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Have you ever wondered why some dinner parties feel so comfortable and relaxing, while others feel just a bit off? We can’t give you advice on how to cook the perfect meal or who you should and shouldn’t invite, but we can definitely share our tried and true tricks to set up your dining room for both comfort and style.

Here are some of the basic “rules” we follow when designing a dining room.

  1. To create the most comfortable seating arrangement, plan for 24” width per each person around the table.

  2. Make sure you have 36” opening behind your chair to create a walkway between the chair and the wall or other furniture in the room.

  3. This time of year we love the added layer of an area rug, but be sure to balance your room with the right size rug. If you have an area rug under your dining table, make sure you have 36” from the table to the edge of the rug so that all four legs of your chairs sit on the rug whether it’s pushed in or occupied. The rug should be placed at least 12” away from the walls to give your space balance and some breathing room.

  4. Add a dimmer to your chandelier. Low lighting will make any space feel more luxurious. There isn’t anything more romantic and special than dinner by candlelight.

  5. If you are planning a large gathering and you need to bring in additional tables and chairs, we recommend pulling it all together by renting white linens. White tablecloths and napkins are always elegant, no matter what the occasion.

  6. Less is more for centerpieces. We love bringing in nature: fresh greens, pine cones, or branches with berries. Always, always, always add candles - unscented white candles set the mood and won’t compete with the food you are serving.

Dining spaces are the center of your home during the holidays, we hope these simple tips will help you create a balanced, comfortable space for you and your guests. Cheers!

Kristen Thomas