How To Choose The Perfect Dining Set For Your Family

(AD) When we were buying furniture for this house one of the biggest challenges was finding the right dining set. I knew that it was going to be a well used area of the house and I wanted to get something which would work for my family for years to come. What do you need to think about though when you choose dining room tables and chairs for a family?

A dining room set with chairs and a bench seat is one option but how do you choose the right dining set for your family?
There is lots to consider before buying a dining set for your family

Tips For Choosing The Right Dining Set For A Family

How will you use your dining set?

If your dining set is in a dining room just used for the occasional meals you might want to choose a different sort of table and chairs to someone whose table is used every day and is the hub of family life.

In our house we eat all our meals at the dining table and most snacks too (so that’s about a zillion times a day), but it’s not just for eating with family. We use our table as a desk, for crafts and painting as well as the occasional dinner parties with guests. We want it to look good, but while my children are still at an age they are covering everything with food, and even worse paint, having furniture that is easy to clean is more important. We made a compromise on style for functionality knowing that we haven’t chosen our “forever” dining set.

Which Size Dining Table To Choose?

Obviously you need a table big enough to seat your family around it, but you need enough space for the chairs to be pulled out far enough people can get it too. It might be better to compromise with a slightly smaller table than ideal so people can get in and out comfortably. Bench seats are a great space saver because you can fit more people in a small space, but they aren't great for young children or if you need to fit a highchair in. A combination of a bench and chairs might be perfect for your space.

We chose an expanding dining table which is big enough for 6 to sit around comfortably, but can be extended for meals when we have guests.

What Shape Dining Table Is Best For Families?

The best shape table for your family will depend on the space you have, how many people will use it regularly and personal preference. Round tables can work well in small spaces, but if you are seating more than 4 in a small room a rectangular table might fit better. I love round tables so that everyone can look at each other easily, but sadly one didn’t make sense in the small rectangular space we have.

What Finish and Materials Should You Choose?

The finish of the table and chairs you use will be a combination of how you want to use your dining set and where you are going to put it. If it is going in a kitchen diner then you will want to choose a colour which works with your kitchen, but if it’s in a separate dining room you can base your decor around the furniture you use.

We looked at a lot of solid wood tables and found many of the harder woods, like oak, had grooves in the top which we felt would be a challenge to clean. We have ended up keeping our table covered with an oil cloth much of the time to prevent marks so this gave us more flexibility on the finish. 

Choosing the type of chairs you want as part of your dining set is probably harder than the table. There are so many different styles. I knew I didn’t want to spend my time asking my children not to touch the chairs with dirty hands or worry about dropped food so having chairs which could be wiped clean was really important to me. It is worth going somewhere to try different types of chairs and see if you want cushioning on the seat and/ or the back. You might find you have a preference for how high you would like the back rest to be and whether you prefer it flat or curved. Once you have decided what you find most comfortable you can look online for good offers on dining sets.

Should you buy dining room furniture as a set or separates? 

Buying a table and chairs separately may give you more flexibility to mix and match styles or to have a non-standard number of seats, but it is often more expensive. With separates it can be harder to ensure that they look right together and they fit properly (if the chairs have arms for instance they might not tuck under the table fully).

Choosing the right dining set for your family is a combination of your personal preference, where it is going, how it will be used and of course budget, but you can find great offers so you shouldn’t have to compromise when you decide what you want.

***Disclosure: this is a collaborative post***

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