So you need a new dining room set? How can you choose among the enormous number of dining room sets available? What dining furniture is right for your dining room? Here’s what you need to know.
The “Best” Is What’s Best for You
Don’t let other people tell you which dining room sets you “should” choose. Here’s what makes the perfect set for you:
- It fits your space. It should fit perfectly, not just kind of fit.
- It makes you happy. It should be a style that you love, not one that other people tell you to love.
- It’s made well. Don’t invest your hard earned money in dining room sets that will fall apart. Love yourself enough to get something that is made well and will last.
- It fits your budget. For a set to work for you, it has to fit your budget. While you should love yourself enough to get something of decent quality, you should also respect yourself enough not to put yourself in a bad spot by springing for something you can’t afford.
Consider Visual Weight
The next step as you look at dining room sets is to consider the visual weight. This refers to how big the set will actually feel once it’s in the room. Glass, for example, is very light while dark wood is heavy. A set will look heavier the closer it is to other pieces of furniture, too. Visual weight can make the set look perfect or make everything feel cluttered.
Avoid The Super-Trendy
The last thing you want are dining room chairs that date you in a year or two. If you don’t choose carefully, you’ll one day experience that moment when you sit with a friend in the room and say, “Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking.” No one wants to live through that moment. Go for the timeless.
What Support Do You Need?
A lot of people don’t think about this with dining room sets until it’s too late. But it’s crucial that you consider the legs, lines, and pedestals of tables and chairs. The table might look really big, but how many people can you actually fit around it? Sometimes there’s room for the chair, but no room for any legs under the table in front of it. Make sure you can cross your legs under the table in the way you want to.
The longer the table, the more support it needs so it doesn’t bend in the middle. This can be fixed by using a pedestal in the center, but then you can have issues with the edges of the table bowing under the weight of people’s elbows. Test out everything with all the dining room sets you look at.
Consider the Materials
What kind of material do you want? If you go with stone, it’s likely to be durable, but also heavy. You won’t be able to move it, but you also may get a lovely look that will last a long time. Glass tables are usually inexpensive and have visual lightness. But they also show fingerprints and change their look when moisture is involved.
Wood is classic, but it can warp over time. More importantly, it’s expensive. Wood veneer is more affordable, but definitely much less durable. Plastic tables and chairs are some of the most affordable available but are generally considered to look cheap. You might regret this type of table over time.
Compliment or Contrast
When you consider your existing decor and then go looking at dining room sets, think about whether you want to compliment what you’ve already got or prefer to create an interesting contrast. Both are valid ways of decorating, but whichever you choose, you should put some thought into it and make choices deliberately.
Observe the Three-Foot Rule
The rule is that you’ll need three feet of space around the table to allow for chairs to be moved easily. Use your measuring tape and make sure you’ve got the space. Don’t forget to measure the dining room chair and not just the table.
All your furniture says something important about you. It speaks to your taste and values, and dining room sets can make or break a party or family gathering. Make sure your sets are saying what you want about you.