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The Ultimate Guide to Finding The Right Dining Room Storage for You

More than ever, our dining rooms have become spaces that demand hyper versatility and functionality. From serving as makeshift home offices to entertaining close family and friends, keeping the dining room neat and organized is key. The best way to create an organized space, is by making sure you have the right dining room storage.

Not sure what kind of storage is right for your needs? Our guide to the best storage furniture has you covered.

There are many types of dining room storage furniture, and what you choose needs to work for your lifestyle and needs. If you have kids, a buffet or chest with drawers and cupboards can be great for storing dinnerware along with any extra art and school supplies if your office is also your dining room; if you entertain a lot, a bar cart or cabinet might be the drinks station you need; or if you live alone in a small space, maybe it’s simply having a stylish tray to corral things on your dining table. All to say, there are many ways for how to add storage to a dining room, but it really comes down to what makes sense for you and your space.

Not sure what you need in your dining room? Check out our ultimate dining room checklist!

For guidance, we’ve rounded up stylish and functional pieces to consider for your dining room, what they’re each great for, and tips for styling them for your space. Find out more below!

Happy with your dining room storage situation but need help redesigning your space? Check out our gallery for stylish and functional dining room design ideas, then bring the looks you love to your home.

dining room storage

Bar Cart

Typically on casters or wheels, a bar cart is meant to be moved around for entertaining purposes. It’s your on-the-go drinks station for serving cocktails, wine, and even tea and coffee. For that reason, it’s a great dining room storage piece if you’re big on hosting family and friends. Whether you leave it in a corner or bring it to wherever the party is, make the most of your bar cart storage. In addition to liquor and glasses, use it for cookbooks, coasters, and small plates.

Style Tip: A bar cart has an instant grown-up look, and it can easily be styled up or down. Decorate it with plants, art, and sculptures to add a touch of your personal style.

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Bar Cabinet

For a stationary drinks station with enclosed storage, the bar cabinet is a compact, stylish, and functional option. It typically has a built-in open shelf for mixing cocktails and serving drinks. It also usually comes with doors that latch close, so it’s a smart dining room storage piece if you have young kids in the house.

Style Tip: A bar cabinet is a sophisticated and classy storage piece. What makes it great is that it hides bottles and clutter. Stock it with wine glasses, tumblers, barware, and cocktail shakers to make it feel like a real bar.

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dining room storage

Credenza or Buffet

For those with a dining room they use regularly, a buffet or credenza is the way to go. A credenza is a sideboard with closed cabinets that have either hidden or glass doors. It’s the ideal dining room storage piece for everything from everyday tableware to formal serving pieces. Credenzas and buffets tend to be large and pricey but they’re functional investment pieces that will last you for years.

Style Tip: Because credenzas and buffets offer so much storage space, use them for dining pieces you want to keep within easy reach. Think dinner plates, silverware, glasses, napkins, tablecloths, you name it.

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Console Shelf

Different from a credenza or buffet, a console shelf is perfect for less formal dining spaces. It’s typically more narrow in size and doesn’t have deep storage space. But because it is wider, it takes up less footprint and can easily be used along any wall. You also want to consider a console shelf if you’re looking for a dining room storage piece that can double as a decorative display. A console shelf with tiers will let you store smaller items on the open shelves, and one with drawers can be great for anything from silverware to takeout menus.

Style Tip: It’s great for storing and displaying decorative items, like cookbooks, picture frames, and plants. It always looks stylish when it’s topped with lamps, art, and a mirror hung above it.

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Dresser

Most people think of the dresser as a bedroom staple, but it can actually be the perfect dining room storage piece! The dresser is like a credenza but with lots of drawers instead of cabinets. And dressers typically have deep drawers, which makes them great for storing bigger items, like plates and platters, glassware and silverware, and stacks of bowls and table linens. It’s an unexpected and beautiful storage option for a large dining space.

Style Tip: Beyond storage, the top of a dresser can also easily be used as a bar, serving station, or a display surface. Or make it multipurpose and style the top for all of those uses!

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dining room storage

Portable Tray

Simple and small but versatile, trays are especially useful in compact dining spaces. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, so you’re bound to find one (or several) that suits your needs and space. What also makes trays amazing dining room storage pieces is you can organize anything in them, be it candles and centerpieces or cocktail beverages and barware. Not to mention you can easily move them around for entertaining as needed.

