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Dinner's Ready!

Our house has gone from a quiet table for three back to our original table for five in the last week. Everyone is home from college. I love when all five of us are sitting at the table together. Dinnertime is something I have always made an important part of our family-time. The grocery list has grown, and so have the piles of laundry, but it is all good.

How does your actual everyday dinner table feel? The last thing I want is for you to sit down at the table and wish it was newer, a better size in your space, a different shape, better seating, better lighting. Is it time to upgrade? Seriously, when did you buy that table and chair set? Did you buy it on a shoestring budget back then? And how many kitchens ago was it?

First of all, what shape is your space? Is it rectangular or square? Do you need to access the sliding glass door? Is the eating area also a pass through to another room in the house? These are all things to consider. Measure your space and remember to allow for chairs around the table and for clearance. The general rule is 24-30" around the table and chairs so that people can pass by.

  • Square space: I love a round table. A pedestal base is best to maximize chairs around the table. No table legs to interfere with chair placement.

  • Rectangular space: A rectangular table works best for obvious reasons. Consider length with and without any extension leaves. Don't forget to look at table width. Some spaces need a narrower table to give proper walk-around space.

How many people do you need to seat at your kitchen table on a regular basis?

Seating guide for rectangular tables:

48″long table: seats 4

60-72″ table: seats 6

80-87″ table: seats 8

92-108″ table: seats 10

Seating guide for round tables:

42-48″ diameter table seats 4

60″ diameter table seats 6-8

Speaking of seats, give about 24″ of elbow space per person for maximum comfort. As a reference chair seats are usually 18″-19″ high and dining tables are typically 30″ high. Chair width can vary greatly depending on the style you choose. Make sure the chairs fit the length/diameter and seating needs of your table.

What's underfoot? If you want a rug make sure it is the right size. Allow at least 36″ from the edge of your table to the edge of the rug. This gives you room to pull out your chairs without falling off the rug. Not every dining room needs a rug. Especially in a kitchen with young children. Let's face it, young kids mean a messy meal. Don't invest in a rug that is just going to get trashed. Or, if the rug is too small it is better to have no rug at all.

What's hanging over your table? Nothing dates a room like an out-of-style light fixture. A new hanging light can really update your space instantly without spending a lot of money, and size matters. The general rule is the fixture diameter should be at least half the width of the table and the chandelier should hang 30-34" from the table top in a room with 8' ceilings. Center the hanging light over where your table is placed, not is the center of the room space!

Drum fabric shade lights are in right now as well as open cage metal or wood sphere lights. The open cage style lights look cool with the Edison bulbs, but note that Edison style bulbs do not give off a lot of lumens. Lumens measure brightness. A standard 60-watt incandescent bulb produces about 800 lumens of light. An Edison style bulb averages 400 lumens. They look cool and are effective for ambient lighting, but not practical if they are the primary light source is a room.

Are you ready for some changes to dinnertime? Hire Go Room By Room to help plan and avoid buying mistakes.

PS - Previous blog posts that related to this topic: \ˌən-dər-ˈfu̇t \ and That's Old News

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