6 rules to design a dining room perfectly

The dining room can occupy the space in many ways. And this room requires particular care in terms of layout: where to create the dining room in a small living room? And in a kitchen? What type of table to choose? How to make this space a place to share? Our tips for furnishing your dining room and (re)giving it life.

Whether it is open to the kitchen, communicating with the living room or isolated, the dining room needs to be designed and decorated with care. SC Decorum reveals the 6 rules you need to know for a dining room at the top!

1.Make the dining room a real living space

The dining room or eating area should be centered on the life of its inhabitants. “The anguish is to have a dead space, where nothing happens, confirms interior designer Camille Hermand. To avoid this, we give a second use to the dining room table. For example, if there are children in the house, we place the table in the middle of the room to create a place for homework or coloring.”

The key to a lively dining room is also its dynamism. The table and chairs set the pace. “Diversify the seating, advises Camille Hermand. For example, place a fairly comfortable chair next to a slightly stiffer one. That way, the meal will be more dynamic and convivial.” The mobility of the guests and the furniture bring pep and good humor around the table.

2.Position the dining area properly

The main quality of the dining room or dining area is to be practical on a daily basis. Between the dining room and the kitchen, plan an easy path for the many comings and goings. Also, don’t neglect the perimeter needed for the chairs so that everyone is comfortable. The space around the table is also essential for good circulation.

Depending on your wishes and the disposition of the rooms, the dining room can be open to the kitchen. Opening the space allows for greater fluidity and clear access to the kitchen. Before making your choice, consider the disadvantages and advantages of each configuration. While it may be trendy, the open kitchen is not suitable for everyone.

3.Delimiting the living room area from the dining area

If living room and dining room share the same room, delineate their activities clearly. To do this, play with the light. “Contrary to popular belief, the table is not always placed in the bright part of the room, according to Camille Hermand. It can be installed in a recess to favor light at sofa level.” An original way to create a cozy corner for meals with family or friends.

Other tips: storage space, an imposing frame behind the table, suspension or colors. So many ideas that compete to separate living and dining areas.    

open dining room to living room

4.Choose a suitable table that you like

“We all want to be able to entertain without having a big table!”, ironically Camille Hermand. The table is thus most of the time adaptable to go from four, to eight or twelve guests. The shape also comes into play according to the needs of the house. Rectangular or oval for the most classic, round or square for the most modern. Each has its own characteristics. “If you don’t have a lot of space, a round or oval table with its extensions allows you to be numerous while having good circulation,” advises Camille Hermand. They also offer certain conviviality and are more malleable for adding a last-minute guest.

The material of the table is to be determined according to the house inhabitants. With children, the table should be sturdy, made of wood or plywood for example. When you are alone, the choice is made according to the activities you do: eating, working, etc. Most of the time, choose a table that is easy to clean. The glass top can be banned if you are a fingerprint maniac… In any case, beware of the daily mess that takes up space. A large, empty table doesn’t often stay empty.

5.Banking on the nice storage for the dining room

For a while, dining room chests regained their popularity and are now available in a variety of styles. Practical, this base unit hides a lot of space without weighing down the decor. For style, prefer an element with character instead of spreading yourself too thin. “We don’t need a lot of things around the table,” says Camille Hermand. Furniture is mainly used as a pretext to put objects, such as lamps, for example. You find more storage in the kitchen, centralized, close to the dishwasher or the sink.”

However, if you have room or not enough storage space in the kitchen, decentralize some of the dishes to the dining area. The big china cabinets are in vogue, in a secondhand or rather industrial spirit. They affirm the atmosphere of the room.

dining room

6.Create a room where you feel good to take your meal

A place to share with family and friends, the dining room is full of good memories. To ensure your guests have a pleasant time, personalize this space without overloading it. Opt for soft colors or daring and gourmet touches.

The light in the dining room also needs to be taken care of. “If it’s a single lighting system, the light must be able to be adapted to different activities thanks to a dimmer switch,” advises Camille Hermand. The light fixture must also be low enough not to dazzle people around the table.” For a soft atmosphere, multiply the light sources with table lamps or wall lamps. And for cozy dinners, sprinkle candles on the table. 

dining area

Spaces and measures to know for the dining room

  • Around the table, count a minimum of 45 cm for sitting and 120 cm for the back of the seats without a passage behind, 150 cm with a possible passage. 
  • For the table, if there is a foot at the leg position, allow 30 cm of recess from the edge of the tabletop. 
  • A 70 cm table allows two pieces of cutlery to be placed face to face without a dish in the center. Between 85 and 90 cm (average size) you can place dishes in the center and beyond, between 100 and 110 cm, a table runner. 
  • For each person, count 60 cm minimum width on the table.