Tricks to Sizing Your Dining Room

Dining room

Working for Bellacor made me realize how much there is to consider when buying furnishings for your dining room. Not only do you have to worry about budget, color, and personal taste, you also have to consider size.
Figuring out the best size table and the perfectly proportioned fixture for your needs can be confusing. Here are the tips I use to direct people to their best pieces.

Sizing Your Dining Table

The table is the heart of the dining room. Whether you use your dining room for every meal, or only special occasions, the following tips will help you choose the most functional table for any space.
1. Make sure you have a clearance of 42”- 48” around your table. This will allow enough room for seating as well as traffic flow.
• If you have a small dining room, consider using a round table. Not only does this
maximize your small space, but it also allows for a more intimate dining experience.
• Consider choosing a square table if you have a square room. This will give more
symmetry to your space and create a more put-together look.

2. Determine how many place settings you need. Each person will need about 24” of space.
• A rectangular table has as many place settings as it does feet. A 6’ table will sit 6 people, an 8’ table will sit 8 people, and so on.
• A round table’s place settings depend on what kind of base it has. A round table with a pedestal base has 1 more place setting than feet, and a table with legs has 1 less place setting than feet. For example, a 5’ pedestal table seats 6 while a 5’ table with legs seats 4.

3. Don’t forget about seat height! Look for chairs with a 16” seat height for a table that is 27” high. For tables between 28” and 30” high, use chairs with an 18” seat height.
• Don’t worry if you and your family are very tall or on the shorter side, these are just general tips. Play around with seat height until you find the one most comfortable for you!

Dining table size chart

Photo credit: Holiday Home Times

Sizing Your Light Fixture

Now that you’ve picked out your table, let’s move on to finding the perfect overhead lighting for you. While sizing your fixture might seem overwhelming at first, here are some tips you will find illuminating.

Kichler Hayman Bay Chandelier

1. The width of your chandelier should be three-quarters to one-half as wide as your dining table. Ideally, your fixture should be about twelve inches narrower than your table to prevent your more accident-prone guests from bumping their heads.
• If you have a long, rectangular table, consider using an island pendant instead of a traditional chandelier. A longer fixture will draw your eye down the length of the table.
• Try using pendants installed on an adjustable track if you have a dining table with a leaf. This lets your lighting expand as your table does.
• For those of you choosing lighting before your furniture, just add the length and width of your room together to determine the best width for your chandelier. A 10’x10’ room would have a chandelier 20” in width.

Maxim Lighting Pendants

2. Your lighting should hang between 30”- 32” above your table. If you have a ceiling more than 8’ high, add three inches for every additional foot. For example, if you have 12’ ceilings, hang your fixture between 42”- 44” from the table.
• Low hanging lighting over a table creates intimacy while high hanging lighting creates formality. Feel free to play around with your hanging height to best fit your style, but make sure to allow enough room to comfortably enjoy your food.
• Adding tall chandelier shades can help put your chandelier in proportion with high ceilings. Try using 12” chandelier shades for high ceilings.

3. Remember to consider the visual weight of your fixture. The shape and design of your chandelier has a big effect on your vertical space.
• Sleek, light fixtures look bigger and will help fill up dining rooms with high ceilings.
• Remember that traditional style chandeliers may look smaller in spaces because of their detailed design.
Now that you know how to size up when it comes to the dryer side of design, you can focus on the fun things like color and style!

About Jessica Olson

Jessica Olson is a Minnesota blogger who writes about home decor and interior design. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   She loves stories, pops of color, and a good joke.

Bring personality to your dining room by mixing and matching chairs

 

Mismatched dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

 

Who says your dining chairs have to match? While it’s perfectly okay to purchase a dining table and chairs as a set, you could be missing an opportunity to create a unique look for your space. Mixing and matching chairs allows you to add some fun and personality to your dining room, which is especially useful if you don’t have a lot of space to decorate.

Keep in mind as you mix chairs that there still needs to be a unifying element tying them together. Here are four unifying characteristics to consider:

Color

Even if every chair around your table consists of a different design, the overall look will still appear put together and intentional if they all feature the same color. It may be difficult to find chairs that all have the exact same shade, but you can always paint them if the chairs aren’t upholstered.

Mismatched blue dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

Material 

Just like with color, you can place different chairs in the dining room that are made up of the same material, such as wood, to create a unique, cohesive look. You don’t even have to use just chairs. Consider placing a bench on one or more sides of the table and let guests be impressed by your creativity.

Mismatched wood dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

Patterns

If you prefer upholstered chairs, look for different chairs that feature the same pattern. For example, if you like stripes, you can surround your table with chairs that all have the same striped pattern. Or you can mix striped chairs with chairs that have no pattern at all to keep the look from appearing too busy overall.

Mismatched upholstered chairs featuring the same pattern

Photo credit: Pinterest

Style

Every decorating style consists of unique elements, so use those elements to mix and match your dining chairs. For a traditional dining room, you can use the style’s characteristics – such as detailed carvings and dark wood tones – to find unity among your chairs. If you have a modern dining room, seek out chairs that are simple and sleek.

Modern mismatched chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

If your dining room is lacking the excitement you would like, have some fun mixing and matching dining chairs to create visual interest. With a quirky setup, you’ll never have to worry about your style being bland or predictable!

