The dining room. It’s a special place in every home. 

It’s where we share good food and conversation with those we care about. It’s the setting for holiday feasts and year-round get-togethers.

And the right dining room furniture sets the stage with an inviting atmosphere for your guests.

But today’s furnishings must do so much more than just look fabulous. You need pieces that are both comfortable and durable enough to handle the daily wear and tear of your busy lifestyle.

To help you out, our design experts at Lifestyles Furniture have put together a few simple ideas for choosing dining room furniture that fits your style and your space!

Formal vs. Informal

Some consider the formal dining room to be a must, while others see it as a relic of a by-gone era. We think it has more to do with individual preference and how you intend to use your dining space.

  • Separate formal dining rooms tend to be used for occasional entertaining, such as holiday gatherings and birthday parties, rather than for everyday meals. You’re more likely to see coordinated sets with matching tables, chairs and sideboards made with rich hardwoods and refined upholstery. 
  • Informal dining spaces are more likely to pull double duty and get used for both everyday eating and special occasions. Combining different furniture styles gives the room a more relaxed feel. 

Dining Room Style

Whether you prefer formal, informal or somewhere in between, you have many fantastic alternatives when setting the tone for your dining room.

  • A classic, decorative style looks fabulous in a formal dining room. Great examples include carved woodwork, luxurious upholstery and elegant linens 
  • A country dining room exudes a nostalgic flavor with a few rustic pieces for a cozy ambiance. Look for high-quality woods and soft, calming colors.
  • Modern dining room furnishings featuring smooth lines and sculptural elements lend a contemporary vibe to your space. Chic metal and glass accents blended with sleek woods are great options here. 
  • The eclectic dining room lets you combine the best of old and new for expressing your own personality. Bright colors inject new life to a neutral background, while creative patterns add a sense of fun to any occasion. 

Size and Space

It’s a good idea to measure your dining room before choosing your furnishings. Look for options that fit the size and shape of your space.

  • Make sure there’s enough room to pull out chairs and walk around easily.
  • A good rule of thumb is 36”-48” of clearance around the table, when the room is fully furnished. 
  • If your dining space is part of a large, multifunctional room, look for pieces that complement the look and feel of the whole space.

Individual Dining Room Furnishings

Once you’ve established the overall style you’re looking for, it’s easier to choose individual pieces for your dining room. Here are some hints to keep in mind.

  • Dining room table: As noted above, dark wood lends a formal appearance to your dining room, while glass and metal look fabulous in contemporary spaces. Also, consider whether you prefer a round, square or rectangular table. 
  • Dining chairs: Look for beautiful, comfortable and durable designs. Some dining rooms feature a “carver” chair with arms at the head of the table, along with matching standard chairs around the perimeter. Another fun option is to mix and match chairs of a similar style, or include bench seating along one side of the table. 
  • Buffets, cabinets and more: Depending on the size and layout of your dining room, you may include additional furnishings that add both style and functionality. A buffet table, credenza or curio helps when serving large meals, while extra shelving or cabinetry gives you a place to store dishes, utensils, linens and other items in between gatherings.

If you’re trying to decide which dining room furnishings will work best in your home, schedule a personal design consultation with Lifestyles Furniture. 

Our friendly design team will help you choose from a wide selection of gorgeous pieces for welcoming guests to your next gathering!