• Nov 07, 2014
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Your Best Dining Room: By The Numbers

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by April Force Pardoe 

Sharing a meal with family and friends around your dining room table is such a pleasure. The food, the conversation, the laughter and the great dining room design!

If your dining room is uncomfortable, however, your experience won't be quite as nice. Not even a gourmet menu can make up for a cramped space or a lack of elbow or leg room. There are 5 numbers to keep in mind when designing your dining room so that your next dinner event is comfortable and tasty!

Dining Room Tips


Table size

Consider how many people you'd like to seat on a regular basis and on special occasions. If those numbers vary look for a table you can expand with leaves when needed. Make sure the table fits comfortably in the room when fully extended. As a guide:

•  A 72" rectangular table will comfortably seat six

•  A 96" rectangular table will comfortably seat eight

•  A 120" rectangular table will comfortably seat 10

•  A 36 - 45" round (diameter) table will comfortably seat four

•  A 54 - 60" round table will comfortably seat six

•  A 72" round table will comfortably seat eight

A round table is great for conversation as everyone can see everyone else and you don't need to strain to hear what's going on at the other end of the table.

Round Table Dining Room Tips

Room for chairs

When determining how large you can go with your table you need to also consider space for chairs moving in and out from the table. Allowing 30 - 36" between the dining table and walls or other furniture will give you enough room to scoot in and out with ease.

Chair height

There should be 12" between the seat of your chairs and your tabletop. You don't want to bang your legs into the table or feel squished when pulling up for a meal.

Dining room Tips

Chandelier size

This is where scale comes into play. The light over your dining table should be 3/4 the width of your dining table. In order to light the room properly, the bottom of the light should sit 28 - 36" above the table top.

Rug size

If you want an area rug under your dining table, it should be large enough to hold all of the chairs when they are pulled out. I suggest going 6 - 12" beyond that full extension of 36" around the table.

Rug Size for Dining Room

These numbers are helpful with outdoor dining spaces as well as indoor. So before you purchase a dining table, chairs, light fixture or area rug, check your numbers to make sure your dining room design will not only be stylish, but also very functional!

April Force Pardoe is interior designer and owner of AFP Interiors.

"What excites me about my work as an interior designer is the look of absolute delight that shows up on my clients’ faces when they see their finished rooms. Their ‘wow’ reaction lets me know that my listening skills and ability to envision what they could not see, has made a profound and happy impact that will last for years."

Find out more about AFP Interiors.


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