Dining Room Design Basics

Whether you are redoing your dining room or staging it to sell, there are various design basics to consider.
Focal Point
While you may think the dining room table and chairs are the focal point for this room, they are not. A focal point is a dominant fixture in the room that gives a reference point and helps orient the whole arrangement. You may have a natural one, such as a fireplace, a bay window or sliding glass doors. Or you may need to create one such as a buffet with a large painting above it, or a mural on one wall. Either one could be the focal point if you do not have a dominant feature in the room.

A dining room is primarily used for gathering and entertaining. A table that seats 8 to 12 is optimal. The table should allow those seated a free range of movement. It should not be so large that the inhabits the entire space. If you entertain regularly, you might consider an expandable table. A round table is usually not expandable and to serve 8 to 12 people would require a large table.
The primary concern when you are choosing chairs is comfort and style as gatherings can end up lingering at the table long after a meal. You have a choice of choosing chairs that match each other or a collection of different chairs. The main concern when choosing different chairs is that they all come from the same period or share a color scheme or style of backs. If you choose matching chairs, you can have arm chairs for the head and foot of the table.

If you have sufficient room after you have accounted for the table and chairs, you can add some furniture to store your tableware and surfaces for serving. Possible options are built-in cabinets, credenza with or without a hutch, sideboard, console table or china cabinet. A word of caution - do not overfill the room with furniture. You do not want a good sized room to feel cramped.
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Staging Works Wonders, Inc.