powered by
Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

What to do in our dining room...

megmciJanuary 28, 2013
Room is 14' x 15'. Three windows, three doors. The table and chairs shown are NOT staying. I'm interested in:
1) Ideas to have there be a sitting area, that takes advantage of the fireplace, in addition to a dining area; or
2) If there isn't enough space for #1, ideas for some bench/sofa-style seating (with a back) along one side of the table. How deep should the seat be so it's still comfortable for eating? In this scenario, given the size of the room, how long can the dining table be?

Thanks for your input!
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Could you just do a round table by the windows, or long rectangular table by the windows, and then do a separate love seat or 2 large chairs facing the fireplace with a coffee table and or small table between the chairs? Not sure how many people are in the house for regular dining? That will help to know! Love the room, even though the layout is unique!
    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Good question, thanks for asking! We don't eat in here every day. This would be more for holidays, etc. The most we've had thus far is 6 people. I like your idea, but wonder about how to size all that furniture so that it will fit in the space, leave room to walk, etc.
    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Love this room and armoire! I would also add more lighting though. Just move the table down turn it ,then move the Armoire to the fireplace side and add 2chairs and a small table with maybe a area rug ...you could open the armoire doors and stage it really pretty with quilts ,books and if there is room maybe a small lamp(if its safe to do so)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Danielle B
Interesting room... the location of the fireplace speaks to the functional purpose of the fireplace as a necessary source heating. In my home, the fireplace is located between the dining room and living room, so it is difficult to arrange furniture in a way that allows my family to enjoy it, as you can judge from attached posts (we are in the midst of a reno too...).
For a while, the solution for us was to place an overzised ottoman in front of the fireplace, as an transition area. In your case, I am concerned with the close location of the kitchen entrance, making it a little dangerous to place any kind of furniture in front of the fireplace.
If I were you, I would push the dining table to the side and test various options with other pieces you have around the house for a week or two, and see if you can get used to it and not trip over it all the time, before you make any big purchase.
If you can get used to having a set of armchairs, chaise lounge, or ottoman, then consider moving the dining table closer to the window. I like mpolsom's idea of a round table, another option if you prefer a rectangle table is to have a banquette against the wall.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I think you should make it into a two in one room. These are the pieces you need to achieve that.
1) A flip top table which acts as a sofa table and dining table
2) 3-4 individual ottomans
3) 2 slipper chairs.
4) Bench sofa

When not a dining room. The flip top table is across the wall window, the sofa is in front of the flip top table, the 3-4 ottomans are directly under the hanging fixture and the slipper chairs are on the other side of the ottomans. So here is your seating area.

When a dining room: Center the flip top table under the light, the bench sofa goes on the opposite side of the fireplace, the ottomans go on the opposite side of the bench sofa and the slipper chair on the two ends.

See a two in one room:)
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flip top table
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rhonda Bland
A round clear table I think would help, round would create a better flow of space and clear top would give the look of more space. Is this right or not.
    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
You could do something like this, using your own furniture but adding a bench seat against the window. Then, a couple of chairs/ottoman for fireside sitting.
Market and Dining Room · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I think this is what Maria Billingsley had in mind (great idea)! Drop leaf table as coffee table and dining table when needed. With her better chair suggestions!
The Little House on Cape Cod · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Is there another window next to the armoire? Are the split doors cupboards (next to the fireplace)?
    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
If this would be my room, I would have it as a dining room, but with either built in sofa-style bench under the window with chairs or oversize living room style chairs for dining. If you choose a lower table, it can do double duty.
I love the second photo. If the chairs could be on tiny, durable casters, you could swing them around perhaps? Maybe this is stretching it to far... Not sure how level your beautiful floor is, for something like that...
1 Like    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thanks everyone for the great ideas! A flip-top or drop-leaf table sounds like a brilliant idea for the space.
    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
@Maria - who makes the table you posted?
    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
You can purchase it from Century Furniture. We carry that line if you would like a price.
    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Search Craigslist and junk shops for a nice older round table with a pedestal base and a couple of leaves, or a wake table.

Couple that with a few, say 4-6, open-arm Georgian chairs, and you'll give yourself a room with multiple uses, and furniture that's age (style) appropriate for the house.

