not ideal for large groups though, as large round tables can make guests at the table feel far away from one another.

Top tips for creating the perfect dining room layout for that magical evening with your special friends?

Your first step would be to consider the room and space afforded. Make sure that whatever you decide on, you’re leaving enough room surrounding the dining table to comfortably walk around and get in and out of the seats. Once you factor in the chairs, the space can be too tight to allow flow, but using long benches instead of chairs can allow you to push them under the table when not in use to create more space. Having space will make the room feel less claustrophobic, especially if you have a large group to entertain. Also, keep your flower arrangements and centerpieces low enough that your guests can make eye contact with one another around the table. Finally, confining your food and side dishes, as well as condiments and serving plates to a server or sideboard will combat clutter on the table. This goes for using a drinks trolley too, and can make a beautiful addition to your space.

How do you choose the perfect dining chair? What ensures it’s comfortable for long dinner events?

No matter how great a chair looks, comfort will be in the back support, upholstery and seat shape. It is also about the texture of the material the chair is upholstered in and how good it feels to the touch. Consider chairs upholstered with strong, handcrafted frames, quality fillers and foams in a comfortable design, keeping in mind that you don’t just sit in them either – you pull them out with your hands, lean on then with your arms and spend time with your back in contact with them. Your dinner party will definitely be more successful with comfortable dining chairs!

What should we consider when choosing the ideal sideboard?

Once again, considering the space available, will determine the size of the sideboard or server you choose. One might also consider the material when selecting a sideboard. Wood offers warmth and comfort for daily use and won’t show general wear or fingerprints easily, however a very popular finish is our high gloss, which gives a glamorous feel. Similarly, finishes like stone or marble are hardy without skimping on style. Finally, depending on the frequency of use and personal preference, you may seek added features such as a warmer or lighting – in any event, a server or sideboard keeps a table clutter free and can complement your dining area as a focal point.


Isabelina shares a real passion about instilling beauty into everyday homes. Here you will find a range of lighting, furniture, decor and more to elevate your interior.

For more visit Isabelina.

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