Style Tip: You can mix random items in a tray and it’ll all look stylishly organized. But having a focus is always a good idea. Try using a tray for drinking glasses or coffee and tea sets or plates and napkins. It’s all about curating your trays and having fun doing it!

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dining room storage

Hutch

For a serious dining room storage piece, a hutch has both open shelving and closed cabinets and drawers. You’ve probably seen hutches in traditional and rustic dining rooms and kitchens. Hutches are large in scale and the shelves and cabinets usually come as one piece, but sometimes they can be detached. The combination of shelving and drawers gives hutches tons of storage and display possibilities.

Style Tip: You can store and display plates, bowls, and dinnerware on the shelves, then use the cubbies for linens and serving pieces; or you can line the shelves with decorative accents and stow kitchen items below and behind closed doors.

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dining room storage

Dining Cabinet

For an elevate approach to dining room storage, a tall dining cabinet is a chic addition to any space. In many cases, a dining cabinet can look like a display case or armoire. It’s large in size and typically has shelving and two front doors—some might have drawers also. If you like to keep all your special serving pieces and dinnerware that you save for formal occasions in one place (and visible), consider investing in a glass-fronted dining cabinet.

Style Tip: Try using a dining cabinet for larger items, such as platters, porcelain serving bowls, and small appliances you don’t need much. Or you can also fill a glass cabinet with your finest china collection to create a beautifully curated display.

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Storage Bench

Even if you keep all your dinnerware and tableware stored outside of your dining room, there’s still room to add in some sneaky storage solutions. A storage bench that opens up with a deep compartment can be a stylish option for those who don’t want bulky dining room storage furniture in the dining space. The bench can either be pulled up as a seat at your dining table or it can be placed along a wall for an elegant side seat that also holds extra pillows, throws, or other small accents.

Style Tip: To make the most of a storage bench for in the dining room, use its hidden compartment for entertaining essentials, like candles, small vases, matches, runners, and extra napkins, etc. Treat it as your party chest!

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Dining chair materials guide

Guide to Dining Chair Materials & Which Is Right for You

When you think of dining chairs, you might think they’re all function and no form. But that’s far from the truth. They can actually be fun statement pieces within your dining room! One of the best ways to get creative with dining room chairs is in the material. There are so many different types of dining chairs and materials to choose from—and what you land on can help influence or support the overall design style of your dining room. (Of course, the frame shape has a lot of bearing on the style of your dining room as well. Check out our guide to dining chair styles for more on that.)

Since they are highly functional pieces, it’s important to think about and which ones are best for your lifestyle. So, when thinking through dining room design ideas, you’ll want to consider your individual needs. If you have kids, you’ll probably want a material that’s easy to clean. If your dining room is doubling as a home office, you’ll want dining room chairs that are comfortable to sit in for a full workday. What you need depends on how you use your space, and who uses it. But from there, you can choose whatever dining chair material that suits your fancy!

Ready to dive in? Keep reading for our dining chair materials guide! We’ve rounded up a few of our stylists’ favorite dining room chair materials and why we love them!

Dining chair materials guide

NATURAL MATERIALS

Dining chairs made of natural materials encompass materials like woods, cane, rattan, and so much more. This is by far the largest category of dining room chair materials, as it encompasses such a broad range of materials that are often used in dining chairs. Read on for a bit more on some of the more popular natural materials for dining chairs.

Wicker

Wicker is made from pliable plant materials (like bamboo, willow, rattan, and reads) and can come to life in furniture in many different woven styles. It’s a lightweight but sturdy material, which will hold up well over time when treated with care. And, when weather treated, it’s generally safe for outdoor use as well. (Perfect for an outdoor dining set!)

Wicker pairs well with…

Dining tables made of other natural materials—like stone, wood, marble, and some metal tables. And wicker also pairs well with metal within the chair itself. The chairs featured above have wicker seats but feature delicate metal legs which add a more modern vibe to this more traditionally eclectic material.

This material is perfect for…

A more casual interior design style. It goes really well with rustic, coastal, and eclectic interior design styles.

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Dining chair materials guide

Teak

Teak is a tropical hardwood tree species that makes for beautiful and durable furniture. With its warmer tone, it adds nice organic warmth to a space, making a beautiful statement in dining spaces. Teak has beautiful coloring and can easily be combined with other materials. In the image above, teak chair frames are supplemented with woven seagrass seats which adds beautiful texture to the chairs.

