How big should a dining table be, and the carpet underneath? Follow these tips to create a functional dining area in your kitchen, or a living-room nook.
1. Clarify how much space you need
Where will the table go and how many people should fit around it? A rectangular table will fit almost any space. On the other hand, diners can see each other at a round table, which is ideal by bay windows, for example. Reserve at least 60 centimeters for each diner i.e. a table for six people should be at least 180 cm long. Also leave enough space for moving around and behind the table.
2. Invest in chairs
A good chair will support your back and enable comfortable sitting for long periods. Test how well the chairs and table fit together, as the seating height of chairs can vary. A bench has room for several diners, but can be uncomfortable to sit on for long periods. If you lack space, buy folding or stackable spare chairs, such as Artek's 60 stools, in case of guests.
3. Suitable lighting
A pendant lamp is suitable above a dining table. Hang it around 60 to 70 centimeters above the table. If the lamp is too high, the light may dazzle diners. If it is too low, your guests won’t be able to see each other. You may need several lamps for a long table. Candles and spotlights create an atmosphere in a dining space.
4. Opt for a large enough rug
If your dining table is in your living room or a large open kitchen, you can use a kitchen island, an open shelf or large green houseplants to separate different functions. A rug can also bring diners together. Your mat is large enough when your table and chairs fit onto it comfortably – leave around half a meter behind the chairs. Choose a smooth, lint-free rug that is easy to clean and move around.
5. Use a mirror to create additional space
You can use light colors and reflective surfaces to open out a dining area. A glass table and slender furniture add lightness. If there is no window, hang a large mirror next to the table, to conjure up extra light and square meters.
• An extendable table is a good choice if you occasionally need extra space. You can also buy two identical small tables which can be placed next to each other, if necessary: one can act as a desktop outside festive occasions.
• Opt for slightly non-matching furniture to add life to your soiree. Why not combine beautiful, decorative chairs — or the same chair design in different colors – with a simple table?
• Use place mats made of cork or wool felt to muffle the distracting clatter of dishes. You can enhance your room’s acoustics with an acoustic panel or a thick rug mounted on the wall.
Dining room favourites
Text: Virpi Kanto Photos: Manufacturers
This story was originally published in the Avotakka magazine.