Dining Room Furniture Buying Guide

Create a Welcoming Environment With the Right Dining Room Furniture

The dining room is one of the most unique spaces in your home, an area serving multiple purposes, and your dining room furniture helps make it that way. Whether the area is part of your kitchen or has a formal room of its own, the dining room serves as a focal point for family gatherings and meals, parties, get-togethers with loved ones, and even holiday festivities. Different types of dining room furniture set different moods. By considering the size, style, and pre-existing decor of the room, various pieces change and add to the overall feel and ambiance of the space. In addition, the furniture you buy showcases your unique tastes.

When purchasing dining room furniture, there are several things you must consider.

Furniture Use

The first thing to think about when choosing your dining room furniture is its use. Will the dining table serve as a setting for everyday family meals? Will it be the location your family turns to when doing homework or sorting out the bills? Your needs may be different if you plan on using the space for special occasions only, like parties and holiday dinners.

Durability is important if you have small children. You'll want a table and chairs that can handle frequent abuse from sticky fingers and colorful crayon masterpieces. For big dinner parties, larger styles will accommodate more guests. For these dining tables, you may want high-quality dining room furniture with a more elegant flair.

Furniture Styles

When considering how to choose dining room furniture, think about how the various pieces will look in your dining room. They should either stand out or blend in with your current decor. Everyone has their own unique preferences when it comes to the look of their tables and chairs as well; you may want an all-in-one set or dining room collection that delivers a well-put-together look. Or you may be more comfortable mixing and matching different chairs with your chosen table.

There are many different styles of furniture, and you must decide what style suits your room best. Some options include:

  • Rustic
  • Modern
  • Vintage
  • Practical
  • Country
  • Choosing Dining Room Furniture: Tables

    Wood is the most common material for dining room tables. Hardwood options like oak, teak, maple, and walnut are strong and durable. Composite or engineered wood options are durable as well but not nearly as strong as hardwood. However, it is extremely practical due to its lightweight nature if you have to regularly move the table.

    Glass-top tables are elegant options that work well with many dining room decor themes. These types of tables make spaces look brighter and bigger, which is important in smaller spaces.

    For an extremely modern look, consider metal or stone when you buy dining room furniture. These tables are incredibly beautiful but generally not suitable for households with children as they tend to stain and potentially crack or rust easily.

    The shape of your table is just as important as the material. Rectangular and round options are the most traditional. Round tables are inclusive, promoting a good flow of conversation. Rectangular tables let you accommodate more guests. For a modern and versatile look, consider a square table. If your dining room is boxy and in need of a makeover, a uniquely shaped table, like an octagonal or oval, will improve the look quickly.

    For more versatility, choose a table with leaves to maximize space.

    How to Choose Dining Room Furniture: Chairs

    Choosing the ideal chairs for your dining room should be the second thing you do after buying the table. The chairs you opt for should be compatible with the table in scale. In most cases, the top of the seat to the table top should be between eight and 14 inches.

    You must also consider the width and depth of the chairs you choose. This helps you determine whether they will fit under the table you choose. If they don't, you risk damaging the legs of the table and making the dining room an uncomfortable space..

    In addition to measurement for this type of dining room furniture, you can also choose from several styles, including:

    StyleDescriptionGoes Best With
    ArmchairOften made of metal, plastic or wood and upholstered, armchairs usually have formal feet and are found at the head of the tableAny table with the same finish as the chair
    ParsonsTypically features clean lines and simple designs, though may upholsteredSuits almost any type of table
    LadderbackUsually a traditional design, with horizontal slats spaced evenly on the chair's backCountry and traditional tables
    Bench seatingLong wooden or metal dining benches that typically span the length of the tableIdeal for both country and modern tables, depending on the design
    Mission/ShakerFeaturing clean lines and almost no details, these chairs are simple and usually made of woodIdeal for traditional, vintage or country tables
    ContemporaryMade of molded metal, plastic or wood, these chairs have an organic appearanceUsed mostly with modern-style tables
    StoolsUsually tall, made of metal or wood, and may or may not feature a backWork well with high tables and limited space

    Furniture Sizes

    In addition to considering the style of your dining room furniture, the size is also important. How large is your dining space? Measure the area before you choose your furniture. Small dining areas require smaller furniture for a cozy atmosphere, but small furniture in a large room will make the space feel too large. As a rule of thumb, make sure there are about 50 inches of space between the walls and your table.

    Create the right mood in your home with your dining room furniture. Consider the style, size, shape, and more, and choose the table and dining chairs that suit your needs and tastes.