Teak pairs well with…

Wood dining tables that are in a similar color family as your teak chair’s finish. It also pairs well with stone and marble.

This material is perfect for…

Eclectic spaces, mid-century modern styles, and even some minimalist and rustic styles. In fact, the use of teak furniture is big in the Japandi trend, a minimal but warm interior design style.

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Dining chair materials guide

Natural Wood

Natural wood dining chairs give dining rooms a beautiful earthy and natural quality to them. They come in a wide variety of different shapes and styles, making them one of the most versatile dining chair materials. In fact, they transition well between many styles—and the finish found on natural wood chairs tend to be more earthy and organic, since it’s not a stain but just a finish that seals and protects the wood without significantly changing the natural coloring. Because this is a sturdy natural material, natural wood chairs hold up well over time.

Natural wood pairs well with…

Almost everything—from natural wood dining tables to metal, stone, marble and painted wood in just about any color.

This material is perfect for…

Minimalists, mid-century modern style, and some traditional styles that veer more eclectic.

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Stained or Painted Wood

When it comes to wood dining chairs, there’s a lot more out there than the natural wood look. Stain shows off the natural grain and texture of a wood chair while giving it a darker finish. But wood can, of course, also be painted or manufactured with a darker finish—which means painted wood dining chairs can span from black and white to bolder colors like red, yellow, pink, or blue! Whatever the finish, stained or painted wood dining chairs give a more high-contrast look than natural wood dining chairs—while offering the same benefits.

Stained or painted wood pairs well with…

Metals, marbles, and stone. Depending on the stain or paint color, these chairs can also pair with other wood tones that are more refined. Just make sure that if you’re going for stained wood dining chairs and a wood dining table, that there’s enough contrast between the tones.

This material is perfect for…

A variety of styles. Chairs painted with a color other than black or white tend to suit a more eclectic style, while dining chairs with an ebony finish go well with glam or minimalist styles—or even some mid-century modern spaces. Stained dining chairs go well with mid-century modern spaces as well, but also suit traditional and classic spaces depending on the shape and style of the chair. Chairs that are painted white go well with traditional and coastal spaces. Needless to say, stained or painted wood dining chairs are quite versatile!

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Dining chair materials guide

Leathers

Leather dining chairs add a subtle pop of color to your dining room. There’s a sophistication that comes with leather, but different leather tones and finishes will give your dining room a different vibe. Leather dining chairs are often paired with metal legs, giving them a more sleek look.

Saddle Leather

Leather is a softer material, which makes it more comfortable than other dining chair materials. A saddle or cognac leather color is very versatile and adds nice warmth to a space. When treated well, it will hold up over time—though it will definitely develop a natural patina over years of use. (In our opinion, that only adds to the look—so don’t be afraid of visible aging or even small scratches and scuffs!)

Saddle leather pairs well with…

All dining table types—from wood and stone to metal and marble. This is such a stylistically versatile material, making it an all around all-star for dining chair materials.

This material is perfect for…

Mid-century styles and more transitional styles. It can also work well in eclectic spaces. Leather chairs also go well in a variety of spaces and can make excellent desk chairs or side chairs.

For tips on integrating dining chairs into different spaces click here.

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Dining chair materials guide

Tobacco Leather

Tobacco leather has a darker finish which makes it naturally suited for more masculine and dramatic spaces. With that darker finish, it helps ground your space, and like all leathers, it will develop a beautiful patina as it wears naturally over time.

Tobacco leather pairs well with…

Wood and metal dining tables, as well as some stones that are more earthy and industrial.

This material is perfect for…

Industrial and minimal spaces, mid-century style, and some rustic styles.

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Dining chair materials guide

UPHOLSTERED

Upholstered dining chairs have a bit more of a formal vibe—the material used in the upholstery will definitely influence the style. Upholstered dining chairs can range from cottons and linens to velvet and vinyl. They can also be fully upholstered or slipcovered, or have metal or wooden legs or frames with upholstered backs and seats.

