Dining Room Layout: How to Arrange Your Furniture
by | October 27, 2021
Dining rooms are a fixture of most family homes, but actually designing and arranging them takes more than just buying some furniture with matching colours and putting it down. Here’s what you should know about creating a dining room layout.
The dining table should match the size of your room, as well as the number of people you want to host and how you like serving meals. Rectangle table and oval table work for big dining room, while square table and circle table work for smaller dining room. Choosing the right dining table size makes all the difference in creating a dining space that works.
Tables with removable sections are particularly useful because they can let you adapt to different situations. Personally, I’m particularly fond of elongated oval tables that hide additional sections in the middle. They create a warm, open feeling for everyone sitting and can extend to bring in more guests as needed.
Tables can disrupt traffic if you put them in the wrong place. Try to keep them far enough away from walls to let people walk around unhindered. You can also define a specific dining area by placing your table close to another major fixture, such as a chandelier or a set of windows.
Dining chairs often come with table pieces, and since those looks usually match, it’s easy to keep using them. However, you can get a little more complicated if you want.
First, at least part of the chairs should match the colour of the dining table. You can go lighter or darker on either the seat or the frame, but having some of the chairs match the table creates a pleasing and holistic look for the room design.
Second, make sure they’re the right height. Regular dining tables are 30 inches high, and chairs should be 17-19 inches high to match. If your table is higher or lower, try to leave about 13 inches of space from the bottom of the table to the seat of the chair. You can go down to ten inches if necessary, but 13 is better. Follow our guide to choosing the perfect dining chair height.
Design-wise, stools work best when they stand out against their background. This makes them easy to find. Light/dark colour schemes are common for bars, but if you’re getting colourful, keep the ease of locating stools in mind when picking them.
Benches are a rarer furniture option in a dining room layout, but you can make them work. These function best if they’re clearly connected to an area where people might want to sit along the outside of the dining room, such as underneath some windows.
Try to avoid putting benches at a bar or by a table. It’s usually better to have individual chairs in a dining room, but if you want to get creative, you can turn ground-level storage and kitchen cabinets into a bench and get some extra use out of that space.
Buffets/Sideboards To Add Storage Room
Buffets and sideboard tables are strictly extras in dining rooms, which means you shouldn’t have them out all the time. However, you should still account for them when planning your layout to be sure you have a place to put them when you want to use them.
Try to keep 36” of space between an extra table and all other furniture. The one exception is if you’re placing it against your dining room table, in which case you can ignore the space requirements for that connection. This ensures people will have plenty of room to move around.
If you don’t want a full table, bar carts are a suitable alternative to buffet tables and sideboards. As a bonus, they’re on wheels, so you can put them anywhere else in the house as needed. If things are particularly cramped, people can roll the bar cart out of the way any time they’re passing. That’s not ideal, but sometimes it’s the best you can do.
Shelves For Dining Room
Shelves may not work in most dining rooms unless they’re holding art. While you can squeeze kitchen equipment onto them if necessary, it’s usually better to put up proper cabinets for storage and go for a holistic look instead.
If you need to put a shelf in a dining room, make sure to put it at a height that’s comfortable for most people to use. If you’re especially low on space, you can turn shelves into tables and ring a room with them, letting people use bar stools or other compact seating to fit inside the area. If you do this, make sure your shelves are wide enough to fit plates and firmly attached to the wall.
Lighting Design For Dining Area
Most dining rooms need a major light fixture to illuminate the area. These typically take the form of chandeliers, but you can also put a large lamp on top of your dining room table if necessary.
Central lighting is a major statement for a dining room layout, and it can make or break the entire look for dining. Modern dining rooms often have pendant lights while formal dining rooms tend to have chandeliers instead.
If you’re using a hanging light, put it about 34” above your table. This provides plenty of room to move things under it without putting the lighting too far away.
If you can’t use a central light or the room doesn’t allow it, alternative lighting options can create a cosy and welcoming dining atmosphere. Wall sconces are particularly effective here. If you need more light, you can layer several lighting options, such as wall lights and corner lamps, to match the dining space.
Flooring To Accentuate Dining Room Design
Finally, there’s one more element to consider when selecting your furniture: flooring. Many people use rugs as decor in dining rooms, and a good size is 36” bigger than the dining room table on all sides. However, rugs are prone to getting dirty, especially if you have kids in the house.
For a solid alternative, consider placing down hardwood floors instead. These can stand up to any amount of traffic with minimal upkeep required. Hardwood is also much easier to clean than carpets or rugs, and it has the added benefit of not catching chairs when people are moving them back and forth.
Arranging a Dining Room Layout to Suit Your Home Layout
We hope the above provides a useful guide to designing your dining room space to accommodate your families and friends at home. RJ Living’s dining room furniture range caters to both small dining rooms and large dining rooms, as well as for growing families. The right dining furniture pieces are important to bring out the styles of your dining area, our team can also help in giving professional tips and ideas for your dining room design.