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Dining Room Furniture Guide

How to Furnish a Dining Room


This guide on dining room furniture is about furnishing a dining room that functions well. Once you have your dining room essentials in place you can keep changing the look by dressing it up or toning it down depending on the season or your mood.

A good foundation is essential for furnishing any room in the home, not just a dining room. That foundation is built by determining your needs before doing anything else. Figure out who is going to use it, how it will be used and if there are any special considerations such as the dining room size or budget.

1. What Dining Room Furniture Do You Need?

Photo (c) Century Furniture

Before you buy your dining room furniture determine what kind of space you have? A dining room needs a different approach than a dining area.

If you are furnishing a dining room, you should determine how often you use it. A room that is used every day calls for a different approach than one that is seldom used and is there more for show.

How do you plan to use your dining room? For smaller homes a dining room can also be a multi-purpose room. It can double as a home office or a place to do homework. It can also be a place for socializing.

Finally, your style matters. If you are not sure what pleases you, determine your style. Every room should fulfill a purpose and make you happy to be there and share with your friends and loved ones.

2. Dining Table Shapes

Bryson Dining Room - Broyhill
Photo (c) Broyhill

Dining tables come in many different shapes. So do dining rooms. Your dining table should be the best match for your room as well as your needs.

There is also the matter of preferences, and how many people you want to seat. Some shapes lend themselves well to seating a few people. Round tables for instance are great for seating a few people, and are very conducive to cozy conversations.

Rectangular dining tables work better in long rooms, but if you prefer you can have two square ones.

It is best to consider your options so that you can select a table shape that serves your purpose and makes you happy.

3. Standard Dining Table Measurements

Photo (c) Johnston Casuals

When you are in the planning your dining room, it helps to know standard measurements for tables so you can figure out roughly how big a table you will need to seat the number of people that will be using it.

Knowing how many people you can seat comfortably at a table makes it easier to determine what you need to buy. If you don't need a large dinner table on most days, it also helps to know how much you can extend it with leaves on days that you do happen to need it.

4. Before You Before You Buy a Dining Chair

Photo (c) Century Furniture

Just as you spend time on figuring out the shape and size of a dining table, spend some time on finding the best dining chair for your needs.

It is convenient to buy matching dining sets, but nobody says you have to. Personalize your dining room by selecting just the right chair for you. Consider the size of your room and table. Also consider whether you want armchairs or armless ones. Material can end up determining the look and comfort, so that needs careful consideration too.

Then there is the matter of style. Selecting a different look and material from the table can help you create a very interesting room, but quality should never take a backseat.

5. How to Choose a Dining Room Rug

Corsica Poeme is a hand-tufted wool rug from Jaipur
Photo (c) Jaipur

A dining room rug can make the room feel richer, warmer and inject a shot of color. It can also hide a less than desirable carpet or floor.

There are some important considerations before you buy the rug, such as size, material, color, pattern and shape. One thing that must be kept in mind is that you should be able to draw the chairs back without going over the edge of the rug. Wobbly or unsteady dining room chairs are not that much fun to sit in.

Rugs help define an area so using a striped rug to visually stretch the room is an easy trick. A rug can help tie up the colors in the room, completing the look or just recede in the background showcasing a beautiful dining set.

6. Furnishing a Small Dining Room

Photo (c) Broyhill

A small dining room presents challenges. All small spaces do.

A small space also forces one to be more focused, so you may find that a smaller dining room actually looks more polished and functions better. Scale matters, as do color, materials and  lighting.

There are many ways of making a small space look larger. A limited color palette is one. Mirrors help open up space, as does efficient lighting. Reflective and transparent materials give the illusion of open space.

Read more about furnishing small spaces here.


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