Upholstered Velvet

Velvet has an ability to elevate a look due to its richness in texture and material. So, dining chairs upholstered in velvet will add a sense of luxury to any dining room. However, velvet isn’t super easy to clean—so veer away from using it in homes with children (unless it’s a durable or performance velvet that is a darker color). Sometimes velvet dining chairs are entirely upholstered, like the ones above, while other styles have an upholstered seat frame, while the legs are metal or wood.

Velvet pairs well with…

Marble dining tables. Marble and velvet go beautifully together, as they’re both materials that have a glam, luxurious vibe. Velvet also pairs nicely with white and ebony colored tables, and tables with glass tabletops and gold or brass metallic accents.

This material is perfect for…

Glam and eclectic interior design styles, as well as maximalist lovers.

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Dining chair materials guide

Upholstered Frame

Upholstered dining chair frames—where the chair’s seat and back are upholstered in fabric, are one of the most popular styles of dining chairs. They’re also one of the most comfortable dining chair styles, as upholstered chairs also have some built-in padding. Most upholstered dining chairs have wooden frames. The fabric used in the upholstery—as well as the finish of the rest of the chair’s frame—will influence what style the chair pairs with best.

Upholstered chairs pair well with…

Stone, marble, concrete, and wood dining tables. Upholstered chairs also pair well with caning. In fact, there’s also a sub-set of upholstered chairs where the seat of the chair is upholstered in fabric but the back is caning, which adds additional visual interest to the chair.

This material is perfect for…

Traditional dining rooms. However dining chairs with upholstered frames can also go with some mid-century styles as well as contemporary, rustic, coastal, and transitional spaces.

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Dining chair materials guide

Slipcovers

Slipcovered dining chairs are great for more formal dining rooms, as they tend to give off a more refined look. Since most slipcovers can be taken off and washed, they’re generally kid-friendly! (Though only if it’s a performance fabric that’s washable—so make sure you look out for that when buying!) For a less formal look, you could use slipcovered chairs just at each end of your dining room table, then bring in a natural material chair along the lengths of your table. This adds structure to your dining room with less formality—and is one of the easiest ways to dip your toe into the mismatched dining chairs trend!

Slipcovered chairs pair well with…

All table types. Since they’re completely covered in fabric (and dining room tables are never made of fabric) there is no sense of competing materials. So they really can go with any dining table materials.

This material is perfect for…

Rustic, traditional, classic, and transitional styles—although it can be mixed into more eclectic styles as well.

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Dining chair materials guide

MANUFACTURED MATERIALS

Dining chairs made of more manufactured materials—like acrylic, polycarbonate, plastic, and metal—tend to be kid-friendly because they are so easy to clean. But, the material itself has a huge bearing on what style of dining room it’s suited to.

Acrylic

Acrylic dining chairs are super sleek and are perfect for those with modern design sensibilities. While they’re not the most comfortable dining chair material, they’re very easy to clean! All you have to do is whip them down. They work great in smaller or busier spaces, since acrylic doesn’t visually clutter a small space.

Acrylic pairs well with…

Mixed materials, like brass and marble (like the table pictured above). Acrylic also pairs well with a white lacquer table or a white concrete.

This material is perfect for…

Modern and glam dining rooms. Acrylic really lets the other materials in the space shine.

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Dining chair materials guide

Metal

Metal chairs are easy to maintain and will pretty much last forever. Like acrylic, they’re also very easy to clean. However, since they veer industrial in style, they can seem a little cold—so if you want to add more comfort and warmth to your dining room, we recommend using metal dining chairs as an accent paired with a more comfortable chair or bench to help break up the metal-on-metal in the space. You could also add seat cushions to metal chairs for added comfort.

Metal pairs well with…

Wooden dining tables. Pairing metal chairs and a wood table adds beautiful contrast to the space, and the finish of the table can help define the overall style of the space.

This material is perfect for…

Industrial dining rooms. But, when paired with the right pieces, they can also work well in transitional, rustic, and farmhouse spaces.

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Merchant Picks: Dining Tables to Make Memories Around

We know many people will be skipping in-person fall gatherings and holiday celebrations this year. But fall is still a season of coming together around the table—even if it’s just you and your family or roommates. It’s over dinners and meals, with family or friends, that we make so many of our deepest memories. Even if things look a bit different this year, we still think it’s important to have a place to gather in your home and connect over food and drinks. And having the right dining table to make memories around is key!

