Dining rooms take on many forms, from spacious rooms to nooks off the kitchen. No matter the size or style of the space, a dining room is meant to be a welcoming place to gather with family and friends for holiday meals and special occasions.
Here are a few rules of thumb to consider when creating a comfortable and functional dining space.
A common question that I get asked often. The lowest portion of the chandelier should fall approximately 36 inches above the tabletop, depending on the scale of the fixture and your ceiling height. A dining room fixture should never be hung so low that it interferes with conversing across the table. Too high and it detracts from the cohesive feel of the room. Also, when selecting a chandelier, it’s important to consider the shape and proportion of the fixture as it relates to your dining table. Speaking of dining tables….
Again, consider shape and proportion. The dining table should fit comfortably within the room, ideally leaving at least 3 feet between the table and walls or any other furnishings. This allows enough clearance so that guests can easily access their seat without difficulty. Attention to the spacing between dining chairs is also worth mentioning. Allowing approximately 24 inches of table surface per chair provides enough room to prevent knocking of elbows during dinner.
Area Rug Size
My favorite topic because I see so many undersized area rugs. A good rule of thumb is that your area rug should be approximately 2 feet larger than the table on every side. This means if your dining table is 4 ft x 6 ft, your area rug should be approximately 8 ft x 10 ft. Those necessary extra inches allow guests to slide chairs out from under the table, keeping the legs on the area rug to prevent getting tripped up on the edge of the rug or scratching the floor.
Mix & Match
In my opinion, a design “rule” that was meant to be broken is the one that dictates your dining room table and chairs have to perfectly match. Deliberately pairing your table with chairs in a different style or finish is a look that’s become increasingly popular. This approach adds visual interest and provides an opportunity to layer more texture and pattern in the room.
A design isn’t finished until somebody is using it.
— Brenda Laurel