One hundred years ago, the dining room was considered the height of fashion and a total necessity in a home. Nowadays, dining rooms have been downgraded and because of shrinking house sizes, there is a greater focus on open plan kitchen/diners rather than a separate room. What ever space you have to play with, here are our tips on how to create the perfect dining space for your home.
Planning your dining area
One of the most important considerations when planning your dining space is to think exactly how you'll be using it. Do you want to eat every meal there, every day, or is it just for special occasions? Do you host dining parties at the weekend or does the table double a home work space or craft area for your children? Your dining space style should reflect the rest of your home and your family life. Think about design - contemporary furniture is great for a sleek and minimal look, while traditional and more country styles, like this Olten extending table are often more timeless and classic.
How much space?
Think about the space you have available. Don’t buy furniture on a whim, write down the dimensions and use large pieces of newspaper to plan where the piece will go and see how it will work in the space. You need to make sure there is enough room for guests to circulate the dining space, there is nothing worse than having to squeeze past various bits of furniture to get to your seat, or having to worry about backing your chair into a wall or sideboard. Our Mobel Oak tables and Shiro Walnut ranges come in a choice of three different sizes.
Which dining table shape?
Finding the right sized table for your room can sometimes be a challenge, too small and it can feel marooned, too large and it will feel cramped. The larger the room, the longer the table you should have–and vice versa. As a general rule, try to leave around 100cm distance between the table and walls so there is enough of a gap to comfortably walk around.
It's important to think about the shape of the table. Do the dimensions of your room best suit round, square or rectangle? For extra-small or corner spaces, consider a round table which is easier to navigate around and takes up less space than one with corners. We love our new Urban Chic round dining table which comes with two matching chairs. The table is made from reclaimed wood from Southern India and is a great option if you want to add some unique style to your dining space. Made from recycled 100 year old wood, the set not only looks great but is a sustainable choice too.
If you are a frequent entertainer, perhaps an extendible table suits your needs better than fixed length? Our best selling range of Olten dining room furniture includes a cleverly designed extender system on this table, so that it can seat 4 when closed and up to 8 when open. Not only is it easy to extend the table but all the mechanisms are hidden inside. The Olten range is made of solid oak wood with an oiled finish which is a practical choice for traditional or country style dining rooms as it looks beautiful, is hardwearing and easy to care for.
Different chair designs
At The Wooden Furniture Store, we've done all the hard work for you when it comes to choosing dining chairs. Each of our table sizes in our Mobel Oak and Shiro Walnut ranges comes with a choice of different but perfectly co-ordinating upholstered chairs. They are designed to be comfortable in terms of height and width when seated at each of the tables.
If you're looking for extra comfort this style chair could be perfect. The chair is finished in cream linen, has button back detailing and is available in either oak or walnut wood leg finishes.
Luxurious and understated, this chair boasts a solid frame, a choice or oak or walnut legs, stud and button back detailing. It comes in grey linen and a subtly curved back for extra comfort.
When it comes to chairs, if you have messy ones with sticky fingers then either forgo upholstery or save it for the table ends. A bench can be a practical alternative for children as well, as they have an easier time sliding along their lengths and they’re less likely to lean back in or tip them. The Urban Chic small dining table comes with a combination of chairs and a bench.
Image from bettesblue.blogspot.ca
Lighting is a crucial factor to consider in a dining room as it either makes or breaks the ambience. Installing lighting with a dimmer switch is a great idea, it means you can create a whole score of different conditions based on the purpose of the meal or mood. Your overhead lighting should be sized to the room, but more importantly to the table. In general, the bottom of your light fixture should be more or less about 75cm from the table surface. An extending table works best with a longer/wider light fixture, or even a series of pendants, while single-bulb fixtures that are 50cm or less wide should reserved for tables that seat four.
Image from beachblissdesigns.com
Make sure you have enough bulbs in your pendant or chandelier to adequately light the room in the evening, adding a lamp or two on a sideboard if you need to.
Another great idea is to introduce mirrors to maximize light - like this Mayan Walnut range. This is a clever way to add glamour and sparkle when reflecting tabletop silver and glassware.
What about storage?
Storage (while it may not be at the forefront of your mind), is actually a very important aspect to consider in a dining space. Solid wooden sideboards and cabinets are the must have storage solution - they are great place to store china, glassware, serving platters, cutlery, napkins and table decorations. At The Wooden Furniture Store, we have a range of sideboards in classic and contemporary designs that match each of our dining tables. Here is the pick of our favourites....
As well as plenty of hidden storage, the large Mobel Oak sideboard provide you with desirable surface space. It's deep and long in shape which makes the perfect place to make a design statement - anything from houseplants to candles or photos can be arranged on top to add life and personality into a dining room.
If you have pretty items, think about displaying them in a cabinet. The Mayan Walnut glazed corner cabinet combines hidden storage with space to display attractive items like glassware, serving pieces even salt and pepper shakers.
We think that this Urban Chic 2 door small sideboard would provide an extra style note to any dining room. The recycled wood that has been used comes from old buildings and fishing boats and still bears the colouring and markings from its past. Each piece of wood has its own story to tell with different grain patterns, knots and burrows, nail holes, paint and uneven edges.
The final detail
Image from anthropologie.com
An excellent final touch and way of adding contrast into the space, is with a rug. All dining spaces can benefit from one—they instantly make the room feel more comfortable and inviting! A rug defines your space, reinforces your style, and provides comfort underfoot. Your rug should be large enough so that pulled-back chairs don't catch on the edge.
The Wooden Furniture Store have a great selection of dining tables, solid wood sideboards and cabinets to suit every room size and style. If you have any useful tips on how to plan the perfect dining space - we'd love to hear from you!