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How to Set Up a Dining Room

Oct 21, 2020
How to Set Up a Dining Room

When you think of holidays and family gatherings, one of the prominent memories that spring to mind is the superb buffet of food spread across the dining room table as a tribute to the occasion. Families journey across vast distances several times a year to indulge in the feast and share stories and reminisce around the dining room table.

The dining room acts as the centerpiece in your home, with a constant flow of activity and life revolving around it. So, the question is, how should you design the dining room in your house to enhance the experience and fond memories for your gatherings? Follow our 5 simple tips to design and set up the perfect room for your home.

5 Things to Consider When Setting Up Your Dining Room

Your dining room draws a crowd. Maximizing your room and complementing your current design and decor is vital in a harmonious look that doesn’t disrupt your interior style or personal taste. With this in mind, there are some things to consider when planning your dining room set up.

How Much Space Should You Have Around Your Dining Table?

When selecting a dining room table, it is recommended that both space and function are taken into consideration. Comfortable seating and clearance require a minimum of 30-36 inches around the table. Although that is a functional space to work in, the best practice is to allow 42-48 inches around the table for a generous amount of space and an elegantly balanced room.

How High Should I Hang My Chandelier Over the Dining Table?

Chandeliers add elegance to a dining room and enhance the overall design when hung at appropriate heights. Chandeliers should be about 30-34 inches over the table if your ceiling is at least 8 feet. If the ceiling is lower, raise the chandelier another 3 inches. Also, avoid purchasing a chandelier that exceeds the width of your table.

What Size Should My Dining Room Table Be?

The size of your dining room table depends on how many seats are at the dinner table every day and how often you entertain company. If the room can fit a ten-seater, but you have a family of 6 and entertain 12 people four times a year, you may want to go with an ‘official’ 8 seater and opt for fold-out leaves for when you have larger gatherings.

After you decide on the number of seats that are needed, there is the matter of the shape of the table itself:

  • Square
  • Rectangle; or
  • Round

The shape of the table is usually dictated by the shape of the room and the ease of socializing around it. The larger the table, the more seating it accommodates, and the more conversations are limited to specific areas of the table.

If you are uncertain about the shape, take some plumber’s tape and line it out on the ground to visualize how comfortable socializing will be and get an idea of how the table fits in the room. This should help you decide what shape of furniture to buy fairly quickly.

Table height is pretty standard across the board, at about 30 inches. The chair height that you select should leave about 12 inches of legroom from lap to table for a comfortable fit that allows you room to maneuver. Ideal seating comes with about 30 inches of elbow room to eat comfortably.

Necessary space begins to add up quickly. A best practice is to consider 40 inches of table space, 18 inches deep, which includes shared space for family-style dining. Rectangular seating for larger parties’ functions better for both conversation and making shared food accessible. Round tables over 60 inches in diameter will be harder to socialize and dine.

What Size Rug Should I Use for My Dining Room Table?

When looking for a rug to tie your dining room table in with your house decor, it is important to find a rug that is longer than your table by 30 inches. This generally gives ideal coverage and even flow throughout the room.

How Should I Decorate the Dining Room Table For Everyday?

Dining tables are incredibly versatile in the decoration department. It is effortless to pull the dining table into your seasonal decorum and give your house a well-balanced, finished look. A centerpiece is the focal point of every dining room and is an easy addition to your dining room table and adds a bit of personality.  Some great centerpieces for every day are:

  • Candles
  • Flowers and sticks
  • Plants
  • Rock bowls
  • Tall vases with a single flower

Adding a tablecloth and chair coverings that match the color of your decor tie the house together and are relatively inexpensive. One of the great things about dining room tables is you can add your decorative passions as frequently as you like without draining your pockets.

Take a Seat at The Table

Deciding the right dining room set up to fully engage your family and guests can be challenging but extremely rewarding when you take the time to do it right and follow this guide. Space is the largest hurdle to conquer followed by the overall design. Breaking it down to how many take a seat at the table and if you have kids or not, will influence the outcome of your ideal set up.

Function and form are vital factors in providing an optimal, festive environment that is memorable and comfortable, making your family feel at home and guests feel welcome. Customizing your decor with some easy dining room pieces to feature your decorating prowess will be the talk of the table at every gathering, enjoy!


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