Sierra Living Concepts
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  • What to Consider when Purchasing Dining Room Furniture

    Everybody has to eat, but there is no longer a specific style or way to dine.  70 years ago, the formal dining room was a standard feature in most homes, but that’s no longer true.  Some families still enjoy the structure of a traditional dining room while others design dining rooms with an eye towards versatility.  Many modern homes are built with joined kitchen and dining areas often demarcated by half walls, partitions, or just a different floor or wall pattern.

    Before you begin to shop for dining room set, buffet, or sideboard, take a few minutes and do your homework. You’ll need to consider dining room usage, your unique lifestyle, the space you’ll be using, and the overall look of the room and your home.  Let’s take a look and explore your options.

    How will you use your dining area? A formal dining room can be used as the primary dining area or used only for more traditional meals.  If you like to entertain or enjoy hosting holiday and family celebrations, a formal dining room is a good choice.  If space is an issue, you might want to look at multi-use dining room furniture.  Consider adding a bench along the wall which can be turned into extra seating.  If you’re short on office space, consider adding a butler’s desk in the corner; it folds down when you are ready to do work and neatly closes into a small space when the work is done.  If the dining room merges into the kitchen or living room, consider matching styles with adjoining rooms.

    How will your dining room fit into your life style? Families with young children should choose furniture that will grow with their family’s needs. Look for tables with extensions and durable hardwoods like Indian Rosewood and Teak. Avoid tables and cabinets with hard metal corners or intricate trim which could be easily damaged. Upholstered chairs for active families should be covered in washable fabrics.  If you enjoy entertaining, consider buffets with glass doors so you can show off your fine china, sideboards with serving surfaces, and wine racks or bar cabinets.  If you are a collector, consider adding a curio to the dining room ensemble.

    How large is your dining room space? Overcrowding a dining area looks bad and usually results in limited use.  If your family is uncomfortable, they will probably find other places to eat and socialize.  As a rule of thumb, there should be at least 4’ from the edge of the table to the wall or any furniture lining the wall.  If the room is small, look for a smaller table with extensions or wings if needed.  Round tables work nicely in dinette areas.  If you have a kitchen with a counter that merges into the dining area, consider purchasing a set of tall chairs or elevated stools to expand your seating options. Remember to look at the size of the table and the size of the chairs.  If you select chairs with high backs and wide seats, add a few extra inches to the table’s size.

    Do you prefer one style over another?  Modern designers no longer demand matching furniture or matching styles, however you will want different pieces to blend and create a unified look. Appalachian rustic and farmhouse furniture have a comfortable homey feeling.  Choosing furniture from classic styles such as Mission, Shaker, and Early American are easy to mix and match.  New fashion trends make a statement and add fresh perspectives to design.  Some of the hottest trends include Industrial furniture made from a combination of wood and metals and contemporary ‘Green’ styles made from old wood or reclaimed wood.

    Next week we’ll look at wood types, colors, and tables size formulas.

Sierra Living Concepts Inc. is a California based online global distributor of Unique, Affordable, Exquisite Handcrafted and Handmade quality home furnishings from all over the world.

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