In every home, there are generally three major communal rooms in which people spend the majority of their time. The room where the cooking is done, the room where reading and entertainment is common, and the room where meals are eaten all see their fair share of use. Just as kitchen and dining room furniture has evolved to meet the needs of modern families, so too have dining room sets.
Traditionally, dining room sets were composed of a large rectangular table surrounded by chairs. The two chairs at either head had arms, while the chairs along the sides were armless. The furniture is almost always made of wood, and prior to the 19th century, unique to each home. While custom pieces are still available today, they can be prohibitively expensive. Here is a look at some of the more common styles of tables and chairs that are available today.
While wood may be the most common material for tables and chairs, there are other options for the non-traditionalist. A metal table can lend a modern and minimalist style to any setting, especially when coupled with a more casual seating arrangement, such as benches and stools. If you prefer a modern look, but without the metal, a glass tabletop can be found to fit any sized area. To complete the look, clear plastic chairs are available in a number of styles. Along with the sleek style, glass and plastic also make cleaning up a breeze.
If buying new dining room sets does not appeal to your taste, there are many wonderful options available in the classifieds, or at vintage stores. A bruised and battered table and chair collection can be revived with some sandpaper and a few coats of lacquer. Or if you prefer the more rustic look, you can leave the scratches and nicks on the piece.
If you are a skilled craftsman, or you simply have a lot of time on your hands, you can try to create your own table out of older materials. Some common materials used are flooring planks, particularly in rarer woods such as redwood, old wooden doors, and even wood salvaged from wrecked ships. If done properly, these materials can make for truly unique dining room sets that not only look fantastic, but also offer a story that you can tell to any guests sitting at them.
Although the traditional table for meals is long and rectangular, more and more families are moving away from this trend. In some cases, it is due to the restraints that a smaller living area places on the size of the furniture. More often than not, however, families simply prefer sitting closer to each other. This has led to the rise in popularity of small round or square dining room sets. These accommodations usually seat four to six people at most, and they allow for easy interaction and conversation.