Dining Room Furniture GuideThis guide on dining room furniture is about furnishing a dining room that functions well. Once you have yourdining room essentials in place you can keep changing the look by dressing it up or toning it down depending onthe season or your mood.A good foundation is essential for furnishing any room in the home, not just a dining room. That foundation is builtby determining your needs before doing anything else. Figure out who is going to use it, how it will be used and ifthere are any special considerations such as the dining room size or budget.1. What Dining Room Furniture Do You Need ? Before you buy your dining room furniture determine what kind of space you have? Adining room needs a different approach than a dining area.If you are furnishing a dining room, you should determine how often you use it. A room that is used every daycalls for a different approach than one that is seldom used and is there more for show.How do you plan to use your dining room? For smaller homes a dining room can also be a multi-purpose room. Itcan double as a home office or a place to do homework. It can also be a place for socializing.Finally, your style matters. If you are not sure what pleases you, determine your style. Every room should fulfill apurpose and make you happy to be there and share with your friends and loved ones.Before You Buy Dining Room Furniture :Before you buy any dining room furniture, consider a few questions.What kind of space do you have? Is it a dining room or a dining area ? If you are furnishing a dining room howoften do you use it ? How will you use your dining room ? Is it just for dining or will it be a multi-purpose room? What’s your decorating style ?Your Dining Room Size :How big is your dining room? A cavernous room with a small table will look cold and empty, while a too smallspace with a large table and chairs will seem unpleasantly crowded. Always measure your room before buyingfurniture, and remember to leave enough room around your furniture to move around easily.If it is a fairly large room, you may want to consider including other pieces of furniture such as screens,sideboards or cabinets. If you want to downplay the size you may also want to use heavy drapes or rugs. Wider,bigger or upholstered chairs may be used.How You Use Your Dining Room :
Before you begin furnishing your dining room, determine how you would use it. Will it be used every day, or onlyonce in a while to entertain?A seldom used room can be furnished with high maintenance finishes and fabrics while a dining room that is usedevery day should be more functional. Look for sturdy furniture surfaces if young children will be eating there.If you use your dining room to work, read or converse, consider comfortable chairs.For a seldom used dining room, you may even consider designating some other purpose to it more suited to howyou live. It’s only a dining room if you say so.How to Decorate Your Dining Room :Now that you have figured out the best way to use your dining room according to your needs and the amount ofroom you have, decorating it should be easy. It is about functionality and your personal preferences.If you have a small space, see more about furnishing a small dining room here. For a large dining room, you maywant to visually divide the large area into smaller ones with the help of rugs and screens. You can also buyfurniture that is larger in scale. Heavy drapes, and paint color may also help. The idea is not to make the placeseem small, but cozy and inviting.2. Dining Table Shapes Dining tables come in many different shapes. So do dining rooms. Your dining tableshould be the best match for your room as well as your needs.There is also the matter of preferences, and how many people you want to seat. Some shapes lend themselveswell to seating a few people. Round tables for instance are great for seating a few people, and are very conduciveto cozy conversations.Rectangular dining tables work better in long rooms, but if you prefer you can have two square ones.It is best to consider your options so that you can select a table shape that serves your purpose and makes youhappy.When you are selecting dining table shapes it is more than simply preferring one shape over the other. While yourpreference for a shape counts, you do need to consider the shape of your dining room or dining area whenselecting a dining table. Another important factor to consider is how large a group you usually seat around yourdining table.Rectangular Dining Tables :Rectangular dining tables are maybe the most common. A rectangle is possibly the best shape for a dining tablebecause most dining rooms are also rectangular. Also, it is a good shape for seating more than four people.A rectangular dining table also lets you seat a greater number of people, especially if it comes with an extra leaffor extending the length should you need to seat additional guests at your table.Ideally the table should be 36” to 42” across. Narrow rectangles can work in a narrow room, but if the table is anynarrower than 36” you may find it difficult to fit place settings on both sides and also have enough room for food
on the table. If you have to have a narrow table, you might want to consider placing the food on a sideboard, sothat guests could help themselves before sitting down.Square Dining Tables :Square shaped rooms look best with a square dining table. Square dining tables are also a good solution if youdon’t have a large group to seat most of the time. A square table that can be expanded with leaves is good for thetimes you need to seat more guests around your table.A benefit to having square tables is that they provide intimacy and a satisfying solution to seating a small numberof people. It can be off-putting to have large rectangular tables when only two or three people are going to bepresent most of the time. That arrangement can feel makeshift and cold.Two square tables can be grouped together to create a larger rectangular seating arrangement for specialoccasions.Round Dining Tables :Another possibility for a square shaped or smaller dining room is a round dining table, which is also possibly thebest shape for small gatherings. Every one can see everyone else and it just seems to provide a cozier and moreintimate setting.A round table is not ideal for larger gatherings, as a large round table simply means that while you can see others,you still seem far away, and may have to shout across the table to be heard. Besides, most dining rooms are notlarge enough to accommodate very large round dining tables.If you do prefer a round table over a rectangular one but you need to seat a larger number of people from time totime, consider getting a round table with an extension leaf. That way you could use your round table most of thetime but extend it when you have company over.Oval Dining Table :An oval dining table is very similar to a rectangular one in almost all its attributes. Visually, it seems to occupy lessroom than a rectangle because of rounded corners.Use an oval table when you have a narrower or smaller room, but need to seat more people.3. Standard Dining Table Measurements When you are in the planning your dining room, it helps to know standardmeasurements for tables so you can figure out roughly how big a table you will need to seat the number of peoplethat will be using it.Knowing how many people you can seat comfortably at a table makes it easier to determine what you need tobuy. If you don’t need a large dinner table on most days, it also helps to know how much you can extend it withleaves on days that you do happen to need it.
