Dining rooms have come a long way since our grandparents and even our parents. They used to be formal spaces saved for company and holidays. Now houses are built as open concept without a dining room or large kitchens without a spot to sit down to eat. The dining room as we used to know it is becoming obsolete. I know some of you will disagree because there are still some formal dining rooms. Eating and dining has become more informal so the areas we do it in have too. When I use the term dining room I don’t necessarily mean you have to have a “room”. And for those of you without a designated space, just make a small spot for a table and chairs to entertain.
Looking at home and interior design magazines and blogs, the trend in dining room style is mix-and-match table and chairs with an eye catching chandelier. It’s a more collected, eclectic look. Now if you already have a matching dining room set don’t fret. You can change out the captain’s chairs, add cushions, pillows and throws to get a similar look. Or maybe you don’t like this trend, that’s fine too.
The first element is the dining table. The shape and size needs to fit your room. Measure and re-measure!! There’s nothing worse then a table that is too big or too small for a room. Or the wrong shape! Square and small rooms call for square or round tables. Long rooms call for rectangular tables. There should be 42-48″ clearance from the table at all sides to the walls and furniture so people can get up and move around. Pedestal tables provide more leg room so you can add an extra chair if needed. The style of the table is really up to you and your existing interior styling.
Chairs are a bit harder to pick, especially when buying vintage because everything was made smaller. I recently bought these at Ikea to use with my vintage table and luckily they work. You need to sit in them to see if they are comfortable and measure to make sure they are the right height for the table. New chairs are usually fine if you are pairing them with new tables, but vintage chairs are sometimes shorter. Standard width for armless is 22″, 20-24″ deep, 18-19″ height and 12″ from seat to table and most tables are 29-30″ height from the floor.
Last but certainly not least is the chandelier. These can be found vintage, new, used, etc. Look for that wow piece, the jewelry for the room. And hang it at the right height, this is a huge pet peeve of mine! The rule is 30-34″ above the table. Certain ones can be hung lower, but never higher. Contracters always have them up to the ceiling. Do yourself a favor when you install it and put in a dimmer at the same time.
The trick to achieving this look is subtle, an antique table with more modern chairs but maybe both have the same wood tone. A rustic farm table with white Eames molded plastic chairs or Phillipe Stark Ghost Chairs. It’s a yin and yang thing, Like pairing the beautiful model with the old rock star. My dining room table and chairs look similar to the picture above except my table is oblong and vintage. The chairs are from Ikea, super comfy and cool looking.
There are many places to get this look without selling a kidney. Ikea, World Market, CB2, Overstock.com, Lampsplus.com, Crate and Barrel, and my new favorite for vintage, Chairish.
Here’s some inspiration for you!!
Do you like this mix-and-match dining room look?