Dining Room Ideas

In today’s fast-paced world the moments we spend round the dinner table provides a chance for us to spend valuable time together that we may not do elsewhere. The dining room is a place where family and friends can enjoy great food, conversation and create long-lasting memories.


That means you need a good quality dining room table and chairs to make the most of the time we spend there. Our dining room furniture guide will cover all the essentials you need to consider when looking at buying a brand new dining set.

Consider the Dimensions Of the Room

Before you start looking at the different types of dining room table and chairs that are available you have to consider the space it will be positioned in.

This will be a simple case of measuring the length and width of the room that will be home to the dining set. You want to make sure you have enough room to accommodate people leaving and returning to the table during meals, as well as making it easy to set down plates and serve food.


Buying a grand table that forces you to squeeze past the dining chairs every time is not going to work in the long run. You should allow a minimum of 42 to 46 inches (107 to 117cm) between the table and wall to allow free movement around the dining room table and chairs.

What Size Table Do You Need?

Once you know the dimensions of the room and you are aware of the space required around the edge of the dining set, then you should think about the size of the table you need. This will depend on a few things, such has:


  • How many people will use the dining set every day?
  • Do you entertain on a regular basis?
  • Will you be starting (or growing) a family?
  • How much can you afford to spend?


Of course, not everything is set in stone and answers to some of these questions may change over time. A good general rule to follow is to buy a dining table that is at least 36 inches to 42 inches (91 to 107cm) in length.

Alternatively, you could purchase a folding dining table with extra leaves that gives you the flexibility to expand if needed. Folding dining chairs are also a good option, as these can be collapsed when not in use, maximising the space available in the room.

Also consider the amount of room each person will need to sit and eat comfortably. Allow for a minimum of 24 inches (60cm) of table space for each person. If you want to add in a little more elbow room you can extend this to 30 inches (76cm). Try to balance this out with the amount of people who will be regularly using the dining room table and chairs.

Shape Also Plays an Important Role

The shape of the table will also have to be decided upon, with the most common options typically being round, rectangular or square. Rounder tables help to create a more unified feeling, while rectangular shapes allow more people to sit and eat together. Square designs are good for smaller households with less people, depending on the space available in the dining area.

Choosing the Wood Type For the Dining Set

This will be a case of balancing aesthetics, practicality and cost. First of all, there are two options to choose from – do you opt for solid wood, or for a veneer? Some important points to consider include:


  • Solid wood offers a beautiful, organic look and is not always the more expensive option
  • Try to buy dining room table and chairs together as a set so the colours match
  • Any blemishes or burrs on the wood are just part of its natural make-up
  • Veneer tables are thin pieces of real timber that covers up cheaper wood like MDF
  • With lesser real wood used, veneer tables are easier to carry and stronger than real wood
  • Environmentally conscious customers prefer veneers as it uses less natural materials

Pick the Right Finish to Suit Use and Style

The type of wood or veneer dining table you pick will also depend on the colour or finish you want in your dining room. In larger spaces dark woods really display their charisma, while lighter woods might be more beneficial for small eating areas. For example, white wooden dining chairs will make the room feel a little more spacious, especially if the dining area is quite compact.


It is also easier to see the small water marks, scratches and blemishes that appear over on time on a darker coloured table. So if this is something you feel will become frustrating, you may prefer to opt for a light wood or veneer finish. A good way of covering this up is by purchasing a ‘distressed’ design that is currently a popular aesthetic choices for many households.

Pick Out Suitable Dining Chairs

Chairs play an equally important role, whether you are buying a wooden garden dining set, or something for the dining room inside. Key points to look out for include:


  • Seat height: The optimum seat height for a dining chair allows between 26-30cm of space between the top of the table and the top of the seat.
  • Seat depth: A good dining seat will be at least 43cm in depth to allow for adequate support and comfort when seating down at the table.
  • Style: Upholstered dining chairs provide more comfort, especially if the seats are used regularly and for long periods. Take budget into consideration, as different materials will impact on the overall cost.

It’s Time to Go Shopping

At Furniture Maxi, we’re experts when it comes to dining sets. We know how important the room is in any home, which is why we only provide the best quality dining furniture and prices you can afford. Why not take a look at our ever expanding product range on our website – and don’t forget, we deliver dining tables and chairs UK wide wherever you may be.