Most dining tables are made to standard measurements just the same as other furniture. Styles may vary, butupon measuring you will find that there isn’t that much of a difference in size.Determining which standard dining room table measurements are suitable for your home depends on a couple ofthings. How big of an area you have and how many people you plan to seat around your dining table. The shapeof your dining table is also a factor.You can use the measurements below as a recommendation and guideline, but make sure to measure your roomand any furniture you plan to bring into it before making a purchase. You should also be aware that sometimesdining table dimensions may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so do not assume that all tables that seat 4people will always have the same size. Even 2″ can make a difference if you are considering furnishing a smallerdining room.Standard Dining Table Height :While tables can have different shapes and sizes, the standard height of a dining table is pretty consistent. It hasto be high enough so that there is enough clearance above the knees. To be able to dine comfortably the tableshould not be too high. For that reason most dining tables are 28″ to 30″ high.Counter Height Table :A counter high table is as high as a kitchen counter which is usually about 36″ high. These tables come in handyin informal eating areas where there isn’t a separate dining room.Standard Round Table Measurements :A round table creates a cozy atmosphere, and it is easy to see every one at the table without having to lean over.However, this may not be the best shape if you often entertain a large number of people. A huge round diningroom table may not be the best solution for smaller spaces also.To seat 4 people: 36″Diameter-44″DiameterTo seat 4-6 people: 44″Diameter-54″DiameterTo seat 6-8 people: 54″Diameter-72″DiameterStandard Oval Table Measurements :If you only occasionally need to seat many people at your dining table, you may want to use a round table withleaves that gives you the flexibility to expand or reduce its size. However, you may also buy an oval dining table ifyou just like the shape. These are also suitable for smaller spaces.Start with a 36″Diameter-44″Diameter table and use leaves to extend it.To seat 4-6 people: 36”W x 56”LTo seat 6-8 people: 36″W x 72”LTo seat 8-10 people:36″W x 84”LStandard Square Table Measurements :A square dining table has many of the same advantages and disadvantages as a round table. Everyone can sitclose together for an intimate dinner and conversation. But if you are planning to seat more than 4 people it isbetter to buy a square table that extends into a rectangle. Also, square tables are not suitable for narrow diningrooms.To seat 4 people: 36″-44″ SquareStandard Rectangular Table Measurements :
Out of all the different table shapes, a rectangular table is usually what comes to mind when the word “table ismentioned. Rectangular tables take up the most space, but are very suitable for larger gatherings. A narrowrectangular table maybe the most suitable shape for a long, narrow dining room.To seat 4 people: 36″W x 48″LTo seat 4-6 people: 36″W x 60″LTo seat 6-8 people: 36″W x 78″L4. Before You Before You Buy a Dining Chair Just as you spend time on figuring out the shape and size of a dining table,spend some time on finding the best dining chair for your needs.It is convenient to buy matching dining sets, but nobody says you have to. Personalize your dining room byselecting just the right chair for you. Consider the size of your room and table. Also consider whether you wantarmchairs or armless ones. Material can end up determining the look and comfort, so that needs carefulconsideration too.Then there is the matter of style. Selecting a different look and material from the table can help you create a veryinteresting room, but quality should never take a backseat.Before you buy a dining chair, consider this: you need this chair to be both comfortable and stylish. Consider alsothat there is a dizzying variety to choose from.But actually when choosing or buying a dining room chair, it really comes down to only a few factors. Once you’vemade a decision about these, it’s relatively easy to pick out the dining chair that’s best for you.Before you even go looking for dining chairs, ascertain the size you will need to fit in your room, and around yourtable. You also have to figure out where you will place the extra chairs, if your table is not fully extended all thetime.Measure your room and dining table to see the size and number of chairs you can accommodate in your diningroom and around your dining table. (We hope you have picked out a dining table before you go looking for chairs.)Remember to calculate the space between chairs as well as the actual space a dining chair will occupy, beforeyou pick a size.Arms or Armless ?It is up to you to determine whether your dining chairs have arms or not. It has been customary to have armchairsat the head of the table, and armless chairs on the sides, but depending on your space and style you may want tohave armchairs all around.Depending on your space and style you may also want to go armless all around. Armless dining chairs do take upless space than armchairs, visually as well as in space.
