Choosing Dining Room Furniture – Balancing Style with Practicality
Dining room furniture says a great deal about you, your family and your lifestyle. Choosing dining room furniture can be an opportunity to express your creativity, enhance your interior designs or simply solve those endless seating problems with either a growing family or an expanding social life. Whether you regularly entertain a dozen guests with a seven course evening dinner, or are entertained by half a dozen young children on a daily basis, your dining room furniture needs to serve several functions. But is it really possible to combine these functions or requirements in a satisfactory way? Can furniture for the dining room be both design-conscious and practical, stylish yet functional? What are the options available, and how do they compare?
The first consideration is to think about what we really mean by ‘dining room furniture’. The basics include a table and chairs, but whilst these alone offer all kinds of combinations and choices, it is also worth bearing mind the other items you may choose to include, such as dressers, sideboards, lamp tables and occasional tables. Contemporary dining room furniture often provides a range of matching sets, so that if your preference is for dark woods with crisp, straight lines, your dining room furniture can match, creating a calm sense of consistency and style. In many cases you’ll be able to mix and match items of furniture for the dining room.
This is important since you may require plenty of storage, but only a few chairs. Or you may require a large dining table with as many as eight dining chairs, but relatively little storage in the dining room itself. Perhaps you’re looking for more versatility and flexibility, in which case an extendable dining table may be the perfect solution. It’s important to consider the range of choices being offered simply in terms of what is meant by dining room furniture.
The best way of considering the type of furniture to choose is to consider carefully not just how you use your dining room currently, but how you may wish to use it in the future. Whether you’re buying discount dining room furniture or the more expensive furniture items available, you’ll almost certainly be expecting to enjoy many years of service, which often means thinking about the years ahead. Perhaps you’re hoping to start, or expand, your family, or perhaps your children are likely to be flying the nest soon, letting you enjoy a greater number of social dinner evenings with friends.
Once you’ve considered the type of uses and needs you’re likely to have, it’s time to consider the style and design choices on offer. From antique style dining furniture to contemporary dining room furniture, and from discount to traditional styles, there are many different options available. Although you may have personal preferences, it’s again worth considering the uses and locations of your dining room furniture, since this may have more of an impact than you might imagine.
For example, if you have a relatively small dining room you may find that dark woods such as mahogany, whether genuine or veneer, tend to make the room feel much smaller. If you choose to have sideboards and occasional tables or lamp tables in your dining room as well, darker woods can quickly make the room feel close and crowded. Lighter woods can help a room seem larger and more spacious. But of course, if you already have a larger dining room, you may decide that to create a warmer, cosier and more intimate environment you choose the darker woods for that very reason.
Discount dining room furniture can be available with a range of veneer finishes, providing a number of choices, from pine dining room furniture to the darker, richer wood effects. Whilst discount furniture such as dining tables and chairs may prove cost effective in the short term, if they are likely to experience heavy use, especially with children, then you may decide that solid dining furniture such as pine tables and chairs offer a more robust and hardwearing alternative.
But when it comes to choosing your modern dining room furniture you should also be considering the other ways in which your dining room can be designed and styled with items that will help compliment the choice of woods or wood finishes. If you choose a darker, mahogany or walnut finish dining table, you may find that bright yellow or orange table mats or napkins help to create a vibrant, warm and very striking Mediterranean feel. Pine furniture suits white or cream perfectly, although zesty citrus colours can create a spring like sense of freshness.
Lighting, too, is very important, and depending on whether you’re looking to create a brightly lit family room where the children can do their homework on the dining table, or to create a more cosy sense of intimacy with low lighting, you will need to consider whether lamp tables may help to enhance the mood and style you’re aiming for. Choosing dining room furniture is about far more than simply where you’ll eat your dinner!
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