There are a lot of moving pieces -- literally -- when it comes to buying dining room furniture and setting up this important room in your home. You need to be sure that the furnishings you choose allow for family and guests to easily move about the dining room, enjoying their meals and company, and that you can easily move around for serving and entertaining.
Luckily, we’ve compiled some guidelines so that you can purchase and arrange your dining room table, dining chairs, sideboard/buffet and china cabinet/hutch in a way that will please the eye and be completely functional. These measurements will provide some good guidelines for choosing the size of your furniture. And remember, these same rules apply whether you have leaves in your table or not, so if you plan to use the leaves, keep that in mind for the overall measurements.
- Beginning at the entranceway to your dining room, you should have 48” from there to the dining room table. This will give everyone enough room to easily come in and out of the room, especially for anyone bringing hot food to the table.
- You need 36” between the dining room table and chairs and any other piece of furniture or wall. Anyone sitting at the table will have enough room to move the chair out and get up from the table. Your rug should also be 36” wider than the table all around to accommodate this movement.
- A place setting takes up about 24”, and you will want to leave 24” between chairs. You’ll want you guests to have enough room to be comfortable and able to cut their food without bothering anybody else.
- For lighting, you want your overhead chandelier to hang about 24” to 32” from the table – this way it won’t be in anyone’s face while you’re talking. The lower your lighting hangs, the more modern it will look.
- Chairs and their arms should be able to slide under the table. For maximum comfort, the top of the seat should be 7” below the bottom of the apron so there’s enough room for people’s legs.
By opting for a dining room set, you will be able to avoid some of these concerns because you will know your chairs were built to be used with that table. But taking all of these measurements to be sure the new dining room furniture you have fallen in love with will work in your dining room will be completely worth it the first time you have a dinner party.