Q&A: Dining Room Furniture Placement

I got a question from a reader who is struggling with furniture placement in her Dining Room. She has a dining table with 6 chairs, a china cabinet, a buffet and a sideboard, and she says it “feels crowded.” Well, I say, “No wonder it “feels crowded”! Unless you have an extremely large Dining Room, which she doesn’t, that is a lot of large furniture pieces for one room.

Center That Chandelier!

The starting point for furniture placement in a dining room is centering your table under the chandelier. Now, I know I am assuming the chandelier is in the center of the room, and you think that would be a valid assumption. However, you would be surprised how many chandeliers are not in the center of a Dining Room. I am not a fan of swagging the chain in order to center the chandelier. It is definitely worth the expense to have an electrician come and center the fixture for you.

Spacial Clearances

Once you have the table centered, you have to consider clearances. At a minimum, you should have 3 feet between the back of a dining chair and the wall or piece of furniture. The goal is for your guests to comfortably push back their chairs to exit the room or easily circulate around the table while others are seated.

In this case, she has a long, narrow room so that the sideboard on the wall along which her rectangular table is parallel is not an option. She truly loves that piece so the best solution is to find another place for it. Depending on the size, it could work well as a foyer piece or along a wall or back of the sofa in the Great Room.  If you have a large Master Bedroom, you could even use it there. I actually have a small buffet as my bedside table – the storage is great and the height works well for my bed height.

I love Dining Rooms – it is probably my favorite room in the house. Because it is a room that you are not in very often, it is easy to be really creative in your design. However, when in use, the Dining Room should be functional, and your guests should be able to get in and out of their seats without feeling like they need to go on a diet!!! That’s what makes House2Home!


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