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Dining Room Furniture Guide

The dining room is one of the most central gathering places in your home. For those who like to cook, have guests around and entertain, you already know what a focal point the dining room is.

It’s where you all come together, the place where conversations are started, laughter is shared, and people are coming together to share in good food, drink and relationships...

Therefore, it’s so important to treat your dining room with the same attention as you would your living room - and too often we see that this is not the case! By recognising the dining room as a place where you come together, you can make everyone there feel right at home.

Whether you enjoy evening meals in this space every night, if it’s only used for dinner parties or special occasions, or if it’s simply the spot where the kids do their homework, your dining room should be a place where you enjoy spending time. If you’re considering getting this room into shape, our tips will ensure you’ve got everything you need for a bit of wow-factor.

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Dining Room Furniture FAQ's

  • How can I create an intimate, inviting dining room to entertain?

    A dining room should be about much more than just quick, rushed meals. It should be a space for spending time in an intimate atmosphere with friends and family. Here are some ideas that will help you make an ideal dining room, right for entertaining.


    Comfortable seating

    There’s nothing worse than sitting for long periods of time on a chair that isn’t comfortable. Opt for high-back, good quality seating that will give lumbar support with soft padding for the seat. When everyone around the dining room table is comfortable, it means relaxing and enjoying each other’s company long after dessert has been served. All of our dining chairs are built to this standard and ideal for entertaining.


    The right table

    Ensure there’s plenty of room for a more formal table setting as well as the food you’re serving. If you only entertain on an occasional basis or prefer to maintain a smaller table for everyday eating, opt for an extending dining table to accommodate additional guests only when required. Spending a little more for exceptional quality on the seating and dining table will mean your pieces will last for many years and many dinner parties to come.


    Plants and flowers

    No dining room is complete without the addition of some life. Position some plants into corners or on top of furniture, where they won’t be in the way of your guests. Plants liven up a room and provide a natural touch to any scheme. They also work as well in a bohemian setting as in a traditional or contemporary one. You can also include some arrangements in your table but steer clear of larger arrangements that might make guests seated across the table struggle to see each other... Try using small bunches of flowers cut short in smaller vessels and dot these down the centre of the table instead, for a pop of colour and style.


    Flattering lighting

    Nobody wants to feel like they’re sitting under intense lights when they’re having dinner. Dimmable lights are certainly an option worth considering. Better yet, try small lamps on a sideboard or a dimmable uplighter in a corner. That way you can vary the intensity according to the occasion and the mood. Speaking of lighting, no intimate dinner is complete without the addition of candlelight. It’s universally flattering, making everyone more comfortable and creates a warm twinkling light similar to those of any quality restaurant.


    Well adorned walls

    Frames, posters, paintings, wall hangings; all of these will add interest and talking points to your dining room. A witty quote might just provide what is needed to start off a fun conversation.


    Create your own bar cart

    A designated place for bottles, like a bar cart or a sideboard for drinks, is a great idea if you are planning on serving cocktails before dinner or have various wines, juices, and water available to your guests.


    Stick with your colour scheme

    When laying the table, go back to your colour scheme. This can be interpreted in different ways depending on the occasion. Black and white can be either very elegant, simple or a little more playful. Include small details like napkin rings, a vase or two of flowers, and candles which could be placed in pretty lanterns.

  • What do I need to consider when buying dining room furniture?

    For many of us, the dining room is a place to socialise and catch up with our families at the end of the day or entertain friends at the weekend. As such, getting the appropriate furniture is important in creating the right environment. These are some of the pieces that you’ll want to consider for your living room and what do you need to know about each one:


    Dining tables

    Your dining table sees plenty of action, whether it’s dinner with friends, family meetings, or a simple cup of tea and the paper on a Sunday morning... It’s central to a busy home and a big investment too. We have dining tables seating from 4 to 12 people.

    You can choose from dining tables in real hardwood throughout or with a glass top. We have 3ft, 4ft, 5ft and 6ft dining tables. If you’re looking for a versatile solution, extending dining tables are always a great option for those that don’t require a large table on a daily basis.

    For those looking for the convenience of buying a complete dining set together, that’s also a viable option. We have a large range of dining sets on offer, or you can build the dining set of your dreams with our bespoke Dining Set Builder tool.


    Dining chairs

    Whether it’s for a modern kitchen, a breakfast bar area, or a dining room, a stylish and comfortable seat will enhance your room and make everyday family meals and dinner parties a real treat. You can choose from over 200 different combinations in our ever-popular leather, fabric or solid oak finished.

    Another clever choice is to buy dining chairs that can double as a hallway seat or a bedroom chair, in order to get the most out of your investment. Fortunately, all of the chairs at Oak Furniture Land are designed to impress, regardless of the room in which you place them.


    Sideboards

    Sideboards can be used everywhere around your house, from the living room to the bedroom, including hallways, home offices and everything in-between. They are, however, quite the essential addition to any dining room.

    When buying a sideboard you should always consider the size of the room (a large sideboard can easily overwhelm a small room whereas a smaller one can look lost or out of place in a space that is too big). If you’re planning to store plates and cutlery, you’ll also probably require a sideboard with more cupboards.