By Wendy Weinert

 

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Shh – want to know a decorating secret? How about five? In interior design, there are plenty of tips you can use when decorating your space, but some of the best tricks are still being kept secret. Such as…

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

You don’t need to have a sofa

Most homeowners think there’s an unwritten rule stating you have to have a sofa in the living room – but it’s not actually a rule! If you want to set up a living room that’s intimate and encourages conversation among family and guests, use upholstered chairs or a love seat instead. This will also allow you flexibility when deciding on the arrangement of the room, as you’ll be able to move the upholstered chairs to meet the needs of different occasions.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Wallpaper is a quick fix

Have a boring wall or a scratched closet door? Use wallpaper to cover it up. Wallpaper featuring a fun print or colorful design offers an easy way to hide any eyesores in a room. It’s also good for adding visual interest to a space and can be a great substitute for wall decor – especially in a small room.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Photo credit: Soledad Alzaga

Dining room seating doesn’t have to match

While it’s easy to buy a dining room table and chair set, you’re missing an opportunity to get creative and show off your unique taste! Instead of having only dining chairs, place a bench on one side of the table. Or, pick out two different chair styles that complement each other and set them up in an alternating arrangement.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Photo credit: homedit

The ceiling can be decorated, too

Think of your ceiling as a fifth wall and take advantage of the blank canvas to add color or design to your space. If your walls are a neutral color, paint the celing to be bold or use wallpaper to add texture.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Real rugs can be used in the bathroom

High-quality rugs like Tibetan rugs are designed to handle wear and can even deal with moisture. Instead of using a bath mat, give your bathroom a more elegant look and feel with a real rug.

Don’t let these secrets stay secret any longer. Use them to enhance your home’s interior design and help you create a space you’ll love.

By Wendy Weinert

Get the Restaurant Experience in your Home with Lighting

Elgo Lighting Intimate Dining

There’s a reason why most people prefer to dine out for a special occasion or when they need a night of fun. Going to a nice restaurant with friends, family members or significant others often creates a sense of intimacy and specialness. It can also, however, get expensive. The good news is that you don’t always have to pay for an expensive meal to enjoy a special evening with loved ones. You can create an intimate dining experience right in your own home! All you have to do is rethink your dining room lighting strategy and follow these three tips.

Currey & Company Assurance Oval Chandelier

Hang up a chandelier

While many of us love to lounge in our sweatpants, it’s always fun to have a reason to get dressed up and look our best. When you’re feeling the urge to put on a nice dress and host a dinner party, it’s important that your dining room doesn’t feel overly casual. The right chandelier will add sparkle and drama to your dining room, and your evening will instantly feel more special.

room with table lamp and small fountain

Install dimmers or use indirect lighting

Nicer restaurants typically set an intimate mood with soft, darker lighting. You can utilize this same technique by installing dimmers in your dining room or choosing to use indirect lighting. Dimmers work better than most options, because they allow you to change a room’s lighting whenever you want. So when you need a well-lit room during the day, all you have to do is adjust the dimmer switch.  The advantage of indirect lighting such as floor lamps and table lamps is the mobility of the lighting source and the ability to set up lighting in different areas to fit the specific dining experience.

3 Luminary candles

Photo Credit: Usershot

Decorate with candles

Once you dim the lights, it is usually best to have an additional light source so that you and your guests can see each other and your food more properly. Candles are the perfect solution for adding light because their soft glow adds even more ambience and can be used to create a more romantic setting.

With the right lighting plan in your dining room, you don’t have to dine out to enjoy a special evening with loved ones. Just put on your best outfit, pour a glass of red wine and then you’re good to go!

By Wendy Weinert

Ready to change your dining room style? Start with a new dining table.

Dining rooms can be designed in a variety of different styles and sizes, but most have at least one important thing in common: they are all defined by a dining table.

Photo Credit: Monarch Specialties

Photo Credit: Monarch Specialties

If you’re ready to change up your dining room style and give it a new look, you’ll want to start with buying the right table. The choices you make regarding a table’s shape, design and color can have a huge impact on the room’s overall style and can help set the tone you were hoping to achieve.

Consider these four dining room styles:

Traditional – If you prefer a more traditional dining room look, find a table with styling characteristics to match. Traditional dining tables do not have to be a particular shape, but rectangular and round tables are common. You will also want to look for tables with rich wood finishes and ornate detailing like carved legs.

Traditional Dining Table Bellacor Number 397321

Traditional Dining Table Bellacor Number 397321

Contemporary – If you want a no-fuss living room, then a modern style table is for you. Minimalist lines without any ornate detailing are features you will want to look for in a modern table. Contemporary tables are often made from metals and feature a glass tabletop. If you have kids and the thought of glass tables scares you, then sleek wooden tables also work just fine.

Modern Dining Table. Bellacor #832353

Modern Dining Table. Bellacor #832353

Rustic/country – A nice country style dining room is easy to achieve with tables that have distressed or weathered wood. So instead of looking for that perfectly crafted table, you’ll want a table with some imperfections. Chipped finishes or a chunky appearance give the table character, which is perfect for a country style dining room.

Rustic Dining Room Table. Bellacor #736463

Rustic Dining Room Table. Bellacor #736463

Transitional – If you can’t choose between a contemporary or traditional style dining room, go transitional. A transitional style combines traditional and contemporary characteristics to create a more casual look. For example, if a table has a rich Cherry finish mixed with sleek lines, it is considered to be transitional. This style is perfect if you prefer a more laid-back environment.

Transitional Dining Table. Bellacor #753390

Transitional Dining Table. Bellacor #753390

What dining room style do you want to create? Once you’ve determined the style, simply find a dining table to match!

By Wendy Weinert