We sat down with Meg Donovan, Modsy’s Senior Director of Product Development and Sourcing, to get the scoop on the importance of prioritizing your dining room design. She leads the charge on curating all the amazing furniture and decor in the Modsy catalog—so if you’re in the market for a dining room table, listen up. Because she’s also sharing some of her favorite dining room tables with us.

Dining Tables to Make Memories AroundWhy do you think it so important to prioritize the design of your dining room?

“Dining rooms are often where I have made the most memorable moments of my life. From pop-up brunches with the girls to larger gatherings for the holidays with a mix of friends and family, this room has set the stage for so many sweet memories. The jokes, the laughter, the smiles—and of course the delicious food. These are moments that I fondly reflect on for years but especially now in these crazy times, when it’s been difficult for a lot of us to be close to the ones we love.”

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Dining Tables to Make Memories AroundWhat’s something that many people overlook when choosing a dining room table?

“The anchor to any dining room is obviously the dining table. It’s easy to view this piece as something that’s purely functional. But it can be so much more! I love tables that become a part of your space and event. A beautifully designed table can make a statement in your dining room and become a star player in creating those precious memories.”

Explore our guide to dining table styles to see what Meg’s talking about!

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What are some of your favorite brands right now?

“I love Nuevo because they consistently strive to make innovative and creative products. They push the boundaries on furniture and lighting design. They focus on top quality materials and quality while offering a touch of the unusual.

Scout home is a go-to brand for me due to their focus on quality, innovation, and design. They are inspired by the world and design their products using trends, techniques, and materials from around the globe. They have incredibly high standards for build and quality and work to create one-of-a-kind pieces that make a statement.”

What tables from these brands are you loving right now?

The Daniele Dining Table, Nuevo

The sculptural base reminds me of modern art and pairs beautifully with the black ceramic top—which mimics the look of black marble but with significantly less weight and upkeep!

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Dining Tables to Make Memories AroundThe Quattro Dining Table, Nuevo

This table is pure elegance! The oak table is finished in a beautiful hand-applied, multi-step onyx finish with tapered legs capped with hand-polished bronze. I love that something that seems so simple can have the subtle details that take it to the next level.

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Scholar Dining Table, Nuevo

For just a tad more flare than the Quattro Dining Table, the hand-applied, multi-step finish is matched with a stunning brushed gold skirt and leg bands. The legs are hand-honed and solid oak, which makes this table not only stunning but also very stable.

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Vega Dining Table, Nuevo

Organic, sustainable, and rustic are the best words to describe this table. The beautiful solid French oak top is cut with a live edge that highlights the natural edge of the wood. Just like each tree is unique, each table will be unique, with slight variations in the edge shape and the wood grain. The natural beauty of the top is complemented by flared cast iron legs and brass dovetail detailing.

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Dining Tables to Make Memories AroundAlta Dining Table, Scout Home

This rustic table, with its modified double pedestal base, is crafted from solid reclaimed wood, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council—making it not only beautiful but ethically produced. Skilled artisans bring out the unique nature of the wood, highlighting the beauty of the recycled materials through maintaining the natural markings, hues, and textures.

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Dining Tables to Make Memories AroundBarbosa Dining Table, Scout Home

Innovation and basic chemistry are at play in the stunning bronzed iron base of this table. Acid-washed to create the patina, the metal is sealed to lock in the color at the height of oxidation. The iron is formed into a cool cross pattern that seems to shift depending on the viewing angle, giving added visual interest to the base. Not to be overshadowed, the top is a made of beautiful reclaimed oak that is hand-honed and sealed to a smooth finish, highlighting the natural warm tones of the wood.

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Dining Tables to Make Memories AroundThe Scandi Extendable Dining Table, Scout Home

I love that this table is both simple and extendable. You don’t always need a large table—but when you host bigger dinners, you’ll wish you had one. This is why I love extension tables, and the easy extending glide on this one makes flexing from 84” to 104” quick and easy. But this table isn’t just practical—it’s also beautiful in its simplicity. The Scandi extending dining table has a simple design, but the conical tapered legs with contrast iron banding and the natural finish of the wood save it from being boring. Plus, the simple design means you can go crazy with your chairs!

