Date: 23 May 2014
By: Seaside Interiors
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In part one of Decorating by Numbers, we discussed #1 Furniture Placement.  In this post, part two, we will focus on selecting the proper size and shape dining tables for your home as well as choosing and hanging the ideal light fixtures and chandeliers.

                                          Designed by Ellen Grasso,

How big or how small?  How long or how wide?  How high or low?  How close or how far?  No more guessing!  More answers to those burning design questions.

                                            Home by Marcus Gleysteen Architects 

                                            Contemporary Craftsman Dining Room

#2 Dining Tables

Dining tables come in all shapes and sizes. A 36 inch wide rectangular table is perfect for conversation and provides ample space for place settings on both sides of the table as well as serving dishes along the middle, and a centerpiece.  (source: Victoria Solomon) 

When determining the appropriate length of a dining table for your room, if it is a traffic path, try to select a size that allows for a 48 inch space between the edge of the dining table and the closest wall or piece of furniture.  This distance will enable guests to remain comfortably seated at the table while others pass behind them, and will also allow you space to serve them. (source: Victoria Solomon)  If it is not a traffic path, allow 36 inches between the table and any obstruction, so chairs can be moved in and out for easy seating.  (source: Julie Lohmeier)

A 48 inch diameter round table will seat six; a 60 inch round will seat eight standard dining chairs or ten ballroom style chairs.  (source: Charlotte Moss)  A round table fits well in a room that has more of a square area for seating rather than long and narrow dimensions.  At the dining table, you should plan to allow at least 24 inches of useable table space per person when seated.

The height of the dining table should be between 28-30 inches.  If you are selecting dining chairs separately to go with the table, be sure that the distance between the seat height and the top of the table is about 12 inches to allow enough space for knees to move comfortably under the table while seated.  The seat depth of a dining chair should be 16-18 inches for adults.  (source: Kris@ Driven by Décor)

Elle Decor Dining Room
#3 Light Fixtures and Chandeliers

GREAT TIP!  To figure the appropriate size of an overhead light fixture, just add the length and width of the room in feet.  Whatever number you come up with is, in inches, the guide for the fixture’s diameter.  So, a 15×20-foot room would need a 35 inch wide chandelier.  (source: Bunny Williams) 

For a dining room chandelier, the width of the fixture should be 12 inches less than the width of a rectangular dining table and 18 inches less than the diameter of a square or round table. (source: Julie Lohmeier)

To hang a single dining room chandelier, center the chandelier directly over the dining table. Hang the chandelier so the bottom of the fixture is approximately 30 above the top of the table with an 8 foot ceiling height. If your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, mount the chandelier an additional 3 inches higher for each foot of ceiling.

Finally, remember, all of the “Decorating by Numbers” suggestions given are general guidelines — not rules that are etched in stone.  You are the only one who knows and understands your family’s lifestyle and what makes you feel comfortable.  Additionally, you are the ones, not the designers, who have to live in your home, surrounded by the décor, so…feel free to make it your own!

Article by: Sandi Wallace

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