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Creating your ideal Dining Space

The dining table is an integral part of family life. Gone are the days of TV meals on laps in front of the table and not speaking during meals – the family dining table should be an inviting and comfortable place for happy conversation and warm memories.

With the homes of today being more open plan, no longer are rooms assigned for an extra formal dining table, and the dining table needs to fi t into an open plan décor. Views, wallpaper, art, rugs, comfortable chairs and lighting all combine to make your meals more pleasurable. Good food, good company and a great dining space are all integral to a great dining experience, whether it be a special occasion or a midweek family meal.

When looking at the placement of the dining table, ensure there is ample space for a chair to be pushed out and room for others to walk around the table and not feel cramped. Comfortable flow around furniture is important for comfortable living spaces. A light-filled area with a view is ideal, but if this isn’t possible, create your own ambience. Visit the Insideout website for ideas - wallpaper murals will place a view of a jetty, ocean view or beautiful garden where there is no view. A beautiful piece of art can also improve your ambience.

Rugs are necessary when you have an open plan living area to cut out the echo and noise and a good sized rug used under a dining table on hard floors will anchor the dining area in an open space. Rugs used in a smaller room will make the room appear larger, but always make sure you have at least 60-70cm around the edge of the table so you can pull the dining chairs out comfortably and still have space to walk past the chairs when they are out.

Layered lighting is ideal for your dining space and preferable over a single bright light. Toning down the lights or having a hanging pendant in the middle of a dining table can add another level to your dining experience and the overall look of your room. Softer lighting will add to the feel of your space, helping to create an atmosphere to sit and enjoy a meal.

Then there is the question of what is the optimal size and shape of the dining table for your area? When deciding on a shape for your dining area, let the home and space dictate the best fi t. It is my opinion, that large square tables take up a lot of space, and often are not always easy to lean across for food. So think carefully about your needs and the size of your room before considering this choice.

Sometimes you may think only a small rectangle is the only option, but another option could be a round dining table. They are ideal to let the traffic flow without the danger of protruding sharp corners to block your way (or walk into). A large round table an be an ideal alternative as they contribute to a more intimate feeling, and it is easier to fi t in that extra chair or two.

When looking at dining chairs, benches are an excellent option for creating more space if required, or if you have small children. I find a bench can have many uses. When you have small children, it provides a place to sit on the floor with them and use the bench as a desk. It can also be utilized as a coffee table or used outside or inside for extra nibbles or glasses of wine. A bench provides additional seating that doesn’t look out of place - inside or out.

Choosing the right table and chairs are as important as choosing the right sofa and bed, and comfortable chairs are a must if you want to make the dining table somewhere to linger and entertain. So many chair options are available, and they are an important element to finish the look you want when blending your other furniture in with the room. Fabric, leather, timber, rattan or a synthetic surface.

The team at insideout have many options to suggest, and we will help you “not” make an expensive mistake. Call into our showroom for advice from the insideout team or visit

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