We believe home design should be stylish and distinctive. From an eat-in breakfast nook to a formal table that plays host to shared meals, a dining space is often the heart of your home. The dining room furniture we choose defines how we live in and use that space—from simply enjoyed bites to holidays and shared occasions. At Lulu and Georgia, our thoughtfully curated collection has timeless and contemporary dining room furniture to help you curate your space to your taste.
Not sure what style or design best fits your home as you shop dining room furniture? Don't worry; we have got you covered. Check out the tips below for ideas and inspiration as you choose the best pieces to buy for your kitchen or dining room.
Shopping the Set Pieces — How to Choose Furniture for a Modern Dining Room
More than most rooms, dining rooms follow a fairly well-established design pattern. No matter the size or footprint, we see a dining set featuring a central table and seating with space to move around. In a well-appointed room, you may also have a sideboard or cabinet storage on one side or perhaps a bar cart in the corner, but for the most part, this is the extent of your dining furniture.
That feels simple enough, and simple is good—but with so few elements, finding impact with each one is crucial. Let’s look at some of the essential pieces before considering how to incorporate them into a cohesive dining set.
Dining tables don’t just hold a central place in our dining room; they hold a central place in our home and shared daily rituals. It’s the one piece of furniture in the house that gets an epithet—the family table.
When shopping dining tables, a good starting point is size. We want to ensure the family table fits the family—and guests, holiday dinners, homework, projects, and game nights. But we also want to make sure it fits in the space. You want at least 2’ but ideally closer to 3’ on all sides to move comfortably around the table. At the table itself, you need about 2’ per person—for example, a 7’ rectangular table can fit six people with two on each side and one on each end.
If you’re having difficulty picturing the table in place, get out some painter’s tape and mark out its footprint on the floor for easy visualization. As you start to figure out what size table you’re looking for, you can narrow down materiality, finish, and style. We’ll cover more on that later—but you can also check out our style guide on How to Pair Dining Tables and Chairs.
Dining Chairs and Other Dining Room Seating
Seating offers a little more flexibility in style than tables do—so it’s a great opportunity for flair. From rustic Windsor chairs to more sculptural silhouettes in luxe upholstery, dining chairs, and other seating let you bring character to the room. We’ll talk more about mixing and matching styles later, but for now, a good rule to keep in mind is that chair size is dictated by table size. Most chairs should fit with most tables, but visualize the chair in place. If you have a grand, stately table, try some taller backed chairs to match. If you’re styling a bistro table, find something chic and less imposing stature.
This same sizing rule applies to bar + counter stools and dining benches. Mind your measurements and check product details. If a chair or bench has arms, are they low enough to slide under the table when not in use? Does the seat height sit low enough to comfortably sit at the counter or table with the seat pulled in? Is a bench seat short enough to fit between the legs of the table?
Remember, your table may be the centerpiece of the room, but that doesn’t mean seating can’t bring statement appeal. We love something like this Colm Bench arranged in a set of four around a round table for a small-space dining room with outsized impact.
Sideboards and Cabinets
A sideboard or cabinet can stage decor, but it can also hold dishes, glassware, linens, and other dining essentials. The best sideboard designs incorporate storage and display into a seamless curation, showing off favorite pieces while keeping them on hand for hosting and everyday meals.
A sideboard is primarily for storage, so when purchasing, your number one concern will probably be storage space—but don’t forget how the piece fits in the room. Your sideboard should be a few inches taller than the dining table but not longer in profile, as this can make your table feel small or underwhelming. Remember, find individual pieces you love, but always weigh them with other elements in the room.
The Beauty in the Mix — Finding Cohesion and Contrast with Your Dining Room Set
One piece of style advice you’ll often hear is to layer textures and materials—bringing variety to your design. We love this advice because bringing beauty to your home should be personal—it should reflect your taste and your choices. Think of your dining furniture like an orchestra—it works best if the parts are in harmony while offering different notes. That’s not to say you can’t style a matching dining room furniture set for a more tailored feel, but try to incorporate some variety for visual interest. This can be achieved with material, finish, shape, or design style.
One alternative to a dining room table set is to shop a designer collection to find elements that sit in conversation without feeling overmatched. In our exclusive collection by Eny Lee Parker, her Elle Dining Table and May Dining Chair make a perfect pair, matching each other in artful poise while offering a chic material mix that will layer texture and tone in the room. Another option is to buy chairs or a bench from the same dining room table set but offset the look with unique armchairs at either end.
For a more artful approach, go for visual impact with a light table with dark chairs or the other way around. You can style even an eclectic mix of chairs. The key here is to make sure the chairs all share some element in common—like a collection of wicker chairs or chairs with different silhouettes but all in a similar finish. You can get away with more contrast at the heads of the table—something like upholstered dining chairs with more pared-down, rustic seats or even a wooden dining bench on the side.
In all approaches, remember to be mindful of visual weight in the room. Larger objects with darker finishes have more visual weight, drawing the eye. A sideboard will be the largest piece of furniture beside your table—so make sure it provides balance across the room. Remember to consider not only the piece itself but how it is decorated—tabletop decor should tie your design together, not just sit on top of the look.
Tabletop essentials and other decor are great for setting off the room. Consider how small touches like a classic painting or even something as simple as an iconic pepper mill can bring in contrast if you have primarily contemporary dining room furniture. When mixing styles, like modern dining room furniture and antique elements, try to let one style be dominant and use the other as seasoning—so to speak. Of course, all rules are made to be broken, so follow your own instinct in your own space but always stay mindful of the mix.
However you style it, your dining room furniture allows you the flexibility to showcase the nuances of your design aesthetic. Whether you have a family nook and formal dining room or an all-purpose table space, a well-appointed home should be ready for everything from intimate meals to shared occasions—furnished to serve as the heart of both. By styling a dining space you love, you can elevate one of our most basic shared rituals—with taste.
When you shop dining room furniture at Lulu and Georgia, you'll find dining furniture and dining room sets that complement the style of your home but also make it feel more elevated. You can choose from our wide selection of dining room furniture to find the perfect purchase, no matter what you're looking for. Check our dining room inspiration page for more ideas on styling an inviting table.Show Less