Gather Your Friends and Family Around the Perfect Dining Room Set
Any fine dining chef will tell you that great food is as much about presentation as taste. This goes for the dining atmosphere as well. Do you think your family and friends will want to remember their last gathering at your place in an uncomfortable or ugly dining room? If you’re considering investing in a new dining room set to create a memorable dining experience, you should know the types of furniture and terminology that will aid you in your search.
Types of Tables - They Aren’t Just Eating Surfaces with Legs
Leg Dining Tables are pretty self explanatory and the most common type of dining table. They typically have four fixed legs at each corner. However, there are artistic liberties taken with this such as a round table having three legs.
Pedestal Dining Tables have the table top supported by one base right in the middle. An ancient form of table, the design can range from a simple beam to ornate support structures. Modern forms of the pedestal table are most likely round and under 60 inches in diameter. However, some longer, rectangle tables can have one large pedestal in the middle or one at each end.
Trestle Dining Tables are a little more complicated. They normally have panel supports from the table top to the floor on each side holding up the table with an extra rail, beam, or cross-member connecting them in the middle. It is one of the earliest types of tables after the ancient pedestal table, and remained the most popular type until the 16th century. It remains popular today for seating arrangements that might find the leg table inconvenient. For a unique dining room arrangement, use a dining bench in place of dining chairs on either side of a trestle table, similar to a picnic table.
Table Heights and Sizes - One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Dining tables of various heights have different names and sometimes different purposes. A table that’s 36 inches high is commonly known as a Counter Height Table, and a table that is 42 inches high is a Bar Height Table. These tables are smaller in length and width and are used in an eat-in kitchen or casual dining room. These taller dining sets will come with taller chairs or stools to accommodate the higher table.
Bar height tables are sometimes known as Pub Tables. This is not incorrect, however, traditionally pub tables are even smaller in length and width but the same height at 42 inches tall. They accommodate only 2-4 people and are commonly used in a bar or game room setting.
Dinette Tables are small, informal tables usually placed in a kitchen, informal dining room, or breakfast nook. They are most commonly square or round but comfortably sit only four people max.
Types of Extensions on Tables - When Dinner for Two Becomes Dinner for Six
A Leaf Extension is a removable middle part of the table you can take out and store elsewhere. The table is on slides so you can push the ends together when the leaf is not needed, and pull apart to fit the leaf in when extra surface area is needed. Some tables will come with two or more leaves to extend the table to several different lengths.
A Butterfly Leaf can’t be removed from the table and folds underneath for easy storage. This style of leaf is also in the middle of the table. The table pulls apart slightly to allow you to fold the leaf in half and gently glide it in place so the table top can slide back in place over top of it.
A Drop Leaf table has ends that drop down to the sides when not in use but stay attached to the table. Gears or an arm will hold the leaf up when in use. Most drop leaves are on both sides of the table so you can use only one if just a little room is needed or use both if a lot is needed.
Dining Room Styles - This is Where Your Personality Shows
Formal or Traditional Dining Sets are very easy to tell apart from others. They generally have a long dining table for large dining rooms. All pieces of a traditional table are very ornate, with intricate decoration and scroll work found on the legs, chairs, table apron, and matching dining room accent furniture. Most traditional dining room styles reflect designs from 18th century Europe, using hardwoods in rich, dark finishes such as chestnut, cherry, and merlot. Expect to pay quite a bit when investing in a formal dining set due to the quality, detail, and craftsmanship that goes into making them.
Modern Dining Sets are quite often minimalist and evoke a feeling of Zen. They are not ornate but have very clean, smooth lines, sometimes slightly patterned. Metal and glass are more often used in modern tables and chairs then in formal or contemporary styles. When wood is used, it is in dark colors such as wenge, espresso, and walnut, or is covered in a white or black lacquer finish. You can find leg or pedestal tables in modern sets, but almost never trestle tables.
Contemporary Dining Sets are a kind of catch-all category for styles that are neither traditional nor modern. The style is similar to modern, but you’ll find softer, rounder edges and curves in the design. The great thing about contemporary sets is that they are versatile. You can find a set to match all room colors, layouts, and designs. A contemporary set just might look out of place if the rest of your furniture is traditionally styled.
When shopping for dining room sets, the first thing you have to do is measure the space you’re going to use. A table that’s too long in a room that’s too short will be uncomfortable for everyone sitting around it. You need to be able to push back chairs to get in and out of the table. You also need room to walk around the table. This is especially important when buying a dining room set online. Knowing your measurements beforehand will allow you to pick the perfect set. You need to do this if you plan on having a buffet, sideboard, or server in your dining room as well.
You are now prepared to find the dining room set of your dreams. Consider shopping online when looking for your new dining room. The benefits of buying online is that you can compare several styles, brands, and prices without running from store to store or talking to pushy sales people.
| Contributing Expert
Alaina Young is a content writer for Wholesale Furniture Brokers, an online retailer of bedroom sets, dining room sets
, and living room furniture. Alaina writes and edits product descriptions, blog posts, reviews, and articles.