Have you ever noticed when people are visiting your home that they tend to stay in or around the kitchen? Perhaps that’s because that area is where many of us nurture and connect with our own families, and it’s a good place to bond with guests as well.
Casual dining spaces were thus created as part of the kitchen or closely connected with the kitchen, and they are designed to be used as a part of our daily lives (as opposed to formal dining rooms that most people save for special occasions). Not only is it probably the place you sit and eat with your family, but it also might function as your children’s homework zone, a bill-paying center, newspaper/coffee break spot, crafts station, and place to catch up with friends.
But just because your casual dining space is a great multi-tasker doesn’t mean it has to suffer for style. There are lots of great furnishings that are functional and chic.
Size up your space
Casual dining spaces are usually on a smaller scale than former dining rooms, so it’s all about keeping it simple. Think carefully about the size you have available – is it rectangular? Square? Or would a round table work best? Use masking tape or pieces of newspaper to visualize the most appropriate size for your table, chairs, and extra two feet behind for you to move around comfortably.
Many casual dining tables are round, but square tables have become popular over the last few years as well. Although a round or square table accommodates fewer people than the traditional rectangular table, they do offer a more relaxed and conversation-contributing approach to dining. Whatever you decide, be sure to choose tables and chairs that are proportional to your space.
What’s your style?
Casual dining furniture comes in all kinds of styles, from country to transitional to contemporary. Since casual dining areas usually share space with the kitchen and/or family room space, you’ll want to make sure that the style of your furniture is compatible with the style of the entire room.
Casual dining room furniture can be found in rustic, casual, formal, and modern styles, making it a breeze to find pieces that complement your existing style.
Have a seat!
Seating can be really untraditional and fun in a casual dining area. Throw the rulebook out and find the seating that works best for how you use the space and shows off your personality. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Try mixing the fabrics on your chairs — instead of having them all look the same, cover a couple with a complementary fabric. Or choose a couple of different chair styles in the same wood finish or material.
- A pub or counter set, swivel chairs or barstools can be a great addition for a small dining nook or a corner of a kitchen. When people are sitting at counter sets they are almost on the same eye level as someone who may be standing nearby, which encourages conversation.
- How about a freestanding bench along one or both sides of a rectangular or square table? The look is fun, relaxed, and practical for seating several children at a time.
Keep in mind that because of its multi-purpose nature, you want your casual dining furniture to stand up to plenty of use — a good piece of furniture can give you years of function, comfort and enjoyment. You may invest a bit more for better quality dining set but, in the long run, quality furniture will last for many years, and you will save money by not having to replace it frequently. At BILTRITE Furniture – Leather – Mattresses we specialize in Amish made and USA made dining sets. With many options in size, shape, chairs, wood species, finish, number of leaves, and color, we can help make your casual dining area somewhere that you love to be!
Randi K., 4th Generation Family Member