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spare dining room chairs

6 Unexpected Places You Can Use Spare Dining Room Chairs

When you have a formal dining room, it’s nice to have enough dining chairs on hand for hosting—so, at least six. Because, even if you aren’t having guests over right now, we promise that someday (hopefully soon!) you’ll gather friends and family around your dining table for Thanksgiving dinners or the brunch of your dreams! But, until then, it’s not necessary to have six chairs cluttering your dining room on a day-to-day basis.

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If you’re currently furnishing a dining room from scratch and brainstorming dining room interior design ideas, you may wonder if it’s even worth purchasing six dining chairs right now. Why not buy only two or four now, and then buy more later? Well, for one it tends to be more cost-effective to purchase dining room chairs in a larger set. With some brands, you can purchase all six as a set, along with your dining table, while others let you purchase dining room chairs in pairs. Either way, buying a whole set at once tends to be more economical than buying each chair individually.

But once you have them, where can you put extra dining room chairs when you’re not using them other than stack them in the garage? Where can you store them that will keep them handy without them being in the way? Here are six places to put your extra dining room chairs around your home where they’ll actually be useful when not in your dining room!

spare dining room chairsAdd Entryway Seating

We love the idea of framing your entryway console with two spare dining room chairs. This gives your entryway a stately and formal look, while giving those extra chairs a truly practical use! You can sit on them to take off or put on your shoes, or use them as a surface to set your bags or coats. For a less formal and more eclectic look, you could also use just one chair or put them side-by-side so your set-up is asymmetrical.

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Use One as a Desk Chair

Working from home? A comfortable desk chair is a must. So, if your spare dining room chairs are upholstered, use one at your desk in your home office! Dining room chairs work well in home offices, because they allow for a naturally ergonomic set-up. This is a functional way to put your extra dining room chair to good use, offering comfort and support for long workdays.

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spare dining room chairsSet Up a Kitchen Bistro Table

If you have space for an eat-in kitchen bistro area or a small breakfast nook, add your two extra chairs there! A two-person table can be great for breakfast and coffee—a cozy alternative to eating at your formal dining room table for every meal. And, by using your spare dining room chairs here, you’ll save money by not buying two additional chairs for this space.

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spare dining room chairsTuck One Into a Corner

No one puts baby in a corner! But you can put your extra dining room chair there. Don’t be afraid to simply place an extra dining room chair in the corner of a room—whether that’s your living room, entryway, dining room, bedroom, or even at the end of a long hallway. It’s great for filling corners of large rooms or making an otherwise empty space feel considered. Visually, this is more of an editorial approach—it’s not likely someone will just sit down in a chair in a random corner—but it adds visual nuance to an empty space. And, this way, you can also pull it into the living room when you need extra seating!

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spare dining room chairsMake a Nightstand Substitute

Place an extra chair next to your bed as a makeshift nightstand! This is a fun approach if you like an asymmetrical bedroom layout or have a more eclectic space where something nontraditional would work well. We especially love this approach in a small bedroom or guest bedroom where you don’t need two fully functional nightstands. (Though you can definitely still stack books and an alarm clock on a chair nightstand—it’s just not as great for glasses of water.) This approach gives the space a unique look and also offers a place to sit down other than the bed.

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spare dining room chairsAdd an Extra Living Room Seat

If you want to add some extra seating into your living room, place your extra dining room chair there. You could place it in an empty corner, like we mentioned earlier in this post, or in front of the fireplace as part of your seating area, like in the image above. This works especially well for more substantial dining chairs, like this upholstered option, since it offers comfort and won’t feel too out of place in a living room. Just make sure to style it with other pieces, like a small accent table or a pillow, to make it feel like it really belongs in the space.

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Shape, Size, and Materials: The Only Dining Table Guide You’ll Ever Need

Your dining table is one of the most crucial pieces of furniture (especially during the upcoming holiday season!) in your home. A person’s gotta eat, after all! Not only is it the place you and your family dine on the regular, but it’s also the focal point of your kitchen or dining room and the place where family and friends gather for everything from formal dinners to casual gatherings to the occasional crafts session and everything in between.

