When you sit down to dinner with your family, you’re doing more than just eating a meal. You’re forming relationships, sharing stories, and making memories. The dining room table is important for family harmony.
So when you decide to purchase a new dining set, you should keep your family in mind. Of course you want a dining set that matches your unique style, but you might not consider more practical concerns. In this blog, we’ll go over the main things you should keep in mind as you shop for a dining room set.
1. Determine your budget early.
Your budget is the most important factor in choosing a new dining room table and chairs. You may not know how much you can afford to spend. Look over your finances and figure out if you want to make monthly payments or if you want to set aside a larger sum to pay off the furniture all at once.
If you want your table and chairs to last for 20 years or more, consider expanding your budget so you can afford to buy materials that last. However, if you simply need a cheap solution to a temporary problem, you shouldn’t splurge on a dining set you’ll just replace later.
If you don’t set a budget early on in the process, you might be tempted to purchase an expensive set, even if you don’t have the money for one.
2. Choose the right size table for your dining area.
Get out your measuring tape and start drawing diagrams. You need to figure out just how big your table needs to be. A good rule of thumb is to leave between 42 and 48 inches (107–122 cm) between your table and the walls. You’ll need this extra space so you can easily sit down and get out of your chairs.
Next, decide how many people you would like the table to seat. Maybe you’d like to host dinner parties with a dozen people or more. In that case, you need a table that has enough room for each of your guests. Each diner will need about two feet (61 cm) of space to eat comfortably without bumping elbows.
When you look at tables, check the manufacturer’s recommendation for the number of people that can be comfortably seated at the table. Or grab a chair and sit at the table yourself to see how many people can fit at the table.
3. Choose the right shape table for your space.
You may have always dreamed of a spacious, oval table for your dining room, but if you have a small, square dining room, you may have to reconsider.
If you live in a small space, you’ll want to employ space-saving techniques. Choose a round or square table to maximize the space you use. Round tables work especially well for small spaces because they have no sharp corners. However, the more people you seat at a small table, the harder it will be for each person to reach for food.
If you have a compact space, consider a table with a pedestal base. These tables offer more legroom than traditional four-legged tables.
Use these guidelines to determine if your table can fit your family:
- A 36-inch (91 cm) diameter table will comfortably seat four.
- A 48-inch (122 cm) diameter table will comfortably seat five.
- A 60-inch (152 cm) diameter table will comfortably seat six.
- A 72-inch (183 cm) diameter table will comfortably seat eight.
Rectangular or oval tables work better in long, narrow rooms. They also leave more room for traffic flow on the sides. If you’re looking at tables with leaves, take the extra space into account.
Follow these guidelines for comfortable seating for rectangular tables:
- A 48-inch (122 cm) long table will comfortably seat four.
- A 60-inch (152 cm) long table will comfortably seat six.
- An 84-inch (213 cm) long table will comfortably seat eight.
- A 96-inch (244 cm) long table will comfortably seat ten.
- A 120-inch (305 cm) long table will comfortably seat twelve.
4. Coordinate your table height with your chair height.
The majority of dining room tables stand about 30 inches (76 cm) high. Chairs generally span 18 inches (46 cm) from the floor to the seat, which allows for 12 inches (30 cm) of lap and leg room.
You should always measure any chairs you buy with your table to make sure you can sit comfortably. If you can bring one of your chairs to test under the table, you should do it. If you want to avoid the hassle of matching chairs with table, you can always invest in a dining room chair and table set. That way, you guarantee that the table and chairs coordinate perfectly.
Now that you know the practical considerations of choosing a dining set, you can get started finding a table and chairs that suit your personal style. For more tips and tricks on buying furniture, check out our blog for regular updates.