Dining Room Furniture GuideThis guide on dining room furniture is about furnishing a dining room that functions well. Onceyou have your dining room essentials in place you can keep changing the look by dressing it up ortoning it down depending on the season or your mood.A good foundation is essential for furnishing any room in the home, not just a dining room. Thatfoundation is built by determining your needs before doing anything else. Figure out who is goingto use it, how it will be used and if there are any special considerations such as the dining roomsize or budget.1. What Dining Room Furniture Do You Need ?Before you buy yourdining room furnituredetermine what kind ofspace you have? A diningroom needs a differentapproach than a diningarea.If you are furnishing adining room, you shoulddetermine how often youuse it. A room that is usedevery day calls for adifferent approach thanone that is seldom usedand 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. It can double as a home office or a place to do homework. It can also be a place forsocializing.Finally, your style matters. If you are not sure what pleases you, determine your style. Every roomshould fulfill a purpose and make you happy to be there and share with your friends and lovedones.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 adining room how often do you use it ? How will you use your dining room ? Is it just for diningor 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 small space with a large table and chairs will seem unpleasantly crowded. Alwaysmeasure your room before buying furniture, and remember to leave enough room around yourfurniture to move around easily.If it is a fairly large room, you may want to consider including other pieces of furniture such asscreens, 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 usedevery day, or only once in a while to entertain?A seldom used room can be furnished with high maintenance finishes and fabrics while a diningroom that is used every day should be more functional. Look for sturdy furniture surfaces if youngchildren 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 moresuited to how you 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 andthe amount of room you have, decorating it should be easy. It is about functionality and yourpersonal preferences.If you have a small space, see more about furnishing a small dining room here. For a large diningroom, you may want to visually divide the large area into smaller ones with the help of rugs andscreens. You can also buy furniture that is larger in scale. Heavy drapes, and paint color may alsohelp. The idea is not to make the place seem small, but cozy and inviting.2. Dining Table Shapes §Dining tables come in many different shapes. So do dining rooms. Your dining table should 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 themselves well to seating a few people. Round tables for instance are great for seating a few people, and arevery conducive to cozy conversations.Rectangular dining tables work better in long rooms, but if you prefer you can have two squareones.It is best to consider your options so that you can select a table shape that serves your purpose andmakes you happy.When you are selecting dining table shapes it is more than simply preferring one shape over theother. While your preference for a shape counts, you do need to consider the shape of your diningroom or dining area when selecting a dining table. Another important factor to consider is howlarge a group you usually seat around your dining table.Rectangular Dining Tables :Rectangular dining tables are maybe the most common. A rectangle is possibly the best shape for adining table because most dining rooms are also rectangular. Also, it is a good shape for seatingmore than four people.A rectangular dining table also lets you seat a greater number of people, especially if it comes withan extra leaf for 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 ifthe table is any narrower than 36” you may find it difficult to fit place settings on both sides andalso have enough room for food on the table. If you have to have a narrow table, you might wantto consider placing the food on a sideboard, so that 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 goodsolution if you don’t have a large group to seat most of the time. A square table that can beexpanded with leaves is good for the times 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 seatinga small number of people. It can be off-putting to have large rectangular tables when only two orthree people are going to be present most of the time. That arrangement can feel makeshift andcold.Two square tables can be grouped together to create a larger rectangular seating arrangement forspecial occasions.Round Dining Tables :Another possibility for a square shaped or smaller dining room is a round dining table, which isalso possibly the best shape for small gatherings. Every one can see everyone else and it justseems to provide a cozier and more intimate setting.A round table is not ideal for larger gatherings, as a large round table simply means that while youcan see others, you still seem far away, and may have to shout across the table to be heard.Besides, most dining rooms are not large 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 ofpeople from time to time, consider getting a round table with an extension leaf. That way youcould use your round table most of the time 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, itseems to occupy less room 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 standard measurements for tables so you can figure out roughly how big a table you will need to seat the number of people that will be using it. Knowing how many people you can seat comfortably at a table makes it easier to determine what you need to buy. If you don’t need a large dinner table on most days, it also helps to know howmuch you can extend it with leaves on days that you do happen to need it.Most dining tables are made to standard measurements just the same as other furniture. Styles mayvary, but upon 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 dependson a couple of things. How big of an area you have and how many people you plan to seat aroundyour dining table. The shape of your dining table is also a factor.You can use the measurements below as a recommendation and guideline, but make sure tomeasure your room and any furniture you plan to bring into it before making a purchase. Youshould also be aware that sometimes dining table dimensions may vary from manufacturer tomanufacturer, so do not assume that all tables that seat 4 people will always have the same size.Even 2″ can make a difference if you are considering furnishing a smaller dining room.
