Formal dining rooms, kitchen dinettes, breakfast nooks. Your dining needs and the space allocated to them are vastly different from that of your friends and neighbors. Whether you have a starter apartment, a spacious mansion – or, like most of us, something in between – your dining table and chair set is critical to setting the tone and functionality of your home.
For many of us growing up, our family dining table was the center of the household and was used for not just dining, but homework, game night, as a buffet table, or working on crafts. These days it is common to have multiple tables for these activities, but, if your space is limited, the dining table may serve even more purposes. If this is your first time shopping for a dining table and chair set, think about how it will be used when choosing the right set for your house.
Space is not just the final frontier, it's the #1 consideration in planning for a dining table and chair set. The common rule of thumb is that dining tables are roughly 30 inches tall, and chair seats need to be roughly 20 inches from the floor to allow enough lap space. A seat width of approximately 22 inches is a comfortable size for most people. Designers like to allow at least 40 inches around your table and chairs to maneuver around other furniture, but perhaps your dining table and chair set will sit snugly in your space. A perfect solution to this would be a table with extensions or drop leafs, which are great for accommodating large and small gatherings. Remember that smaller tables look great when placed against a wall with a nice framed piece of art on the wall above.
Naturally, the composition of your dining room and its furnishings will dictate how elaborate your dining table and chair set can be. Do you prefer arts & crafts or mission decor? Country, rustic or traditional? Maybe your room has a mix of motifs and you want a simpler style for a smooth visual transition.
Counter-height dining room table sets are becoming a very popular choice. Whether you choose a traditional, classic dining set or bistro-style dining room table, counter-height table sets seem to have an inherent ability to put guests at ease.
There's a reason wood is the most popular choice of material for a dining table and chair set; its naturally beautiful nuances and wide variety of options make wood a classic and durable choice. Glass table tops are easy to clean and dress up or down, and nothing beats the beauty of the reflecting light of a candle on a glass table to set the mood. Stone and marble are attractive and functional choices as table tops for transitional designs and very popular with home chefs.
About seating- There's no sense in spending four hours making a gourmet meal if the seating at your dining table isn't comfortable. If you have the luxury of space, choose dining chairs with arms if you want your guests to get cozy after a meal and share conversation long into the night. Armless chairs are great for seating more people or if your space is limited, dining benches, which are increasing in popularity as shoppers go for a more casual dining experience and when families need to accommodate small children who like to move around a lot. Cushions go a long way to creating a mood and adding comfort to your seating arrangement. Color and pattern options online are almost endless and come in a variety of materials that are easy to clean.