Finding the right dining room furniture can be complicated, particularly if you are trying to find a dining set up for smaller spaces.
It shouldn’t, however, be a cause for stress, anxiety or disappointment.
To help you identify what you should be looking for when you are shopping for dining room tables, chairs and sideboards, we have put together this handy guide so you can avoid common pitfalls and find the furniture that’s right for you.
The Essentials of Buying Dining Room Furniture
Be aware of the following when shopping for dining room furniture:
- Shop for tables and chairs that suit the layout of your space. As we always say, buying a piece of furniture that is at odds with your home just because you love it is a bad idea.
- Measure the available space carefully. When you’ve done that, measure the entryways and stairwells in your home to avoid disappointment come delivery day.
- Aim for consistency between your new dining room furniture and your existing furniture. This can be achieved by shopping for similar shapes, colours or styles.
- Choose furniture that suits your lifestyle. If you have young kids, for example, you may want to avoid upholstered seats.
- Remember, dining chairs do not have to stay in the dining room. Many of the dining chairs we stock can double as bedroom chairs and occasional seating throughout your home.
Dining Room Tables
Purchasing a dining room table requires careful consideration. After all, you are likely to sit around it at least once a day. As ever, the key to making a good choice is focusing on the layout of your home.
- Be aware that round dining room tables can work better in tighter spaces as they have a smaller footprint than rectangular tables designed to seat the same number of diners.
- Drop-leaf tables are a great way to make the best use of available space. They are particularly useful in kitchen-diners as the leaves can be folded down and the table moved to one side when not required.
- Extendable tables are perfect for anyone that likes to entertain as they provide you with extra seating space that can be stored underneath the table-top when not in use.
Dining chairs should be sturdy, upright and comfortable. Most dining chairs are sold with a table as part of a dining set or suite. However, if you are solely shopping for chairs, consider the following:
- If you or anyone in your family requires additional support when seated, consider including one or more carver chairs in your set up. As well as increasing comfort levels, carver chairs have a real sense of presence about them.
- Consider the height of your diners when choosing chairs. Kids, for example, are likely to be more comfortable in low-backed chairs, whereas adults may need more upper back support. For continuity and comfort, consider a combination like Windsor Chairs for the little kids and Quaker Chairs for the big ones.
- If you are buying dining chairs to match a table, pay attention to their width, height and depth. Avoid chairs that are less than 18" in width or 20" in depth and make sure that they can sit flush against the table when not in use.
If you have room in your dining area for a sideboard, then they are well worth the investment as they can provide you with all the storage space you need for your dinnerware.
- Storage should be the primary concern when choosing a sideboard. Don’t waste your time trying to think of ways to make a sideboard work if it simply doesn’t offer the space you require.
- Sideboards may look out of place in smaller rooms. However, opting for a sideboard with sliding doors can help you make the best use of any available space.
- If you have dinnerware, glassware or even ceramics that you are particularly proud of, keep an eye out for a sideboard with a built-in glass cabinet. Such cabinets are also great for creating a visual break in a wall.
The type of furniture you opt for will almost always be dictated by your existing pieces, the layout of your home and your personal preference. However, if you are unsure about whether an item of furniture will work in your home, consider the following:
- Light-coloured wood is better suited to smaller rooms then dark wood and vice versa.
- Chairs with spindle backs and tables with open legs can create a sense of space and light, which is extremely useful when shopping for furniture to position in smaller rooms.
- If you live in an open-plan residence, try to maintain continuity in the shapes of your furniture. For example, if your living area features a sofa with sweeping curves, avoid angular dining furniture as this discord could affect the flow of the room.
The material used to create a piece furniture can have a significant effect on its look, feel and lifespan. Consider the following when making your choice:
- Solid wood furniture is built to last. As purveyors of mid-century furniture, we would know that better than most. The grain of the wood used makes each and every item totally unique, so you’ll always have a one-of-a-kind piece.
- Veneer furniture can look every bit as good as solid wood furniture but it doesn’t have the same feel of permanence or lifespan. Veneer furniture, is, however, likely to be more affordable.
- We don’t tend to stock a great deal of metal-framed furniture. However, we also appreciate that ours is unlikely to be the only store that you visit. With that in mind, let us say that metal furniture is sturdy, durable and will last for years if you care for it properly.
Measuring the Space
We would be lying if we said we have never tried to deliver a piece of furniture only to find that we can’t fit it inside the room/ hallway/ front door. The following tips can help you avoid disappointment:
- To get an idea of how furniture will sit in proportion with the rest of the room, consider marking out the piece’s dimensions with newspaper.
- Always remember to measure out extra space around furniture so you don’t obstruct any doors or drawers and so you can move around the room freely.
- Remember to measure access points to make sure the furniture will fit into your home and the room itself. Factor in immovable objects like banisters.
If this has left you with a feeling that you are ready to shop for new tables and chairs, visit our dining room furniture collection.