How To: Pairing the Perfect Dining Room Set

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When it is time to begin the search for a complete dining room set, the task may seem a little daunting.  In a previous post, we shared some essential tips on How To Choose a Table Style. Now we would like to build upon that post with more tips to consider when pairing dining room sets, to ensure your dining room will look cohesive and beautiful.

Consider the Space and Function: First, let's answer some basic questions.  How large is your room? Is it a closed dining room? Or a space that is attached to another room that is more open and airy?   How would you like your room to function?  Is this an every day eating area or is it used primarily for formal affairs?  What pieces need to be housed in this area?  Thinking critically about your space will ensure that you do not over purchase furniture and will also help you conceptualize what pieces would best fit.  

Example: Daily Dining Space
If your space is going to be used daily by a lot of people, you want to make sure you select a table large and sturdy enough to accommodate daily usage.  You probably don't want too many large case pieces that can make the space feel cluttered.

Example: Formal Dining Area
When setting up a formal dining room area, this can be everything from minimal to packed, depending on the types of gatherings you have.  But generally, you would have a larger table, chairs, and one or two case pieces like a sideboard and hutch.  These items not only help in storing dishes and serving ware used for entertaining, but can also be used as places to put food and drinks during a meal or party.

Pair Cohesive Styles 

 

After you have decided on how you want to use your space, now it is time to begin looking at furniture pieces.  It might be easiest for you to select a table style that suits your needs and then look at pairing it with chairs and case pieces.

Our Take a Seat series that looks at chair styles will be helpful.   If your table and space lend itself to a more Mission or Arts and Crafts style, then look for hutches or sideboards that have straighter lines, reverse panels and mullions on the doors.  Examples of this would be the Arlington Hutch or Brunswick High Buffet.  For transitional spaces that would house a Georgetown or Ethan leg style table, consider case pieces like the Burlington Buffet or or the Ethan Hutch.  For eclectic spaces with antique store finds and hand me downs, the Stowell, Brookline Hoosier or Pottery Cabinet would fit in just fine.  If your space is more modern and minimal, the Carson, Cameron or Manhattan are perfect choices.

Measure, Measure, Measure 

One of the best tips we can share for helping pair the perfect dining room sets is to make sure you take a lot of accurate measurements.  We recommend leaving an extra 24" around your table to allow for sitting at the table.  Beyond this, 18" or more for a walkway.  To get a good sense of this, you can tape off the estimated size of your table and the 24" extra perimeter with newspaper or painters' tape, so you can see how much space this is.  Then look at your room and see where the best place is for a hutch or buffet.  Try to remember and think about the flow of the room.  Where is the most open space that when hutch doors are open, it will not obstruct a walkway.  This will allow the room to be usable everyday and during busy parties.  You can also tape off where the buffet or other furniture pieces will be and this will give you a complete visual when planning your space.

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