Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

You’ve decided to throw a dinner party and realize that it’s also a great excuse to replace your outdated dining room set with a new one. The dining room is where you spend a considerable amount of time gathering and entertaining family and friends so making the right choice is especially important. Before you start shopping, however, take into consideration the following criteria to ensure you find a dining room set you’ll be happy with for a long time.

Measure Size and Space.
First, consider the size and shape of the room and how traffic naturally flows through it. You don’t want a dining room set that takes up so much space it impedes the flow of the room, but you need one large enough to accommodate family members and entertaining guests.

Sometimes it’s difficult to visualize the size of furniture in a particular space. Dining room tables can be deceptively large so try taping off the size you want with masking tape on the floor and include several feet around all sides to ensure that you can move around the room comfortably while guests are seated. It will provide a much better sense of how the size of the dining room set works within the space and how movement flows throughout the room.

If space is an issue, consider expandable dining room sets that give you the option of leaves to extend the size of the table as needed for entertaining. Regardless of the size, it’s important to determine your needs for the dining room set.

Pick a Shape.
The shape of the dining table can influence the overall feel of the space, whether it’s formal or casual. As a general rule of thumb in design, round tables work better in square-shaped spaces and rectangular tables are best suited for similar shaped rooms. An oval table will fill a rectangular-shaped space better than a square one.

Round tables tend to convey a sense of intimacy and are conducive to conversation since there is no head of the table, while rectangular tables instill more formality in a room. It all boils down to identifying your needs and selecting a dining room set that serves its purpose and reflects your lifestyle.

Material Matters.
Choosing the right material for your dining room set can be difficult as there are several factors to consider, including budget, personal taste and ease of care. Solid wood dining sets are timeless, durable and sturdy, and relatively easy to clean. Glass-top tables can make a room feel more spacious and are easy to clean. Laminate wood tables are highly durable, easy to clean and have the look of solid wood, often at a fraction of the price. Prioritize what’s most important in terms of cost, taste and care.

Match Your Style.
Finally, your new dining room set should reflect your personal style and the design of your home. Think about how it works with your other furniture, décor style and color scheme of the room. If the dining room is its own separate space, you might want to consider a more formal dining room set. If, however, the dining area is simply part of an open great room and kitchen space, then a casual-style dining room set might work better. Don’t be afraid to mix and match one style of table with another style of dining room chairs to create a custom look if you don’t find the perfect set. At the end of the day, you want a dining room set that meets your needs and that you’ll continue to love years from now.