How to Select a Table and Chairs for Holiday Hosting

The holidays are coming. Are you prepared for the throngs of people you’re expecting to get a season’s worth of dinner parties? If not, it may be time to get a new dining table and chairs. But don’t go purchasing the first thing you see.

There are pros and cons to every table form. And then there are all those additional chairs you want to factor in. It’s enough to make your head spin!

What is ideal for your house is dependent on a few factors you might not have thought about. I spoke with inner designer Tineke Triggs of Artistic Designs for Living, with a great deal to say about finding a dining set that’s ideal for you.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Round tables are potentially the most space efficient in terms of creating a comfortable exchange involving diners. “Ovals,” Triggs says,”are the next most efficient in this respect.”

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

In the case of the round and oval table, no one need sit in a corner when the table is crowded beyond its ideal capacity. But oblong and round tables might be off-putting for people who prefer to match the clean lines found in the rest of the dining area.

Dwelling Designs

Square and rectangular tables use the form of a room to their benefit. Their 90-degree angles deliver clear, unencumbered walkways around the perimeter.

The drawback is that the longer a table (rectangular or oblong ) is, the more difficult it is for people sitting on the farthest ends to hear one another. Plus, when a rectangular or square table is overstuffed with guests, someone’s bound to get stuck straddling a corner.

Sandvold Blanda Architecture + Interiors LLC

If you’re lucky, you will find that one form accommodates both your functional requirements and aesthetic needs.

Mark English Architects, AIA

To seat six to eight people, Triggs suggests using a round table in order to best allow individuals to converse with and be heard by everybody in the table. Though, she warns, some more people than that and the essential circumference of a round table may prohibit not just conversation, but also its capacity to fit in an average dining room.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

For 10 to 12 people, an oval or rectangular table is best.

Holly Marder

Creating a long table more intimate. So perhaps a rectangular or oval is the better choice for your dining room’s configurations, your amount of guests along with your own style. To make it more intimate, Triggs suggests searching out a slimmer table, say one that’s about 36 inches wide, rather than the standard 42- to 48-inch wide table.

Even though it won’t draw the farthest ends closer together, it will significantly decrease the gap between people sitting across from one another.

Jim Burton Architects

The extendable dining table. Regardless of what form you opt for having the choice to extend the table length or circumference will allow you to accommodate a range of group sizes comfortably.

Triggs suggests obtaining a table with built-in leaves which fold from and back to the table. “If you don’t have to move the stand out from the center to include leaves,” she says,”it is generally easier — not just to extend and retract, but you also don’t have to locate somewhere to store those additional leaves. This is a great option if you’re continuously expanding and diminishing the table.”

Watch more on extendable dining tables

Whitney Lyons

Detachable leaves. Although detachable leaves can prove more clumsy than built-in leaves and need additional helping hands, this style of table might be a nice option for you if you don’t expand and retract your table often. “Center-leaved expandable tables have been around for centuries, and as a result there is a larger assortment of these at fair rates,” Triggs says.

KE Designs

Smart solution for keeping leaves. KE Designs created customized storage for this homeowner, designing a dedicated (and safe) area for dining table leaves.

Walton Architects

Regardless of whether the leaves are either detachable or built in, Triggs urges an extendable table with leaves measuring 12 to 18 inches, as this may open the table till a wide selection of sizes (assuming your dining area can accommodate the longest span ) without throwing off its equilibrium.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Custom tables. Haven’t found anything on the market that thrills you? Having a table custom made is an option, but one which Triggs cautions requires a skilled tradesperson if you’re talking about an extendable table. “This isn’t a task for any woodworker or cabinetmaker,” she warns. “You want to find somebody who understands overhangs, tipping ratios and foundation equilibrium. A good deal of thought must go into the making of an expandable table, so be sure you find someone that has a fantastic history.”

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

If you don’t know where to begin your search, read ‘s database of furniture makers. Or, if you’re already working with an interior designer, he or she can direct you to a respectable professional.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Chairs and spares. Once you decide the table you want, you are going to need chairs to seat your guests. “Many people buy dining chairs for appearances without sacrificing enough attention to relaxation,” says Triggs. “Make sure you’re purchasing comfortable chairs which guests may enjoy sitting for long intervals.”

How to Decide on a dining chair

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Chairs with arms are beautiful and can be very comfortable, but they are space hogs when it comes to a large crowd. In the event you want to have such chairs for big parties, Triggs suggests limiting them to the minds of a rectangular or oval table. Armless chairs, on the other hand, will allow you to squeeze more of them around a table of any contour.

Prull Custom Builders

But how many chairs does one family need for this handful of large scale dinner affairs annually? First buy the number of chairs which will obviously fit around your dining table during its regular size (probably its smallest size).

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

If you can afford the distance and the cost, Triggs proposes storing additional full-size chairs on both sides of the buffet, then alongside an entry door and possibly in a guest room if needed.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Should you not have sufficient space for such storage (or the desire to buy as many full-size chairs as your fully extended table can actually adapt ), attempt folding or stackable chairs. Yes, I know what you’re thinking:”Not those ugly things!” Nevertheless, the new versions are not the chairs you remember as a kid. “I have a collection of 111 Navy chairs from Design Within Reach that I use for both indoor and outside parties,” says Triggs; those stackable chairs are produced from recycled Coke bottles. “They are comfortable and don’t have a wide footprint, which makes them simple to store in my garage.”

The Kartell Lou Lou Ghost Chairs shown here are also an attractive stackable option which can be stored out of sight (or can be readily integrated into other chambers ) when they are not needed in the dining room.

Wanda Lozada Interior Designer

If seats are a more favorable seating option, Triggs recommends allowing at least 16 to 18 inches in diameter per grownup fanny. “And make sure any bench has cushions,” she implores. “No one wishes to be the one stuck on a hard bench for a long meal.”

As an alternative to this arrangement, you might also set your bench chairs from a wall to get back support.

SIR Development

Your turn: Please show us your dining table set which will easily fit your vacation guests.

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