Pedestal table like this (pedestal means no-one has to sit at a leg, so you can cram more people around the table for a dinner party):


Wake table like this (folds long and flat against a wall, but you do have to argue with the legs):


Chairs like these (don't choke on the price, lol - you can find them WAY cheaper if they're not the genuine article; the style means they're very comfortable either at table or for flopping in front of the fire, and they're not bulky):


The reason I made these suggestions is we have the same room size in an old house, those table shapes/styles, and the chairs, so I know whereof I talk, lol.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Alfieri Design
Lots of great ideas, but the ones which resonate are the built-in benches under the window with storage below (I would take it into the corner), more lighting, dining room table appropriate to the corner.... I love the armoire, but it's fighting with the fireplace as a center, and is weighting the room down. I'm confused about the beams..are they two different colors or different beams? I would like to see them all one shade in a more unified conversation with each other. The fireplace wall needs a large mirror centered to the fireplace itself, and appropriate decorations centered around the use of the room...plates, food etc. The two side cabinets are perfect for dish display or collections ...just add glass doors and shelves with interior lighting, and voila'! A few comfortable chairs easily moved from mid room to the cornered table. Center your dining light to the table, and be sure to add spot lighting for the fireplace.....One giant question, is the fireplace actually used as a fireplace, and is it gas or wood burning?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
@Fab Brandt...thanks for all the input. The beams are all the same, wood with no finish (they're very old so I'm sure there's some variation in shade at this point). The lighting in the picture is poor, which is probably contributing to them appearing different. There is a mirror over the fireplace, as well as recessed lights (such lights are not my fave, but they're staying for now). The fireplace is wood burning, and we do use it frequently. It's one of the reasons I want the room to be more than just a dining room, which we won't use often.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Danielle B
Built in benches are a great idea if used for formal dining, select a design with an upholstered back, which will provide better back support than a straight bench with decorative pillows.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lovely home, Fantastic floors.

I would like to suggest turning the table so it lines up with the fireplace. This will bring focus to the fire place.

Also, the mirror over the fireplace should be centered over the black area of the fireplace, not the wall.
In doing so, you reduce the many different angles, and keep reinforcing the focus on the most beautiful thing in the room - the fireplace. The space on the right side of the mirror can show a collection of prints, candles, etc.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Alfieri Design
I do love the old beams and your fireplace. It's a must to have comfortable seating based around the fireplace....If you wanted, you could place a flat screen above the fireplace, a corner low back sectional sofa against the windows with a dining room table, and the use is guaranteed...two adaptable easy chairs facing the fireplace that can be easily moved around as you like?
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thanks so much for all the input. Now we've changed things up a bit. My other half correctly pointed out that we don't really need to make this a dining room for the 2-3 times it will be used each year. We have a farm table on our enclosed porch that could easily be moved in here if we need a dining room.

So, with that in mind, now this only needs to be a sitting room. Need help with choosing furniture and where to place it. Everything currently in the room can leave. I love the armoire, but it can be used elsewhere if necessary.

I like this collection from RH.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I have a hard time picturing how to place furniture near the fireplace and have it look balanced...since it's so close to the door, tough to imagine a layout that works.

The room won't have a tv, so that isn't a consideration.
    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Alfieri Design
In that case, I would use an el shaped sectional that could double for dining room seating (not too low, your armoire can then stay where it is....simply measure the fireplace wall to the door, and minus 3 feet for walking distance around the sofa, voila, sitting room. Bring in a floor lamp or table lamp or both, or if you have the space, a sofa table for in back of it. Be sure to move the mirror directly over the fireplace, or put an inspired piece of artwork in the same place. Make it an icon of the room, whatever you perceive it to be....I prefer larger scale pieces as opposed to many small ones, but even those can be placed in such a way as to enhance the wall space....two chairs on the window wall with a small side table, and one for the sofa...to set your drinks, books, computer etc, maybe two depending on the scale. I'll post a few inexpensive pieces shortly to look at. Good luck.
    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:24AM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Need Help w/ Our Living Room/Kitchen/Dining Room Area
We moved into our house a year ago and I was excited...
Need help with redesigning my dining room
We have recently renovated our downstairs but I can't...
Is our carpet the right size for our dining room?
We just purchased a carpet that goes perfectly in our...
Do you have a formal dining room? Is it still a dining room?
Does your home has a formal dining room? If so, are...
Emily Hurley
How do I make my dining area flow with our formal living room?
Our formal living room is also our dining area. Bc...
Lisa Kong
More Discussions
What brand of front load washer do you own and….
….can you wash bath mats or more than 3 large towels...
Painting basement bulkheads - wall or ceiling colour?
We've been in this house just over a year and I'm ready...
Color and cosmetic changes to improve this house?
The house is even more green in person...help! I was...
Stephanie Emmert
bench in shower or not?
Our new master bath plans have a 3.5' x 5' shower and...
Need ideas or links for TV in corner....
Due to the configuration of my 2nd floor landing, the...
Diane G.
People viewed this after searching for:
The content on this page is provided by Houzz and is subject to the Houzz terms of use, copyright and privacy policy.
Copyright claims: contact the Houzz designated agent.