The configuration of the dining room is predicated on the size and shape of the dining table. Otherwise, the dining room allows for a great deal of design flexibility. Once a formal room occupied primarily on special occasions, the dining room today lends itself to a wide range of interpretations and can accommodate a variety of lifestyles. The dining room can be an extension of the kitchen, a zone within a large living room, or a separate room organized around the specific rituals of enjoying a meal. Regardless of the configuration, the dining room should be immediately adjacent to the kitchen work areas for easy delivery and clean-up of meals.
The dimensions of a dining table relate directly to the area required for a place setting. The approximate area of a place setting is 24 inches (610 millimeters) wide by 15 inches (381 millimeters) deep. Although the standard dimension for a placemat is 18 inches (457 millimeters) across, additional area is allocated for serving dishes, bottles, and elbow room.
The average table manufacture allows 24 inches (610 millimeters) per person; however, other elements must be considered when selecting the right table for a specific number of guests. For instance, a dining chair with arms increases the amount of space required for an individual by 4 inches (102 millimeters) on average. The location of table legs may also determine the number of people that can sit comfortably at a table. A variety of table configurations are shown here.
To determine the size of a round table, multiply number of seats by width of place setting (26″ [660) +/-) and divide by 3.14.
A square table for four can be expanded lengthwise in 24-inch (610-millimeter) increments for additional seating.
Dining Room Layouts
The size and shape of a room can help to determine the best table configuration for a specific situation. The diagrams that follow look at dining rooms combined with a living room or kitchen as well as dining rooms of minimal dimensions. In addition to tables and loose furniture, interior designers must consider the ambiance of a room by including adjustable lighting above the table and near the serving area.
Combined Dining and Kitchen
Kitchens with an eat-in dining table require additional space adjacent to the work zones.
Combined Dining and Living Room
When space is at a premium, combining the dining and living rooms may be better than isolating them into separate smaller rooms.
Minimal Dining Room: Rectangular Table
The minimum size of a dining room is based on the size of a rectangular table with 36 inches (914 millimeters) of clearance on all four sides.
Minimal Dining Room: Round Table
A round table in a square room allows space for cupboards or built-in cabinets in the corners.
Dining Room with Additional Furniture
An ideal dining room allows space for two additional chairs and a buffet table in the room.