Refining the Dining Space

Admin on 4 January 2023

Finding the perfect dining table or the right kind of crockery for that dining set-up is not a herculean task. Allow us to help you out with this ready reckoner.


More than a tabletop to share meals with family and guests, the dining table is also a place where you can work, kids can do their homework, and often serves as a pitstop – a time to refuel with a cup of coffee or reconnect with family or friends.

Those images of grand dining tables laid out with elegant crockery set on a stunning tapestry of runners and napkins with beautiful cutlery to boot – this is one of the first things homeowners are drawn to when planning their dream home. But of course, we also know that the ideal dining table size and shape will be dictated by our home dimensions.

Here are three factors that should dominate your search for the perfect size dining table:

  • It should be of a size that does not overpower your dining space
  • It should be of a shape and style that you will not fall out of love within a short period
  • It should be made of good quality material with solid workmanship that will last for a very long time to come.
Know Your Dining Table Size

Standard dining chairs have the seat at a height of about 18.5 inches. It is considered ideal to have a gap of 10 inches between the seat and the top of the table, so 30 inches is an ideal height for the dining table. How many chairs a dining table can accommodate will depend on the width. It is generally considered acceptable to have 22 to 24 inches of space per chair. This means the table above can seat 4 to 6 people. Keep this figure in mind while choosing the best-size dining table for your needs.

It is recommended that you have 42-48 inches of space between your dining table and the walls in the room. This allows for free movement of people around the table and ease of getting in and out of the chairs.

The Right Shape of Dining Table for Your Room

Rectangle and square are the most preferred shapes for dining tables though circular ones also have a considerable following. The right size for you depends on the number of chairs you wish to put in and the shape of your dining room. If you are looking for a formal table with 6 to 10 seating, a rectangular table may be best for you. For 4 to 6 chairs, any of these will be ideal. For compact spaces, consider a circular table to seat 2 to 4 persons.

Your dining table size and shape should also be chosen with a long-term usage plan in mind. If you are considering expanding your family soon or plan to have guests over frequently, invest in as large a table as your space permits. Buying a table for two would turn out to be a wasted investment if you find it insufficient for your needs in just a year or two.

Now that you know all about how to check the dining table size and shape that is right for you, have fun picking up all the accessories to complete your mental image of the perfect dining room!

Picking The Right Dinnerware

Dinnerware is the main attraction of many dining tables. It’s much more than crockery for serving food. Beautiful dinnerware enhances your meals, it also sets the mood for your home dining experiences as well as expresses your style. Understanding and grasping the differences between the different types of dinnerware, from formal settings for elegant dinner parties to day-to-day pieces for everyday use, is the key to selecting a set that feels at home in your home.

These types of dinnerware have their benefits that can assist in making your selection:

Bone ChinaBone china is a durable, lightweight, and elegant alternative for both everyday and special occasion dinnerware because it is chip resistant. It’s the strongest range of china, but unlike fine china, it’s typically microwave and dishwasher-safe.

Earthenware:Earthenware gives off an air of value, sturdiness, and casual appeal. Being one of the oldest industrial materials, it also gives your dinnerware significant weight. To keep this dinnerware looking its best, it’s better to avoid unexpected temperature changes, like from the oven or high settings on the microwave.

Porcelain:Porcelain is a versatile material that has a non-porous surface and incredible durability resulting from high firing temperatures. Porcelain pieces are typically dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. Some porcelain dinnerware pieces contain metallic accents, so be aware as this makes these a microwave no-go.

Melamine:These sets would be an entertainer’s dream, being shatterproof as well as harder to break or chip. Melamine dinnerware is perfect for outdoor use. Melamine dinnerware is not suitable for your oven or microwaves though but is typically dishwasher safe.

Stoneware:Stoneware dinnerware sets have a special finishing glaze that gives a smooth look to the material and an impermeable finish, making it ideal for everyday use and family-friendly. Stoneware sets are more durable than earthenware but will still need to be maintained and kept at even temperatures. If you opt for Stoneware, be careful not to expose it to high heat or freezing temperatures. Also, bear in mind that pieces with hand-painted designs may require hand washing.

Styles of Dinnerware

Incorporating a personal touch into your dinnerware set is simple. They come in a wide range of designs ranging from casual to stylish and a whole lot in between. The more formal dinnerware sets are usually made from china or porcelain or stoneware. Earthenware and melamine make great casual dinnerware sets. It is best to select durable dinnerware sets for your everyday use, a shatter-resistant set would be ideal for youngsters and outdoor parties, and finer materials for the more stylish dinner parties and formal gatherings. It’s a good idea to have one set for your everyday use and other sets, especially for holidays and those special occasions.

Now that we know what styles of dinnerware are available, it’s time to go beyond formal and casual designs. We can further divide dinnerware sets into four style categories: hand-painted, patterned, solid, and banded. A great way to express your personality and complement your home décor is to use colors and patterns. Choosing a neutral such as white or ivory is the most versatile of formal dinnerware sets.

Choosing a dinnerware set with a nice border or rim detail will add color and persona while still showcasing the meal itself. For the more informal dinner plates, why not make a splash with the colors and patterns that attract you? Be adventurous. Consider going with pieces that are classic or traditional instead of something that is trend-driven. If you are purchasing for longevity, solid or banded white pieces are timeless, versatile options. They make an elegant base when you wish to add more colorful accent pieces to your table, and they also enhance the look of the meal

Selecting the Perfect Dinnerware

Once you have decided what you want, it’s time to consider the different options. Should you purchase a dinnerware set, place setting, or open stock? The answer relies on a range of factors, which includes what your personal needs may be. Before deciding, consider the following:

Formal dinnerware is often sold in place settings, which include all the pieces that one person would need at the table. Ideal for individuals or couples building their collections, most place settings include five pieces: a dinner plate, salad or dessert plate, bread plate, teacup, and saucer. Some sets may include soup bowls.

Dinnerware sets include multiple place settings to take care of the whole table. The most common sets are 20-piece sets, which offer service for four people. They usually include a dinner plate, salad plate, teacup, and a saucer for each setting.

Open stock is dinnerware sold piece-by-piece. This is ideal for anyone who only needs a few pieces or someone who wants to mix and match them within a collection.

Most experts recommend having eight to 12 five-piece place settings to ensure you have enough dinnerware for general use and entertaining. If you’re buying two sets – one for every day and another for formal use – you might choose four to six casual place settings and up to 12 formal place settings. It depends on the size of your family, the frequency with which you entertain, and the amount of space you have to store extras.

Another idea is to buy white dinnerware that works for formal and casual use, and then dress it up or down with accessories such as placemats, chargers, and linens. You can use accessories like napkins to add color and personality to an otherwise neutral table. Alternatively, these accessories can tone down boldly-colored or patterned dinnerware.

Set your table your way. Mix and match different styles and look for interesting textures. It’s all open to personal taste. And with a variety of options to choose from, you are now equipped with the key guidelines to make the selection that is just right for all your needs.

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