Dining room decorating -- choosing the right furniture

If you've ever tried to scoot your way into your seat in a crowded dining room, you know how important size is in choosing dining room furniture. It's not very easy to enjoy the company of another person when you're crushed against the walls of the room, with no elbow room to eat. Moreover, if you've put a lot of work into decorating a dining room, your efforts will go unnoticed if the room is overcrowded. Consider the following tips and recommendations for choosing dining room furniture.

Take measurements - Before choosing dining room furniture for your home, take a moment to measure the room space. Write these measurements down and take them, and a tape measure, with you when you shop. This is the easiest way to ensure you will get a table that fits properly. If you have a buffet table or other bulky furniture, take the room measurement from it instead of the wall.

Clearance - To avoid an overcrowded room, allow a minimum of 36" from the edge of the table to the wall. This will provide for ample walking space, and comfortable seating for guests. Keep this 36" allowance in mind when choosing a dining room table. If you will be serving guests from behind their chairs, increase this allowance to 42".

Best table for a small room - If you are limited with your room size, your best option is to choose a dining table that is round or oval in shape. This will help maximize room space and provide a cozy spot for hosting casual lunch with friends. Square-shaped tables should be avoided, as they will take up too much room regardless of where they are used.

Comfort in numbers - When hosting a sit-down dinner, on average how many people will need to sit at the table? There are tables that accommodate four guests, six, eight, and even more. If you have a substantial size room, you can fit quite a bit of people at a large table. However, keep in mind that each person will require approximately 18" to comfortably eat, with an additional 4" to 6" inches in-between each place setting.

Desirable dining table size - As a guide, the basic rule of thumb for choosing a dining room table is as follows:

Oval tables

4 - 6 guests - 28" x 46" or 42" x 54"

6 - 8 guests - 36" x 56" or 42" x 64"

8 - 10 guests - 42" x 72" or 42" x 84"

10 - 12 guests - 42" x 90" or 42" x 96"

12 - 16 guests - 42" x 100" or 42" x 120"

Round tables

4 guests - 36" - 44"

4 - 6 guests - 44" - 54"

6 - 8 guests - 60" - 70"

Rectangle tables

4 guests - 36" x 48"

4 - 6 guests - 36" x 60"

6 - 8 guests - 36" x 78"


More from Jennifer Wagner:

Upholster a Dining Room Chair in 10 Simple Steps

Proper Placement of Living Room Accessories

How to Cover Walls with Fabric


Personal knowledge