Armchairs can be more comfortable than armless ones, and for older people, or those with problem knees, armson a chair help in getting in and out of the seat. Choose according to your needs.Pick a Style :You can go and pick out a dining room set, or decide to buy your dining table and chairs separately. Before youdo anything, consider your style. Consider whether you want it to be formal or informal.There are open back chairs and there are chairs with solid backs, both upholstered or in metal, wood or acrylic.Look at the angles that make up the back, legs and arms and seats, and determine what looks good in your roomand around your table. A smaller space might call for a more delicate, open style, while a large space might lookgood with larger more well defined shapes.More than anything it is about scale.Choose Comfort :It is hard to say what will feel comfortable to you, because everyone has different comfort priorities.Sit on a chair to see how it feels. Is the seat comfortable and wide enough? How does the back feel when youlean back against it? Is the seat too high or too low? If the seat is upholstered there should be adequate paddingso that you do not feel the frame through it.Select Material :The material of your dining chair is important, as it determines the look and feel.Metal has reflective qualities, but it can be matte and substantial also, like wrought iron. You can pair a distressedsurface wood table with metal chairs for contrast.Acrylic chairs can look good in a modern or small space.Wood is versatile and you can choose from any number of finishes and styles.Upholstered dining room chairs can provide an opportunity to use color and pattern for a richer effect.Rattan or wicker chairs provide texture and style.Of course you can pick a chair made from mixed materials, too.Judge for Quality :Before you buy your dining chair make sure you judge for quality.Check to see if it is structurally sound by moving it around and jiggling it gently. The legs, arms, or back shouldnot sway or move.Check the seat to see if it is comfortable. A wood seat should be all in one piece, not made of pieces gluedtogether.Run your hand over the surface. It should feel smooth to the touch, and not have any splintering or snags.If you are buying a vintage or antique chair, check to see if it is strong enough to be used. Can it be tilted on theback legs? Would it be able to support the weight of an adult ?5. How to Choose a Dining Room Rug
A dining room rug can make the room feel richer, warmer and inject a shot of color. It can alsohide a less than desirable carpet or floor.There are some important considerations before you buy the rug, such as size, material, color, pattern and shape.One thing that must be kept in mind is that you should be able to draw the chairs back without going over theedge of the rug. Wobbly or unsteady dining room chairs are not that much fun to sit in.Rugs help define an area so using a striped rug to visually stretch the room is an easy trick. A rug can help tie upthe colors in the room, completing the look or just recede in the background showcasing a beautiful dining set.Most often you choose a dining room rug to complement your furniture and to add more appeal to the area. A rugalso helps muffle sounds and add warmth, both figuratively speaking and literally as it protects your feet fromcold, bare floors.Of course a rug does not have to sit only on bare floors. You can throw one over a carpet as well to accentuate orcreate more visual interest.Usually people will gravitate towards choosing colors and patterns before anything else, but in a dining room youmay want to consider other factors first.Rug Size :While size is an important consideration when choosing any rug, it is extremely important to consider it whenbuying a dining room rug.Ideally your dining room rug should be large enough to let you place your dining table and chairs on it. Thereshould be enough room on it so that chairs when pulled away from the table still have their back legs on it.When measuring for your rug, don’t forget to take into account the length of your table fully extended. That meansthat you measure to account for any leaves that you use.Measure the room to see how your rug fits in. It is best to leave equal amounts of space on the sides.Take into account any sideboards or china cabinets in the dining room along with your table and chairs.It is best to select a size where the rug doesn’t go under the sideboard or cabinet, but ends before it reaches thefront legs. Never rest just the front legs on the rug, because it affects the balance. If you must do this thenremember to prop up the rear legs on rubber or wood shims.Rug Shape :Choose a rug shape to complement your dining room furniture.Most dining room rugs are rectangles, but any shape can work. Just remember to have it the right size.A long narrow table would look best on a narrow rectangle.A round rug will emphasize the shape of a round table.Material :A dining room rug will have heavy pieces of furniture sitting on it. Chairs will be pulled out and pushed in.Accidents with food may happen, and there will be crumbs even if there are never any major spills. Your budgetmay also play a part in selecting a material.
