I talked recently with a first time homeowner who told me when looking for a house she was excited by visions of dinner parties in her new home instead of eating dinner at the coffee table in front of the T.V. Now, however, she’s stymied with how to furnish her first dining room and requested help.
Dining Room Decisions
“Decorating an empty dining room seemed like it’d be snap – I thought I just needed to buy a dining room table. Little did I know, ” she admitted. When shopping for her dining room she was overwhelmed with options and not sure where to start. I shared the guidelines below to help walk her through the decision making process:
1. Don’t buy a thing until you measure your dining room. This is important so you can determine how big a table you can use and how many people you can seat. Plan on leaving about 36″ around the table so the dining chairs are easy to pull without bumping walls or other furniture.
2. Consider a circular pedestal table if you need to seat a lot of people. The circular shape without legs lets people squeeze together while a rectangular table with legs more stringently limits the amount of available seating.
3. Select armless chairs instead of chairs with arms in order to more easily seat a crowd. If you buy or already have a rectangular table, consider using benches in order to squeeze in extra guests. Generally guests will be most comfortable if they have at least 24″ of table width and 18″ of depth for their knees.
4. If your dining room is small don’t buy a bulky hutch or sideboard. Instead use a narrow table (like a sofa table), a shelf attached to the wall with decorative brackets or a bookcase to hold dishes and stemware.
5. Hang the chandelier 30 to 40 inches from the top of the table.
6. Remember the candles – every dining room and guest looks better by candlelight!
Where Do You Dine?
Do you have a formal dining room (if so, do you use it?); do you eat in the kitchen; is yours a great room with kitchen/dining/living all in one; do you dine outside often, or is the coffee table your dining space of choice? Leave a note by clicking the Comment link at the end of this post and let us know what your prefer when it comes to dining (hmmmmm, should I have noted “restaurant” as a choice?).