    Dressers

    Dressers are one of the most well-loved and widely available units for storing cutlery, table linen and crockery. Available in small or large sizes, you can also choose from whether you prefer an open, glazed or part-glazed unit. Whatever dresser you may choose, it's quite important to invest in something that is as gorgeous as it is spacious.

    Solid oak lends itself well to any interior and will complement a variety of different decors. Our dining room pieces are available in several finishes, from naturally hand-waxed to painted. Hardwood crafted dressers are the way to go if storage space, durability and style are important to you.


    Display cabinets

    Display cabinets, like the name suggests, are a great way to protect your prized possessions whilst still keeping them in view. Our cabinets all are roughly the same size and offer similar storage options to showcase your possessions. As such, it’s mostly a matter of finding the one that complements the rest of your hardwood furniture. As usual, you can’t go wrong with buying furniture from the same range.


    Lamp tables

    It's easy to overlook lamp tables when furnishing your dining room. However, they are incredibly useful and will easily slot into your room setting. You can choose from lamp tables with slab sides, in box designs and, of course, plenty of traditional four legged varieties, some with shelves and even drawers built in.


    Mirrors

    Warm, soft light is both relaxing as well as flattering. In that regard, few pieces beat smaller table or floor lamps creating an ambiance through smaller pockets of light.


    Lamps

    The ideal way to create an effect of extra space and light, brightening up a dark corner.


    Clocks

    A stylish clock can be used to liven up a bare wall, add interest to a chimney breast, or to simply keep track of your busy life. Choose from traditional or avant-garde, understated or maximalist. Whatever your preference may be, we have something for you.

  • How do I choose a dining set?

    The first thing we suggest is to consider how much space you have available for both your dining table and chairs. Measure carefully to ensure that your dining set will fit comfortably in the area you have available. We have 3ft, 4ft, 5ft and 6ft dining tables sitting 4 to 12 people. Don't forget to leave enough room to manoeuvre around your table - between 90-120cm of extra space is ideal.

    Once you’ve carefully measured the space, you can start narrowing down the options by budget. Oak Furniture Land offers dining tables from £319 and complete dining sets (including a set of dining chairs) from just £419 for added value. The span of items to choose from is quite vast and it all depends on what you’re looking for. It’s worth remembering that a dining table is a key investment piece in any house, and one that you’re likely going to hold onto for years.

    We also designed our Dining Set Builder to help you save; allowing you to choose any table and chairs to build a customised set, which can save you 100s of pounds off our most popular sets! With this tool, you’ll easily be able to filter whether you need a more versatile table with an extending top or not, if solid oak is your wood of preference or if would rather go with mango or other woods, and if you would prefer a glass top or perhaps a painted finish. And will you go with a round, a rectangular or a square shape? Similarly, you’ll be able to choose from chairs made of solid oak, painted, rustic oak, mango, leather or other chairs with a fabric, leather, grass or no cover upholstery.

    We promise it’s actually very simple to choose your ideal set once you start using our dining set builder, but if you’re feeling unsure just pop in-store to see some tables up close or give our customer services team a ring on 0800 440 2254. We can chat over the options with you, or at least help narrow them down.

  • What are Oak Furniture Land’s tables made from?

    All our dining tables are made from the highest quality hardwood, crafted from only the finest A grade timbers. That way, we can guarantee the quality of our product so that you can enjoy the beauty of a hardwood dining table for years to come.

    Natural oak is the most common type of wood that we use in our tables. However, you’ll find that our offer extends to gorgeous dining tables in mango and painted solid wood, too. An advantage of solid wood is that it’s surface ages well and dents and scratches can create an attractive ‘patina’. As such, they’re great for everyday use and will last a lifetime.

    Because of the significance of dining as a family, the dining table becomes the centre of attention, so it is important that you have the right table for your dining room. A cheap and wobbly dining table is annoying and useless, and a substandard table made using veneer won't stand the test of time. A hardwood dining table is not only a symbol of luxury, but it is also attractive and practical.

  • How should I look after my dining room furniture?

    Cleaning and polishing

    If you want your dining room furniture to look its best all the time, it’s always a good idea to take care of it. At Oak Furniture Land we always suggest using our Clear Wax Polish to protect, nourish and produce a lasting sheen that will maintain and enhance the natural beauty of your wood furniture. Always avoid cleaning products that contain bleach, alcohol and other products that may stain or strip wood.


    Keep used surfaces covered

    Covering the used areas will help you protect your investment and preserve the look of your prized dining table for longer. Place tablecloths and placemats on dining tables, for instance, and felt pads under the lamps on your end tables. Keeping coasters nearby is a must, too - it doesn’t take long for a water ring to form on a table’s surface.


    Plastics

    While plastic cups and placemats might look like great value, over time their colours can leach into wood furniture and the heat and humidity they absorb can damage your furniture’s look and shape. Where possible, keep plastic items away from your dining room furniture and replace them with cloth alternatives.


    Heat and sunlight

    Wood swells in high humidity and shrinks in low. All this up-and-down might warp the wood. It’s always a smart investment to invest in a humidifier and/or dehumidifier to keep furniture intact, especially if you live in an area that experiences one extreme or another. You should also keep your dining room furniture away from strong sunlight and take care not to place it in front of, or next to, a radiator, fireplace or heater. It’s fine to keep the two in the same room as long as they aren’t side by side.

Take a look at our other Furniture Guides