Keeping all the wear and tear that a dining room rug undergoes, select a rug material that cleans up easily andcan stand up to heavy use. If you want use a natural material, stay away from silk or cotton rugs as they will notstand up to this kind of use. Wool is good, but it is also an expensive material.Man-made fibers are easy to clean and maintain.Look into indoor-outdoor rugs. They have come a long way, and have considerably improved in look and feel.Color and Pattern :Selecting a color or pattern is a very important part of selecting your dining room rug. Before anything the colorand pattern is what you will notice first.The color of your rug can be the starting point of your room’s color scheme, or a way to tie in all the other colors.Decide on how you want the color of your dining room rug to function: to accent, create drama, bring warmth,support or to tone down.Multicolor and patterned rugs have the advantage of disguising spills.While medallion prints are often chosen for dining rooms, you may want to go with an all over pattern. Themedallions get hidden under the table.Stripes can be used to make the room look wider or longer.Don’t Forget the Rug Pad :While you will never see the rug pad once it’s installed, You will feel it every time you step on to the rug or clean it.The rug pad will help anchor the rug to the floor and keep it from wrinkling or slipping. That makes a rug safer aswell as more aesthetically pleasing to look at. A dense rug pad will make the rug feel more plush and luxurious. Italso makes it easier to clean.6. Furnishing a Small Dining Room A small dining room presents challenges. All small spaces do.A small space also forces one to be more focused, so you may find that a smaller dining room actually looks morepolished and functions better. Scale matters, as do color, materials and lighting.There are many ways of making a small space look larger. A limited color palette is one. Mirrors help open upspace, as does efficient lighting. Reflective and transparent materials give the illusion of open space.Furnishing a small dining room can present a challenge, as any small space can be challenging. However, youmay very well end up having a more efficient and attractive space since a small dining room can force you tofocus on exactly what you need.Consider Scale :Scale might very well be the single most important factor to consider especially when you are furnishing a smalldining room. Your dining furniture should be scaled according to the space you have.Select a Limited Color Palette :A limited color palette may be a good place to start. It is easier to work with a lighter or neutral color palette as itcan make your room look airier. Contrasting or complementary colors should only be used as accents. This is thesafe approach. If you are confident around colors, a bold color scheme may work just as well. The trick is not toget get too fussy, and just keep it simple.
Use Mirrors :A mirror is a small room’s best friend. It opens up space like nothing else. Use strategically placed mirrors on thewall. Using more than one can be an even better idea.Decide on Simple Window Treatments :Simple window treatments help keep fussiness away. Ornate swags and valances could be distracting and toooverpowering in a small space. Simple panels could do the job nicely. If you need more privacy, layer with blinds.Select the Best Table Shape :A round table is the best pick for a small dining room. You might want to pick one with an extension leaf if youhave enough space to open it. Otherwise a simple round table will do in a squarish room.Pedestal bases are great because you can fit extra guests around the dining table without table legs getting in theway.A narrow rectangular table might work well in a narrow dining room. The idea is to leave enough space for peopleto move around easily.Pick Armless Chairs :Armless chairs work best in a small room as arm chairs require more room. You might also want to pick chairsthat have a more slender profile. The idea is to take up as little physical or visual space as possible. Consider Transparent Furniture :Transparent material such as glass, plexiglass, or acrylic can make yourdining furniture “disappear” leaving you with lots more visual space. Remember, though, that this is more aboutappearances than anything else. You will still need to measure to make sure that you leave enough space forpeople to maneuver easily.Use a Small Profile Chandelier :A large or fussy chandelier could take up too much visual room. Pick something with simpler lines and a smallprofile. It would make your space appear larger. Remember it is all about scale.http://www.sofalife.com/read_blog/blog_cat/dining-room-furniture-guide-56.html