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Dining Room Design

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 22 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Dining Room Dining Table Accessibility

Whether you have room enough for a banquet hall or just enough space for a table and two side chairs, these dining room design ideas will help to get you going.

The dining table

There are many factors to consider when purchasing the right table. The main rule is to make sure that the dining table you choose is a suitable size for the space you have - as no one wants to have to squeeze into a chair for dinner. So remember to bring along your floor plan and measurements during shopping.


Height - the standard table height is 75cm high, however you can go as low as 70cm if you tend to be small frame. The dining chairs should be 45cm high at the seat.

  • Numbers - decide how many people you can seat. Each person will require about 60cm in width. Leave about 10 - 15cm in between.
  • Clearance - keep the table at least 60 cm away from the wall on all sides so getting in and out is easy.


It's a little known fact that round tables often fit the most number of people while taking up the smallest amount of physical space. Do you need your table to accommodate very large groups during special occasions? Consider a long rectangular table to fill larger spaces. Traditionally, people gather around dining room tables and the experience of eating together should be intimate and warm. When you select a small table for a large space, this intimate feeling evaporates. Even minimalist decorators understand that there has to be an appropriate relationship between the size of the table and the room the table and chairs live in.


A formal dining room meant for use only on special occasions needs different design consideration than an informal eatery. While candid family pictures may be appropriate for a casual setting, a formal portrait is a better accent in a formal room. Furthermore, a crystal chandelier is out of place in an informal room, while generic floor lamps are not suitable for a fine dining room. Choosing the formality of the room will help determine these basic interior design choices.


Lighting is a crucial consideration when designing your dining room. Guests should have adequate light to appreciate the food without squinting, but the light should not be so harsh as to glare off a white tablecloth or dishes. Chandeliers are common fixtures in dining rooms, and they can be purchased in a variety of designs and styles to match any level of formality. When choosing lighting fixtures, take into account the presence of natural light: if you plan on hosting dinner parties, avoid western-facing windows that would focus the setting sun into your guests' eyes.


One often overlooked consideration when designing dining rooms is accessibility. Naturally, there should be easy access to the kitchen, and if you plan on extensive entertaining it should be accessible to other gathering areas as well (living room, home theatre, etc.). Furthermore, the dining room should be near a bathroom for convenience. Not only does a dining room need to be accessible to other parts of the house, but it should be roomy enough that guests do not need to vacate their chairs to let other people pass or to retrieve dishes from a cabinet.

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