OUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DINING FURNITURE
TIPS FOR DESIGNING YOUR OWN HOME
Where and what you use to dine at in your home can be an important decision. It’s an investment and will hopefully last you for years to come. It’s a decision many of us don’t make lightly.
To help, we have asked our designers to cover all the areas to consider when you’re in the market for new dining furniture. For more tailored advice, you can speak to them in-store through a free design consultation.
CONSIDER YOUR WHOLE SPACE
A great place to start your dining journey is considering the size of your setup. This will require considering your existing dining space; the size of the room, the existing pieces of furniture you intend to keep and the people that will use it all.
A great rule of thumb is to use the 50cm rule. Each person sitting at the dining table should have 50cm in front of them, as well as behind to move freely in and out and enjoy their meal. 50cm plus elbow room is also the minimum width we would recommend considering for a person sitting comfortably.
For example, if you want to seat 4-6 people, we would recommend a dining table that is around a metre wide and around 150cm in length. This would sit in a room that ideally has an overall space of no less than 2 metres by 2.5 metres of breathing room. You can use this calculation in your own room and figure out what works for you.
- Matthew Kitson; Senior Design Consultant, BoConcept Glasgow
MAKING THE SPACE WORK
CHOOSING YOUR TABLE SHAPE
You may think there are only two types of shapes: round or rectangular. There are actually many different versions of the two. Square, oval or squoval, there are multiple variations and differences to the classic table, all with their own merits and practicalities. What you choose will depend on the room you place it in and how you use it.
Round tables tend to fit better in more open-plan spaces. Although it tends to be easier to move around this shape of table, usable surface space tends to be diminished due to practicality. Therefore, the round style is better suited to smaller, more compact styles; ideally for a maximum of 2-4 people. In this style, we recommend our Madrid dining table. For larger parties, we recommend an extending round table – for example, the Granada dining table.
Square and rectangular tables are usually the most practical in the average space, as this is the standard shape of most rooms in the home. Square, like round, is best suited to smaller tables. Large square tables make great statement pieces but can be impractical and hard to fit inside the typical Scottish home.
A rectangular table is the default choice for many, and there is a reason for this. As well as being more practical for table dressing and usability, studies have shown this type of table to be where the most conversation among its users has taken place. Our range of rectangular tables is extensive – from simple, no-fuss designs like the Torino to the industrial and hard-wearing Augusta dining table.
If you like the accessibility of a round table, we suggest a table style with a central plinth base, such as our Fiorentina table. This way you can move freely around the table without snagging on any legs, plus you can squeeze extra guests in the corners in a pinch.
- Florencia Simone; Design Consultant, BoConcept Edinburgh
One of the most versatile options you can have in a table, regardless of shape is the option to extend. Perfect for those ‘unexpected extra guests’ moments, or even the ‘too much room’ moments. Having the option to make your table that bit larger when needed is great for those who need the extra space, but also great for those who don’t need it all the time.
- Tom MacDonald; Design Consultant, BoConcept Tillicoultry
Explore our extending table options
Kingston Dining Table
The next step is usually choosing seating. There is a wide range of options available across the market – once you have decided on a design theme it is important to look at the practicality and features of your seating.
Sometimes, simple can be the best option. Straightforward, traditional dining chairs are a pretty safe bet. The next step would be prioritising your comfort, your preferred finish, whether you are opting for upholstery or unupholstered.
- Veronika Hajdu; Design Consultant, BoConcept Edinburgh
EXPLORE DINING CHAIRS
If you are looking for more features than the norm, or are looking to match a specific need, consider some of these options. Armed chairs are traditionally placed at the ends of tables, but there is nothing stopping you from using these across all of your chairs. Arms ensure that diners have sufficient space and comfort. Although taking up more room, your guests may thank you for it. Consider your room layout and size when looking into this option. We recommend the armed version of the Adelaide dining range, as they don’t take up much more room than their non-armed counterparts.
You may also consider adding a swivelling option to your chairs, especially if space and accessibility are your top priorities. This added practicality is ideal for any space and just makes your dining chairs even more versatile. Consider the Vienna dining chair if you are looking for a swivel base but bear in mind that most of our dining range can be adapted to a swivel option.
- Belen Villasante; Design Consultant, BoConcept Tillicoultry
In the past few years, we have also seen dining benches come back into fashion in a big way. Both practical and stylish, benches can serve as a great way to save space in a room. Benches can be placed against a wall, meaning your dining setup is pushed further back saving space. However, if you just prefer the look of a bench, they are also available with backs.
- James Bruce; Assistant Manager, BoConcept Aberdeen
SEE. TOUCH. FEEL.
Arguably one of the most important parts of the design process of a room is the materials you choose – this extends to dining furniture. Again, like other areas, consider how you use the space. Do you like to entertain? Do you want something that’s easy to clean? Is it a high-traffic area? These are important things to consider when looking at dining.
When considering table materials, think about what you want to get from your table. Of course, we all want them to look nice, but how we use them has an impact too.
For Example, choosing a lacquered finish will be easy to care for, easy maintenance and cost-effective; you just must be careful with hot surfaces.
Glass surfaces create a refined style, and are much more durable than you think. Just be wary that scratching can happen but taking care and using tableware can alleviate this.
Then we can look at ceramic tabletops – scratch-resistant, tactile and can handle heat up to 230 degrees. Ceramic is more of an investment, but it is a great option with nearly no downsides.
- Jennifer Crawford; Design Consultant, BoConcept Glasgow
Choosing what you want your chair to be made from could equally be as tough a decision. This may just come down to what preference you have style-wise, but to make your furniture last as long as possible, it’s important to consider the practicalities of each material.
For example, if you want the ultimate in easy care, unupholstered is a great option. Wipe clean, contemporary and usually cost-effective, this is a great option for those who are looking for low-maintenance, casual dining chairs.
If you are looking for something a little more plush and comfortable, there are literally thousands of options for upholstery in every colour, fabric and material you could ask for. As a rule, we tend to recommend more durable or stain-resistant fabrics, as dining chairs are prone to attracting food stains, as well as the usual wear and tear of daily life.
We would recommend our Frisco range of fabrics. With Aquaclean technology, stains are wiped off effortlessly, as well as being one of our more durable fabrics, You can explore our Frisco range and order a free sample of it below.
- Marie Ward; Store Manager, BoConcept Tillicoultry
Leather is of course another popular option for dining. Whether it’s the upmarket style or easy-to-wipe nature, leather is a solid choice to make. However, be aware that depending on the quality and the makeup of the leather, some options will have different effects and will age differently than others.
For example, our Estoril range is our top choice for dining. Because it is semi-aniline, it has the look and feel of premium leather, without the upkeep. Pure aniline leathers such as our Sienna rage will develop a patina and will be susceptible to marks – however, this is part of its charm and will bring character to your furniture. Depending on your desired look, we recommend you speak with your design consultant.
- Clare Grant; Design Consultant, BoConcept Edinburgh
PERSONAL ADVICE YOU CAN TRUST
SPEAK TO US ABOUT YOUR SPACE
The best advice we can give you is on a one-to-one basis. Our designers can help your specific dining dilemmas with tailored advice that addresses your personal needs, wants and tastes. Available in-store, online or in your own home; explore our free interior design service today.
Can't find what you're looking for? The team at BoConcept Scotland are always on hand to answer questions, provide advice or inspiration or help you in any way possible. Let us know how we can help in the live chat or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
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