Standard Dining Table Height :While tables can have different shapes and sizes, the standard height of a dining table is prettyconsistent. It has to be high enough so that there is enough clearance above the knees. To be ableto dine comfortably the table should not be too high. For that reason most dining tables are 28″ to30″ high.Counter Height Table :A counter high table is as high as a kitchen counter which is usually about 36″ high. These tablescome in handy in 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 havingto lean over. However, this may not be the best shape if you often entertain a large number ofpeople. A huge round dining room table may not be the best solution for smaller spaces also. To seat 4 people: 36″Diameter-44″Diameter To seat 4-6 people: 44″Diameter-54″Diameter To 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 around table with leaves that gives you the flexibility to expand or reduce its size. However, youmay also buy an oval dining table if you just like the shape. These are also suitable for smallerspaces. Start with a 36″Diameter-44″Diameter table and use leaves to extend it. To seat 4-6 people: 36”W x 56”L To seat 6-8 people: 36″W x 72”L To 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 sit close together for an intimate dinner and conversation. But if you are planning toseat more than 4 people it is better to buy a square table that extends into a rectangle. Also, squaretables are not suitable for narrow dining rooms. 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 theword “table is mentioned. Rectangular tables take up the most space, but are very suitable forlarger gatherings. A narrow rectangular table maybe the most suitable shape for a long, narrowdining room. To seat 4 people: 36″W x 48″L To seat 4-6 people: 36″W x 60″L To seat 6-8 people: 36″W x 78″L 4. 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 by selecting just the right
chair for you. Consider the size of your room and table. Also consider whether you want armchairsor 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 helpyou create a very interesting room, but quality should never take a backseat.Before you buy a dining chair, consider this: you need this chair to be both comfortable andstylish. Consider also that 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 fewfactors. Once you’ve made a decision about these, it’s relatively easy to pick out the dining chairthat’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 your table. You also have to figure out where you will place the extra chairs, if yourtable is not fully extended all the time.Measure your room and dining table to see the size and number of chairs you can accommodate inyour dining room and around your dining table. (We hope you have picked out a dining tablebefore you go looking for chairs.) Remember to calculate the space between chairs as well as theactual space a dining chair will occupy, before you 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 tohave armchairs at the head of the table, and armless chairs on the sides, but depending on yourspace and style you may want to have armchairs all around.Depending on your space and style you may also want to go armless all around. Armless diningchairs do take up less space than armchairs, visually as well as in space.Armchairs can be more comfortable than armless ones, and for older people, or those withproblem knees, arms on a chair help in getting in and out of the seat. Choose according to yourneeds.Pick a Style :You can go and pick out a dining room set, or decide to buy your dining table and chairsseparately. Before you do anything, consider your style. Consider whether you want it to be formalor 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 determinewhat looks good in your room and around your table. A smaller space might call for a moredelicate, open style, while a large space might look good 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 comfortpriorities.Sit on a chair to see how it feels. Is the seat comfortable and wide enough? How does the back feelwhen you lean back against it? Is the seat too high or too low? If the seat is upholstered thereshould be adequate padding so 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 distressed surface 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 should not 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 glued together. 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 the back 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 also hide 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 the edge 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 up the colors in the room, completing the look orjust 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 tothe area. A rug also helps muffle sounds and add warmth, both figuratively speaking and literallyas it protects your feet from cold, bare floors.Of course a rug does not have to sit only on bare floors. You can throw one over a carpet as well toaccentuate or create more visual interest.Usually people will gravitate towards choosing colors and patterns before anything else, but in adining room you may want to consider other factors first.Rug Size :While size is an important consideration when choosing any rug, it is extremely important toconsider it when buying a dining room rug. Ideally your dining room rug should be large enough to let you place your dining table and chairs on it. There should 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 means that 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 the front legs. Never rest just the front legs on the rug, because it affects the balance. If you must do this then remember 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 andpushed in. Accidents with food may happen, and there will be crumbs even if there are never anymajor spills. Your budget may 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 and can stand up to heavy use. If you want use a natural material, stay away from silk or cotton rugs as they will not stand 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. Beforeanything the color and 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. The medallions 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 tothe rug or clean it.The rug pad will help anchor the rug to the floor and keep it from wrinkling or slipping. Thatmakes a rug safer as well as more aesthetically pleasing to look at. A dense rug pad will make therug feel more plush and luxurious. It also 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 more polished 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 up space, as does efficient lighting. Reflective andtransparent materials give the illusion of open space.Furnishing a small dining room can present a challenge, as any small space can be challenging.However, you may very well end up having a more efficient and attractive space since a smalldining room can force you to focus on exactly what you need.Consider Scale :Scale might very well be the single most important factor to consider especially when you arefurnishing a small dining room. Your dining furniture should be scaled according to the space youhave.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 neutralcolor palette as it can make your room look airier. Contrasting or complementary colors shouldonly be used as accents. This is the safe approach. If you are confident around colors, a bold colorscheme may work just as well. The trick is not to get 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 placedmirrors on the wall. 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 bedistracting and too overpowering in a small space. Simple panels could do the job nicely. If youneed 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 you have 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 the way. A narrow rectangular table might work well in a narrow dining room. The idea is to leave enough space for people to move around easily.Pick Armless Chairs :Armless chairs work best in a small room as arm chairs require more room. You might also wantto pick chairs that have a more slender profile. The idea is to take up as little physical or visualspace as possible. Consider Transparent Furniture :Transparent material such as glass, plexiglass, or acrylic canmake your dining furniture “disappear” leaving you with lots more visual space. Remember,though, that this is more about appearances than anything else. You will still need to measure tomake sure that you leave enough space for people to maneuver easily.Use a Small Profile Chandelier :A large or fussy chandelier could take up too much visual room. Pick something with simpler linesand a small profile. It would make your space appear larger. Remember it is all about scale.http://erayfurniture.com/read_blog/furniture-news/dining-room-furniture-guide-46.html