How to Choose the Right Dining Table

There are so many shapes and sizes of dining tables. Which one is right for you? The look of your table is important, of course, but making sure it fits your space and gives enough seating is even more critical.

Your table needs to allow for the number of diners you want to seat comfortably and still leave enough room for to walk around it. The width of your table should be at least 36 inches wide so there is ample space for place settings as well as food. Typically, as the table length increases, so does the width of the table top. Read on for sizes and shapes to consider when shopping for a dining room table.

traditional dining room by Summerour Architects
Measure table-to-wall clearance. Measure the space around the room. To allow diners to sit down and get up easily from their seats, try to leave 42-48″ between your table and the walls.
contemporary dining room by CWB Architects
Measure table-to-furniture clearance. If there is furniture in the dining space, begin your 42-48″ measurement from the edge of the furniture instead of the wall.
contemporary dining room by Synthesis Design Inc.
My crazy way of measuring. To test out a table size in a room I grab a bed sheet or two, place it where the table will go, and fold it into the shape of the table. This allows me to visualize the space it will take up. Then I can measure the wall/furniture-to-table clearance. If your table has leaves, include them in your calculations.
eclectic dining room by Lindy Donnelly
Don’t overcrowd your table.The table manufacturer should recommend the number of people that can comfortably be seated without touching elbows while eating.

Each person needs about 2 feet of eating space. Of course, if your table allows for it, you might be able to squeeze in another seat or for those occasional larger gatherings.

eclectic dining room by Megan Blake Design
Round tables are great for small spaces. They fit in tight spaces and have no sharp corners to bump into. You can usually fit more people around it because it has no corners. Pedestal tables are even better, as they offer more legroom.Add transparent acrylic chairs to show of a beautiful table and make a small room feel more spacious.

traditional dining room by Paula Grace Designs, Inc.
Seating size for a round table.I usually stick to this calculation to begin looking for round tables. Manufacturers may offer different recommendations, and you might be able to add more seating for a tighter fit. Also keep in mind that using a pedastal base allows more seating because it eliminates the legs that can get in the way of a chair.

  • 3′ with a pedestal base seats 4
  • 4′ with legs seats 4
  • 5′ with a pedestal base seats 6
  • 5′ with legs seats 4
  • 6′ with pedestal base or legs seats 8
  • 7′ with pedestal base or legs seats 9

Note: Large round tables can make it difficult to reach for food. Rectangular shapes seem to work better for seating very large crowds.

modern dining room by Feldman Architecture, Inc.
A rectangular table works well in a long, narrow room. It leaves more room for traffic flow. For most tables, as the table length increases the width increases as well.
contemporary dining room by Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs
Seating size for a rectangular table. These are the sizes I stick to when looking for rectangular tables. Again, manufacturers may offer different recommendations, and you might be able to add more seating for a tighter fit.

  • 4′ long seats 4
  • 5-6′ long seats 6
  • 7′ long seats 8
  • 8-9′ long seats 10
  • 10-11′ seats 12
contemporary dining room by Mahoney Architects & Interiors
Lazy susan feature. If you choose a round table 60-72″ in diameter, add the convenience of a center lazy susan. Although the round table can be a space saver, the larger it gets the harder it becomes to reach the mashed potatoes.
farmhouse dining room by Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab
Go big on the table and small on the seating. When looking to take up less room in a space, try a bench instead of chairs on all or one side of your table. Make sure you can push the bench under the table so you can stash it away when not in use.
contemporary dining room by Cravotta Interiors
Go square.If your room is square, a square table, like a round one, makes for a more intimate dining experience because everyone is an equal distance apart. Also it will look great mimicking the room shape around it.Like the round table, the bigger a square table is, the harder it will be to reach for food. If you are looking to seat more than eight people comfortably, try out your table in person. You might be better off with a square table that comes with leaves that you can turn into a rectangular shape for a dinner party.

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1344061/list/How-to-Choose-the-Right-Dining-Table
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Shopping for a chandelier

Light It Up

Fashionable and functional, chandeliers should be incorporated into the home just as any decorative accessory or object of art would be chosen.

Woman touching colorful chandelier

“I would urge consumers to view this purchase with same enjoyment they would use in buying fine furniture,” says Dan Blitzer, educational consultant for the American Lighting Association. “A fine chandelier is an investment that will add to the value of your home.”

To find the right style chandelier for your home, simply begin with a color or a material that is predominant in the decoration scheme of the room. What catches your eye in the room? What type of statement do you want to make? If the room is more traditional, choose chandeliers with more ornamentation and decorative details. If your home is modern, opt for less ornamentation and simpler details.

Size is also important. Chandeliers are designed to float in a room as an important part of the decor. Too large, and this fixture will overpower the space. Too small, and it will look out of place. “Placing a chandelier that is too small in a space is likely the biggest mistake because it’s very noticeable,” says Joe Rey-Barreau, educational consultant for the American Lighting Association (ALA) and assistant professor of interior design at the University of Kentucky. “Great designers, therefore, tend to make their decisions on fixtures that may appear slightly larger than might be appropriate. It’s generally always best to make the mistake on a fixture being too big than too small.”

If the choices are not clear, it’s always best to rely on the help of a lighting consultant in a lighting showroom to help guide the decision. “Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of choosing what feels good,” says Joe Rey-Barreau. “Lighting consultants often have design backgrounds and help move you in the right direction.”

When shopping for a chandelier, the American Lighting Association suggests the following tips to help you find the fixture of your dreams.

Be prepared: Visit lighting showrooms armed with a photo or sketch of space you are trying to light. “Fabrics, photos of furniture, or images of the house are of great help in this process,” says Rey-Barreau. “And don’t forget to ask the sales associate for assistance.”

Check it out: Scrutinize the chandelier before buying. Look at detail and finish quality. Castings should be neat out of the mould so they look clean. Shades or other attachments should sit neatly in a plumb fashion. Ask the cut and quality of the crystal and durability of finishes.

Light it right: Be sure to choose the correct lightbulbs for your particular chandelier. According to the experts, clear bulbs in chandeliers with exposed bulbs, or crystal glass enclosures will enhance sparkle. In chandeliers with linen shades, frosted bulbs cast a pleasing glow and won’t create shadows.

Buy a few extra lightbulbs for chandeliers at the time of purchase. Nothing’s worse that having a bulb go out right before a dinner party!

Weight there: Always consider the weight of the chandelier. Chandeliers heavier than 50 pounds have to be mounted more securely to the house’s structure. “This is a criteria of the National Electrical Code, and the electrician hanging the fixture should be aware of this,” says Rey-Barreau. “It doesn’t hurt to remind them, however.”

More is more: Don’t let a chandelier stand alone in a room. Like a star, they need a supporting cast of characters to help them do their job. “A chandelier needs supplemental lighting around it,” says Blitzer. “Don’t sweat to find the one fixture that does everything. It is best to achieve a layer of light in the rooms with sconces, table and floor lamps.”

http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/6286/shopping-for-a-chandelier

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GMI DESIGNS

Expect The Unexpected…

Welcome to the home of the unique and sophisticated where our commitment to customer service and quality furnishings since 1976 has made GMI Designs a leader in contemporary design. We have the newest looks and the best selections in contemporary furniture, accessories, area rugs and window treatments. Our showroom features over 30 room settings each showcasing the high style and quality of the best names in living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture. We carry over 150 manufacturers that offer choices in fabric, leather, mica, wood, and metal. Our professional interior designers are always available to help you whether you are looking to furnish your entire home or you are looking for that one of a kind accessory. Visit our showroom and see that our unique furniture and accessories will set you apart from all the others.

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