From formal rooms reserved for special occasions to more casual spaces where the family can gather, dining rooms come in all types. The perfect dining room reflects the homeowner’s style and personality, but arranging one just right can be tricky.

If your dining room is ready for a makeover or you have a new home and haven’t even started on the dining area yet, you’re in luck – we’ve broken down the steps for designing and arranging the dining room of your dreams.

Assess the Room

Before you worry about anything else, it is a good idea to assess the dining area. This can help you avoid common pitfalls like furniture that does not fit the room or isn’t ideal for your needs.

Take Measurements

When planning your dining room, be sure to measure the space before deciding on the furniture. Ideally, you want 1-1.5 metres between your dining table and the walls so your guests can comfortably pull out their chairs and the host can easily manoeuvre around the table while serving.

If your dining area is on the small side, consider a round table. Round tables take up less room than square or rectangular ones because they don’t have space-wasting corners. They’re also easier to fit more people around, making them ideal for impromptu get-togethers in a small area.

If you have extra room in your dining area, don’t think that means you need to invest in an extra-large table. You can also fill the space with a buffet, console, or extra seating area.

Consider the Function

When designing the perfect dining room for your home, it’s crucial to consider two things:

  • The number of people using it: Will it be mostly family and close friends or frequent large-scale dinner parties?
  • The room’s function: Will the room be reserved for formal dinners or serve as a casual gathering place to do homework or chat about your day?


If you rarely host large numbers of people, it’s worth considering a smaller table or an extendable one that you can make larger if the need arises. On the other hand, if you have a large family or regularly serve large groups, it might be worth investing in a larger table.

Determining what you will use the room for can affect every decision you make when designing and arranging it, from the table’s style to the material of the dining chairs you select. For example, you might not want to invest in those gorgeous dry clean-only upholstered chairs if your young children will be using the space for arts and crafts.

Start With the Table

Your dining room table is the central piece of the dining room, so it makes sense to start with it and build the rest of the space around it. Once you assess the dining room as described above, you should have a pretty good idea of what size and shape table you might want.

Once you decide that, choosing the perfect table is a matter of style. For example, do you want a traditional solid wood table or do you prefer the industrial-chic look of a metal and wood combination? Perhaps a minimalist square table is more your style.

Select Seating Options

Second to the dining table, the most important aspect of a dining area is, of course, seating. You want seating that will serve the space without overpowering it.

Much like dining tables, dining chairs come in a variety of materials, colours, and styles. Whether you want simple, elegant, or comfortable, there’s a dining chair for you.

Dining benches are perfect if you want to squeeze in as many diners as possible or just prefer a casual feel.

If you want to be ready for spur-of-the-moment get-togethers but otherwise prefer a roomier table setup, you might want to store extra dining chairs in the corner of the dining room or tucked away in storage rather than keeping them at the table.

Add Accent Furniture

A table and chairs might be enough in your dining room if you’re going for a minimalist vibe, but most dining rooms benefit from accent furniture like sideboards, drink trolleys, or bookshelves.

These items are excellent dining room additions that warm a space up and show off your style. They also serve the practical function of providing more surfaces for storing extra dishes and so forth.

Choose Flattering Lighting

Everyone likes being in a dining room with flattering lighting – it makes both the diners and food look even more impressive.

A dramatic chandelier over a table adds a touch of class, while overhead pendant lighting has a more contemporary effect. If you prefer indirect lighting, a couple of wall lamps might be just the thing.

Consider a Rug

Adding a rug to your dining room can help tie all the separate elements together and define the space if your dining area is part of a larger room. A rug also helps muffle sound, which can be especially helpful if you have tile floors.

Just make sure to choose the right size rug for your dining table – you want it large enough that all the chairs fit on it and won’t catch on it when being pulled in or out.

Additional Decor

A dining room can often look incomplete without decorative elements like wall art or a centrepiece for the table.

If you’re not a fan of traditional large centrepieces, you might prefer a few candle holders or an attractive bowl with decorative balls or a low-growing plant inside it. Remember that a centrepiece should be low enough not to block diners from one another’s view.

Need Dining Room Inspiration?                                                                

If you’re having trouble finding the right dining room furniture for your home, browse through our offerings.

April & Oak is an Australian-owned business specializing in unique furniture, decor, lighting, and rugs from all over the world at the best prices – guaranteed. We offer 30-day returns, so if you don’t love what you order, it’s no problem.

You can learn more about us here.