Finding the Perfect Dining Table Sets for Your Home

11/23/2011 16:17

Dining table sets are part of the traditional American home. But how do you make sure your set not only fits the style of your home, but the space you have available?

In today's open floor plans, the size of your dining table sets isn't that important. But if you have a formal dining room that is walled off from the rest of your home, size matters. More than one homeowner has found the dining table sets of their dreams, only to find that it won't fit in the space they have available. The result is a dining room that families and friends rarely dine in because it's just too crowded.

The first thing you want to do when determining which dining table sets are perfect for you is to determine the style. If your dining room is a separate space in your home, you don't have to necessarily match the other furniture styles in the house. In fact, your set can go in a completely different direction, perhaps being more formal than the rest of the home. This is particularly true if you plan to use your dining room mostly for holidays and special occasions rather than everyday meals.

After you determine a style you like, whether it's traditional, colonial, modern, contemporary, rustic or transitional, you'll want to think about size. Thankfully, there are some basic rules of thumb you can use to determine the right size of your dining table sets.

For instance, you want to allow three feet minimum around the table so guests can easily get in and out of their seats without others having to get up out of theirs. Usually, a seated guest takes up 18 to 24 inches of this space with their chair and body, so the more breathing space, the better. As for the size of the table, you want to leave 18 to 24 inches of room between seats to give your guests a little elbow room. While you can squeeze in more guests during the holidays, during the rest of the year you don't want diners to feel crowded. This said, you can get more people around your dining table sets if you have a pedestal table since you don't have to deal with the legs, which can limit seating.

If you have the space, you may want to consider purchasing dining table sets that have removable leaves in them. This way you can make the table larger for the holidays or special occasions. Some dining table sets even have what is known as butterfly leaves that tuck under the table's top when not in use.

If you do get a table with leaves, be sure you leave them in the table for much of the year so that they don't age at a different rate, leaving you with odd stripes in your table that look newer than the rest of the table.

Dining table sets traditionally come with four or six chairs. You'll want to purchase at least two extras for holidays. While you can use folding chairs in a pinch, it is so much more elegant to have all the chairs in your dining room look alike.

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If you get a set with padded chairs be sure that the material is stain resistant. Nothing's worse than having a big soiree spoiled because someone accidentally spilled red wine on your off-white cushions. If you want to keep your chairs looking new for as long as possible, consider leather-covered cushions or just go with all wood instead. While they may seem less comfortable, they will last much longer and you never have to worry about dealing with stained chairs or embarrassed guests.