A great dining area means you have a place to enjoy bountiful meals, laughter, shared stories, and memories with family and friends. No wonder choosing a dining table can be hard! There are many factors to consider to make sure you have an attractive and practical setting that fits your space, offers adequate seating and fits in with your own personal style. If you’re ready to invest in a new table, this dining table guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make sure you furnish your dining room with functionality and style.

dining roomConsider Your Dining Table Shape

When choosing a dining table, one of the first things to consider is the shape – this helps to narrow your search a bit, too. You can choose from the whole array of selections based on your personal taste, but there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to the shape of a dining table. It usually boils down to the size and shape of your dining room.

dining roomRectangle/Square

This is the most common shape for a dining table. This is largely because these shapes work best in rectangular rooms and most dining rooms are – you guessed it – rectangular! It’s a good shape to seat more than 4 people, so keep this in mind if you have a big family or love entertaining. But keep in mind, it’s not awesome for super large gatherings because there’s not as much room on the tabletop to fit place settings on both sides and food in the middle.

oval tableRound/Oval

Round tables are great because they can accommodate the most people. It’s easy to squeeze in an extra table setting or two where there aren’t any corners! They’re better for small rooms or rooms that aren’t square, as their rounded edges help create easy flow through the room. Circular tables are perfect for small gatherings and make an intimate and cozy setting for conversation. Oval tables help fill out longer, more narrow rooms.

dining roomFind the Right Dining Table Length

The size of your dining room table will depend on the size of your room and how many people you want to accommodate.

In order to make sure each diner has enough elbow room while chatting, follow these standard seats to size ratios:

  • A 48” long table seats 4 people
  • A 60” long table seats 6 people
  • A 72” long table seats 8 people

Of course, if you don’t mind a more intimate setting or have little ones at the table with you, you might be able to squeeze in an extra seat.

Expandable dining tables are also a great option! If you don’t need as much table space on the day-to-day, but want to have the flexibility for an occasional dinner party or holiday gathering, consider a table with leaves that can be dropped or inserted at the center of the table.

tall chairsGo For The Right Dining Table Height

Dining tables generally come in 3 height variations. Most standard dining tables fall between 28-30” to allow for comfortable legroom underneath. Counter height tables are closer to 36”. And pub-style tables are the tallest, falling in the range of 40-42”.

If you’re not married to the idea of a traditional dining table, counter and pub tables are worth considering! They’re convenient because they can double as a place to serve food or extra space for food prep and work especially well in small spaces with open kitchens.

dining roomPick Your Dining Table Material

Dining tables come in a wide range of materials. So when choosing a dining table, this factor mainly boils down to your own personal aesthetics and how much wear and tear your dining table will need to withstand. Here are some of the most popular material options for dining tables.

wood table

Wood

Wood is the most common choice for dining tables because it’s super durable and stands up to everyday butchering! It’s also easy to maintain or refinish with paint or stain as needed.

Natural wood offers a beautiful color and texture in a dining space and there are plenty of different types and shades of wood to choose from. Weathered or reclaimed wood looks great in a variety of styles and can also hide nicks or scratches – great for families! Solid wood is more expensive and can be damaged more easily, so it’s more of an investment.

Veneer

Veneer or laminate options can mimic the look of wood but are usually a much more affordable alternative. It is a non-porous material so it’s easy to clean and holds up to stains better than many other materials. However, if the veneer chips, stains, or get scratched, it can’t be refinished, unlike solid wood.

glass

Glass

Glass dining tables provide a sleek look for modern or contemporary spaces. They are great for small dining area because they don’t add any clunky visual weight to a room.

Glass is also super low maintenance and easy to clean. However, these tables might not be very family-friendly as they easily show finger smudges and their sharp edges can pose a threat to rambunctious little ones!

marble

Marble

Many people consider marble to be one of the best dining table materials. It’s luxurious and sophisticated and puts the natural beauty of the stone on full display. However, marble is a porous material meaning it can stain easily and quickly. While it’s great for elegant, traditional settings, it might not be the best choice if you have a family of young kiddos or like to entertain often.

Metal

A metal dining table can add a cool, industrial feel to any room. It’s also super durable and easy to clean up. Some metals can be prone to corrosion, however, so make sure to choose a cleaning product that won’t damage it.

dining chairsExplore Dining Table Styles

Finally, choosing the best dining table means finding the right style for your space. There are so many styles to consider, from modern to rustic, contemporary to traditional, and each style has plenty of variation within it! In addition to being functional, you want your dining table to reflect your personal style and complement the decor in the rest of your home.

Take our style quiz or check out our dining table style guide to learn all about the pros and cons of different dining tables!

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