How To Use Dining Room Furniture

How to combine the different types of dining tables, dining chairs and sideboards to create a beautiful dining area, whether that’s a formal dining room, eat in kitchen, or open plan living and dining room?

Before you even start shopping for furniture and accessories for your dining room you will need to decide on a few of the different aspects. The first thing you may want to think about is do you want your dining furniture all matching? Buying a dining table, dining chairs and even sideboard in the same finish and design is how most people buy their dining furniture but there is a growing trend, especially in contemporary dining furniture to mix it up a bit.

A table in one style and chairs in a completely different style can often be a more interesting alternative, for example a solid wood farm house style table with brightly coloured chairs with chrome legs looks great in a kitchen, and you don’t even have to have all the chairs the same colour. You could have 2 of each, or half and half. Black chairs on one side of the table and white on the other looks ultra chic too, especially in a black and white kitchen.


Mix up textures too, if your table is glass and chrome consider some padded, upholstered chairs with chrome legs. Getting dining chairs that are made in contemporary finishes but in slightly traditional shapes (like the Kartell Ghost chair or the Bonaldo Victor chair) always looks good with modern dining tables and can soften the look up a bit.

Or if you do buy a matching dining table and chairs you could add another totally different element into the room, for example an antique china cabinet or sideboard. Tie the two in together with an antique wall mirror or candelabra or perhaps an antique rug under the table and you have a unique dining room.


Although it mixing modern with traditional, but can be difficult to pull off well. You will need to take a good look at the room the furniture is going in first. How high is the ceiling? What is the floor made of? What type of windows do you have, and what are the window treatments. If you live in a boxy flat or newly built property adding antiques to modern might be tricky, & you might be better to forgo the antiques altogether and go for all modern, or modern & conservative pieces if you don’t want a too contemporary dining room.


But if you live in a high ceilinged Victorian house you could pull this off with a contemporary dining table and chairs, but you would need to choose with care, and keep the theme consistent. There’s no point in having a house in a contemporary style with only one or two antiques.

The finishing touches in a dining room can be the most important part, bringing different colours, styles and elements in together, or adding some contrast and interest to matching dining sets.


Accessories for the dining room include wall mirrors, which can bring light and space to a room, art work (an interesting piece of art can provide a talking point), candelabras and candles, vases of flowers, bowls of fruit, and lighting – floor lamps, pendant lamps over the table, or a table lamp on the sideboard. If you are on a budget and haven’t been able to spend much on either your table or chairs a really good accessory like a Murano glass vase or an Italian wall mirror can really make a difference.


To get some inspiration have a look at the decoration magazines. ‘Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms’, & ‘Essential Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms’ are a great place to start if your dining area is in your kitchen. Elle Décor has contemporary ideas, and BBC Homes & Antiques ideas for antiques. But whatever you do don’t make your home a copy of the magazines, use your own taste to make your dining room or area truly yours, so you can really enjoy it.

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