A dining set versus available space

By Umar Nsubuga

Added 1st August 2017 12:45 PM

Many dining tables and chairs are sold together as a set

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Many dining tables and chairs are sold together as a set


A dining room is a place where family and friends gather for a meal. The furniture you choose will show that everyone is welcome in your home.

Chances are that the furniture you buy for your dining room now will be used for very many years to come.

Therefore, it is important to know key facts that will guide you on how to purchase dining furniture that will meet your needs and last for years.

First of all, you need to set your budget. The prices of the tables or chairs can be influenced by the quality of the wood. Hardwood is often the most expensive, but these are quite durable and beautiful.

Engineered woods, particle board or veneered woods are often less expensive, but can last a long time if it handled well.

Many dining tables and chairs are sold together as a set. This can save you the trouble of figuring out whether or not the chairs fit the table.

Mary Nakintu, an interior designer at NKM shop in Matugga, says you can get an imported dining set of four seats, starting from Sh600,000.

However, you can also take your design to a carpenter and you will not be charged less than Sh550,000 (depending on the bargaining power) for a stylish set with good wood.

"Before choosing a dining table, measure your dining room. Remember that you will need space to walk around the table and pull out the chairs. A round or a bistro table will fit well in a smaller room, while a rectangular table fits better in a larger room", she says.

Nakintu advises that the dining table should be scaled appropriately for the room, a small table and a big dining room demands a big table.

"To allow adequate space, ensure there is at least 48 inches from the edge of the table to the nearest wall or furniture", she suggests.

If people do not pass behind the chairs on one side of the table, 36 inches should be sufficient on that side because the entry is always more congested than any other part of the house.

Nakintu advises that a dining table should measure 36 to 42 inches across. Narrower than that leaves no place in the middle for food, wider than that makes conversation with the opposite person difficult.

Rose Gitta, an interior designer in Kisaasi, says if you are buying a table for four people, consider a 28-inch to 40-inch square or 36-inch to 48-inch round.

"For four to six people, consider a 28-inch by 46-inch to 40-inch by 58-inch rectangle or 58-inch to 78-inch round. Six to eight people 36-inch by 60-inch to 48-inch by 72-inch rectangle or oval", Gitta adds.

She says for eight to 10 people, think of a 36-inch by 80-inch to 48-inch by 92-inch rectangle or 36-inch by 36-inch to 80-inch by 92-inch oval.

"Ten to 12 people, 36-inch by 96-inch to 48-inch by 108-inch rectangle, Fourteen to 16 people, 36-inch by 124-inch to 48-inch by 126-inch rectangle", she suggests.

However, Gitta advises that you buy a table that suits your needs. "If you host frequent large dinners, you will need a large table.

If you plan on using the dining table primarily for family meals or small gatherings, a smaller table will work better. There is nothing inviting about four people dispersed around a 12-foot table", she advises.

It is vital to consider quality, so go for the best dining set, as long as you can afford it. You will remember the quality long after you have forgotten the price.

Gitta advises that you consider style to give your home an organised feel, choose dining room furniture which reflects the architecture of your house and the style of other rooms in your house.

Bear in mind who will be sitting on your dining chairs. A narrow chair with a low back will not work if your family or guests are tall.

Heavy dining room chairs will be frustrating for children to pull out from the table. If you want a material that can be cleaned easily, consider buying upholstered dining chairs in fabrics such as leather, micro suede or cotton.

Heavier fabrics like velvet look and feel luxurious, but will require more work to clean. Wooden chairs are usually cleaned with commercial furniture polish.

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