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Buying Guide


Dining Room Ideas & Furniture Guide for The Host In Us All

Looking to redo your dining room? We are so happy that you’ve decided to look for dining room ideas here. Our handy dining room furniture buying guide is going to take you on a journey through some of the most important elements of a well-decorated dining room, give you some great dining room ideas, and finally, end with a list of things that should be in every dining room.


Before we dive head-first into how to decorate a dining room and continue this dining room furniture buying guide, we think it’s worth discussing the true purpose of a dining room. Our interior design experts believe that when it comes to your design concept, you should determine exactly how you intend to use the space. So, let’s begin our journey of dining room ideas at the beginning.


When you get right down to it, what is the purpose of your dining room? How do you use your dining set currently? Is it to host dinner parties or to serve everyday family dinners? Think about your short term and long term use. For example, will your dining set need to accommodate a growing family?

The point stands: What’s the purpose of a dining room? To bring people together. The number of dinner guests doesn’t matter: Whether it’s a party of two or a festive crowd, the point is to create a space to bring people together, to eat and drink, and to create memories.


These dining room ideas reflect that sentiment, displaying how to decorate your dining room for dinner parties, entertaining, and to be the go-to choice for all future shindigs! 



“There’s something special about gathering a few favorite people for a meal. A beautifully set table is the perfect canvas for a delicious meal.” - Chantal Larocque.


Each one of your guests is going to need about 24” of space for each person to sit comfortably at the table; the trick here is to keep that in mind when table shopping. If you want a table for four people, you need 48” of seating space. A table for six people would require 144” of combined table space.

And by that, mean table space. Remember that the head of the table counts as a space, and rectangular tables have four sides. So, a table that seats six people requires 144” of seating space; that means you should find a table that is at least 60” long.

The Shape of Your Dining Room Table

Rectangle, square, round, oval. There are only four dining table shapes to choose from and still, and yet it can still be a tough choice. The general rule of thumb for the dining room table shape is simple, there is no rule. However, in a guide on dining room ideas, there are a few guidelines to help:

  • There should be 24″ between the table and wall so guests can easily sit down and get up from the table.
  • There should be 38″ between the table and wall if people are going to walk behind the table.
  • Rectangle dining tables are used more often because the shape means you can fit more dining guests.
  • Square rooms work best with  square dining tables.
  • Small rooms work best with  round dining tables.
  • Narrow rooms work best with oval dining tables.

The rest is really up to you. Only you know which dining table shape will work best for your personal preference and room size. This  dining room furniture buying guide is great for dining room ideas, but the final choice is all yours. Use the rules above and find a local furniture store for more ideas.

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Centerpieces & Table Cloths

You’ve bought the table, you’ve got the size and shape right; so how exactly are you supposed to decorate a dining table?


When it comes to centerpieces and dining table accents, there are also no set rules, but there are a few guidelines we can use to help. The centerpiece should be between 14” and 20” high. Any higher and your guests won’t be able to see each other over the décor.


When you’re not eating at the table, use the space for plants, flowers, or fruit. Floral arrangement accents are great here. You can also get creative and add a few empty vessels like bowls, vases, and even a few candles.


When you are eating, you want to switch that out for a vignette that can still include some bowls, vases, and candles, but it should also include a little something that is a conversation starter and a little something functional. A couple examples are an interestingly shaped decanter or a novelty pair of salt and pepper shakers.




Table Cloths


Now luckily, when learning how to decorate a dining room, there is a specific science to tablecloth sizes!


For most tablecloths, it’s best to get a drop of about 9” – 12”. Any more, and the tablecloth will get in the way. Any less, and it will look too short.


In terms of color, lighter colors can give off an air of class and luxury, while darker colors are much more profound and attention-grabbing. The color you choose can contrast the room you're in or pick a table cloth color that compliments the wall color.

Wall Décor – Conversion Pieces

The thing about a dining room is that the walls are the prime location for conversion pieces. Wall décor is always a great conversation starter, and also a fantastic way to show off a little of your own personal style.

Here are some basic rules for wall décor in your dining room:

  • Find the spaces you want to fill.
  • Decide on a theme or color.
  • Look for great frames (white frames are great for dramatic colors!)
  • Avoid family photos.
  • Make them conversation starters.
  • Bonus points for local artists!
  • Make it uniquely yours.

This is your opportunity to shine at the dinner party so take it. If you are looking to create an atmosphere, the centerpiece, the table, and the wall décor are the best ways to go about it. Home accents are also interchangeable, so take a trip to your local furniture store and find some new and exciting things to add to the walls every now and then to keep the dining room ideas fresh.


List of Things That Should Be in A Dining Room

Our final touch of dining room ideas should cover any of the other details not listed above. We’ve covered the most important dining furniture so far, so there are the little touches and dining room ideas that will make your space that much more special.

  • A chandelier

  • Room dividers

  • Mirrors

  • Napkins and napkin rings

  • A table runner

  • Bar supplies

  • A serving tray

  • A lazy susan

  • A buffet table

  • Host chairs

  • Shelves

  • A wall clock

  • Extra chairs


So be creative, get lost in the process, and above all, create some new memories in your beautiful dining room!