Remodeling Your Dining Room: Furniture and Layout Tips
In your home, the dining room can be one of two things. It may be the casual, welcoming place where you and your family dine every night of the week, or it can be a formal space where you gather for Sunday dinners or special holiday meals. However you use your dining room, a remodel can shake things up and give you the opportunity to make a serious upgrade. Whether you’re just replacing an existing dining table with a newer version or you're changing up the entire room, these tips can guide your decisions as you revamp and remodel your dining room.
Start by Deciding on a Decor Style for Your Dining Room
A dining room can mean a lot of different things to every homeowner, so it makes sense to take some time during the planning stages and think carefully about what style will work best in your home.
The style of your dining room doesn't have to exactly match what's found throughout the rest of the house, but it should lend itself to a cohesive appearance.
For example, if you have a truly contemporary home done in a black and white color palette, adding in rich textured curtains and antique gold furniture in the dining room would make it look out of place.
If your dining room is small and you want to encourage frequent and casual family meals, a round table in a traditional wood can be ideal.
For a more formal, classic look, a rectangular table with a glossy finish can be a much better fit.
A rustic wood table, where the grain is still clearly visible and hasn't been painted over, creates a welcoming and warm environment in a cottage or cabin.
Your dining room can have also have a vintage feel, a beach or nautical theme, a mid-century modern theme or even revolve around a specific color.
Browse magazines and pictures online to help you determine what overall style is best for you, and then you can narrow down all the options and pick the right furniture and decor for the space.
Focus on the Dining Table
Once you have your mind made up about a particular style for the dining room, you can start buying furniture.
The first item on the list should always be the dining room table. It will almost certainly be the largest item in the room, and it will serve as the focal point.
Determine how many people you would like to seat at the table. Expect every person seated at the table to need about two feet across, and plan accordingly.
If you need to seat more than eight people at a time, a round table will likely be too large, as it becomes hard for diners to reach for the food across the width of a large round table.
However, if you only need seating for three or four people, and you have a smaller dining room to begin with, then a round table or one with a pedestal base can be a fantastic option.
Of course, you'll want to make sure that the dimensions of your ideal table fit in the space you have for it. If you're worried that a table may be too big for the dining room, measure out an old sheet or two and lay it on the floor where the table will go.
If there is still plenty of clearance for chairs and space to walk around the circumference, then the table will likely be a good fit.
Tips for Choosing Stylish Dining Chairs
Picking out the dining table is just the start when you're remodeling your dining room.
The chairs that surround the table are a practical addition, but they can also highlight, complement or contrast the table itself.
Many homeowners will happily buy a matching dining room set that combines chairs and table. While this can absolutely result in a cohesive look, don't be scared of mixing and matching on your own.
If you want to save space, you can even add benches to one or both sides of a rectangular table, which can be pushed under the table when they are not in use.
Also, think about whether you want the chairs to have arms, or if you just want the chairs at the head and foot of the table to have arms, a common choice called captain's chairs.
If you have pets, or if you want chairs that are easy to clean, you may opt for seats without upholstery. Wood, plastic, leather or vinyl chairs can be easily wiped down, making maintenance a breeze.
In a formal and traditional living room, upholstered chairs are popular, but you can opt for fabrics that are easier to clean or that hide stains well.
Zippered seat cushions can be removed and put straight into the washing machine for a happy compromise.
Consider Complementary Furniture for the Space
A dining table and the corresponding chairs may be all you need to create a wonderful dining room, but additional furniture can pull the space together. Plus, some furniture options for the dining room can add some much-needed storage.
You may want something simple like a sideboard or server, which provides the perfect place to put serving platters.
You can also show off a fine collection of porcelain dishes or crystal stemware with a hutch made from the same material as your table and glass panes.
Making Your Dining Room Feel Larger
To make a small dining room feel larger, the key is not to overfill the space. Only add a table as large as is necessary, and consider bench seating style whenever possible.
Also, sticking with armless chairs will help add to the impression of a larger space. Other tips include floor-to-ceiling windows, a monochromatic color scheme, built-in banquette seating on one side of the table or pedestal table bases.
The furniture of your dining room can transform the space dramatically, so any remodel should include a new table, new chairs and a cohesive theme to tie it all together.