A Guide to Creating a Great Dining Space

When you go for dinner at someone’s house you don’t need to evaluate what makes a great dining room area, you just know. There’s something relaxed, comfortable and cosy about a nice dining experience and it’s not just down to the food.

Eating with friends is a social activity and the arrangement and the placement of the furniture is important for such an occasion. Being wise to how a layout should be can make a lot of difference when it comes to how the dining room works. So, with this in mind we’ve compiled some great tips to ensure you know how to arrange your dining room furniture.

The Mainstay

The dining room table is the main piece of furniture in a dining room. It takes up most of the room, we eat off it and we socialise around it – it’s the centre piece.

Obviously dining room tables come in a variety of sizes, so you need to try and ensure that it fits nicely into the centre of the space without seeming too large. In addition, it should also be large enough to fit enough people around it – this includes for dinner parties if you host them or Sunday lunch. So, count the number of spaces you require and choose a table that suits.

Floor Space

Tables need space not just for themselves, but also require an area around to comfortably allow for chairs and also so people can pass.

You’d be amazed at the number of people who will happily measure a bed for a bedroom or wardrobe but overlook table measurements. According to the Oak Furniture Company it’s best to leave around 60cm between the table and wall and 97cm if you will need to walk behind the chairs. Of course, the distance from the door or entrance is also important for getting in and out – so around a metre is ideal between door and table is perfect here.

The table should also be wide enough to fit centrepieces, candles and a floral arrangement if needs be without constricting the space.

Now….the chairs

When deciding on chairs for your new oak dining table, it’s best to consider whether the table has corner legs or not. This allows you to determine how many chairs will fit alongside the length of the table without people being uncomfortably tucked into the corners. If you’re stuck up against a table leg it can be uncomfortable and this prevents issues in this regard. Each dining chair should also have around 70cm of room between it and the next one. This allows even the most elbow pointing of eaters to do so comfortably and ensures they have a decent amount of space between them.

If you decide to go for a chair with arms – ensure it fits under the table comfortably as otherwise people will be too far out and end up with food on their laps. In addition, it’s also uncomfortable.


If you’ve purchased a rug for under the table then you ideally need to ensure that it fits nicely. It’s good to aim for around 90cm wider than the table on all sides as this will be suitable for the chairs when being pulled out. Otherwise you will end up with snagging chairs when you’re pulling the chairs in and out.

Other Furniture for the Room

Adding a little extra décor to the living room makes it a welcoming place and gives it a little more atmosphere. There are plenty of ways to do so that will ensure that the room is a merry place to eat and drink and enjoy the meal.

However, the big focus here should be finding balance between the room being nicely furnished but not overly furnished. One of the best ways to get an idea of the amount of room this furniture will take up is to cut out the base dimensions on a piece of paper and then lay them out in the room. By doing this for a few of the proposed pieces of furniture you get a good idea of what’s good in terms of floor space and what’s too much in terms of floor space.

It’s also worth considering the amount of space that a door will need when swung open – this can be a falling point for a lot of people who purchase furniture. They buy it and then only afterwards realise that it’s very hard to open the doors.

When positioning extra furniture it’s best to place the items close to the wall to ensure that you don’t make the centre of the room too busy and turn it into something that partially resembles an obstacle course.

Lighting Matters

Lighting matters a lot in a dining room, as it does throughout the home. Ideally, your dining room table should be placed beneath a lighting fixture. This allows it to catch the light and ensures that it looks great when you add glassware and other extras when hosting a dinner party. If you are going to place a light fixture above the dining table then it’s worth ensuring that it’s 90cm or so above the table. This will prevent too much glare and also ensure that it fits in well with the room.

Natural light also should be utilised and it’s a good idea to invest in some blinds to ensure that nobody ends up having to squint when they eat their Sunday lunch. Installing blinds in your dining room allows you better control over the levels of natural light that enter the home and ensure people are very comfortable when they tuck into their food.

Taking your time to consider what you should include in your dining room and then planning it all out in terms of size, shapes and space can make for a far better arrangement. There are certainly lots of things to think of but these should help you and your family create a very attractive dining area that everyone will want to sit down in and enjoy. So, use these tips and create a fabulous oak dining room


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