What Furniture Should Be In A Dining Room? [5 Must-have Items]

Whether your dining room is a place to have intimate family meals or to host large parties of family and friends, deciding what furniture is best suited for your home can make your mealtime gatherings more relaxing and enjoyable. We've put together a list of essential dining room furniture items to help you create a beautiful dining space.

When furnishing your dining room, these elements are perfect additions to your dining area:

  • Table and chairs
  • Storage
  • Rug
  • Mirror
  • Statement lighting

From large formal dining rooms to open concept spaces, you can style these pieces to fit almost any design style. Keep reading to see why these are essential items to your dining room and how you can style them for the perfect look.

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Furniture For Your Dining Room

Table And Chairs

The most obvious furniture for your dining room would be a table and chairs. However, the style of the table and chairs is going to be the base for the rest of your dining room. Several factors will go into what table you choose, such as the size of the room, the intention you hold for the room, and your style preferences.

Traditional formal dining rooms are roughly 14 feet by 16 feet. These rooms can hold longer tables for more seating. If you intend to host family gatherings, dinner parties, or simply have a larger household, then choosing a longer table would be the right choice for you.

Roundhill Furniture Table

This table seats eight people comfortably and also has an extension leaf for an extra foot of space. 

Click here to view it on Amazon.

If you live in a home that either doesn't have a formal dining room or has a smaller dining room, then you should consider a table that is smaller and doesn't overcrowd your space. Some homes will have dining areas that are part of open layout kitchens or living rooms. Sometimes this space is about 8 feet by 8 feet, but it can be smaller.

Benjara Table

This table seats six people and has a less formal style by adding a bench in place of two of the chairs. This is a great style for open concept homes where a formal dining table may not fit the aesthetic of the attached living room or kitchen. It's also a great choice for everyday eating.

Click here to view it on Amazon.


Especially in a more formal dining room, a hutch or sideboard is a classic piece of furniture. A hutch can be used for holding the expensive dishware meant only for special occasions. Usually a family heirloom, hutches will have glass doors that allow you to store and display these sentimental dishes.

Click here to view this hutch on Amazon.

Sideboards, also called a buffet, are long, thin tables that are used for serving food. These units have cabinet space for storage underneath but are smaller than a hutch. These are excellent in smaller dining rooms with less table space for serving, or if you simply don't have a need for the amount of storage a hutch provides.

Click here to view this sideboard on Amazon.

Whether you need to store formal dishes or need the extra serving space, storage is a valuable asset in your dining room. It provides you space to hold table cloths, wine bottles, or drinking glasses. Anything that would be used in your dining room can be kept there for quick access during meals or gatherings.


Rugs are both a stylistic element for your dining room as well as a functional piece. In terms of design, a rug is going to create visual space around your table. If you have a wood table on a hardwood floor, a rug can break up the monotony of wood on wood. This is great if you have a wood table that is a different color wood than your floor as well since it can put a barrier to tame a stark contrast in colors.

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If your dining area has carpet, rugs can help to catch any accidental spills that might happen at the dinner table. If you have hardwood floors, they can also help to prevent any scratching that may occur from chair legs.

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Adding a mirror to your dining room can be an excellent addition to your decor. Mirrors are meant to create space and light as opposed to giving the viewer the ability to look at themselves. Therefore, size and placement are your biggest considerations.

If you have a window in your dining room, placing the mirror across from the window will allow the natural light to reflect off the mirror and back into the room. If you don't have a window in your dining room but you do have a chandelier or other statement light fixture, you can hang the mirror so that it reflects the light fixture. Not only does this create more light, but it also creates the illusion that the room and the chandelier are larger.

Because the purpose of this mirror would be to create the illusion of more space in the room, don't be afraid to style a larger mirror, even if it seems disproportional to the room. The larger the mirror, the more light and space it can reflect. You can even opt for a mirror gallery wall to create a beautiful focal point.

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According to Feng Shui, mirrors are best suited for the dining room. The dining room is considered to be a wealth vault. Think of it as wealth being viewed by what you are able to put on your table, so this room is where your wealth is held. By placing a mirror in this room, it creates the illusion of a bigger room, which means a bigger wealth vault.

Feng Shui also suggests being careful with mirrors facing windows, since what is reflected is visually brought into your home. Outdoor views are great, but you wouldn't want to reflect power lines, pipes, or noisy roads into your home.


Formal dining rooms tend to have higher ceilings, so if the light fixture is dim or flush with the ceiling, then it can cause the room to be too dark. For this reason, statement lighting is a great upgrade to your dining room. Chandeliers or pendant lights bring the light closer to the table as well as distribute it more evenly than a single overhead light.

Elaborate and decorative lighting can be a fun addition to the room. There are options for any style you are wanting to achieve. If you want something more classic, chandeliers add luxury and decadence to the room.

Click here to view this chandelier on Amazon.

When searching for lighting that is more modern, try a Sputnik chandelier that will add an industrial element to your dining room.

Click here to view this chandelier on Amazon.

If you don't have a formal dining room or have lower ceilings, you don't have to skip the statement lighting. Instead of hanging pieces, look for something that has a flush mount that will keep the lighting closer to the ceiling.

Click here to view this lighting on Amazon.

Can You Put A Sofa In A Dining Room?

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Placing a sofa in the dining room is plausible, but can be tricky. If you have a large dining room and have space for a sofa and a side table for guests to relax on before or after meals, then by all means add it. However, if you're looking to add a sofa as a stylish form of seating at the dinner table, you have to be fairly selective about your choice. 

Some sofas sit lower than would be comfortable for dining. And if you have a sofa with thicker cushions, even if it looks appropriate height, the sitter would sink too low to sit comfortably at the table. When choosing a sofa or settee for a dining room table, choose something with a bit more structure. Most likely your guests would be sitting closer to the edge of the sofa, so it has to be enjoyable to sit upright on.

How Do You Arrange Furniture In A Dining Room?

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Generally speaking, a standard dining room would have the dining room table centered under the light fixture with a hutch or sideboard lining a longer wall. You can also choose to place seating around a window if you have the extra space.

When deciding if this layout will work for you, there are some elements you can consider. First, make sure that there is enough room around your table for guests to walk when someone is seated in the chairs. This includes the space between the table and the sideboard. 

If this means that the table cannot be centered under the light fixture, see if it's possible to move the fixture. Hanging fixtures that use a chain can be secured to other areas of the ceiling with a hook. This doesn't provide unlimited movement, but it will give you a foot or so in any direction to move the table. You can also add links to the chain to make it longer, giving you more room to work with.

If you don't have room for a sideboard and room to move around the table, you can use a corner cabinet for storage. This will free up wall space around the table; however, you lose the serving area, so be sure you can make up for that space on the table.

Where Should A Dining Room Be Located In A House?

Dining rooms should be a sensible distance from the kitchen. Usually, they are attached to the kitchen or connected by a short hallway. As guests and hosts would be moving from kitchen to dining room frequently, this provides the quickest and simplest access between each room.

What Color Is Best For A Dining Room? 

To determine the color for a dining room, you can turn to the psychology of color. This is the science behind how the human mind relates feelings and attitudes to specific colors. 

For the dining room, try to focus on reds, turquoise, or orange. Reds and oranges create a lively and energetic environment. They promote interaction and conversations between guests. Reds and turquoise, or even soft blues, stimulate the appetite. Soft blues are also calming and relaxing. This is perfect for large gatherings where chatting and group noise can be overwhelming.

In Closing

No matter the size or type of dining room you are styling, these elements can be adapted for any style you wish to achieve.

Check out these articles to read more about dining room decor:

Should Living Room Furniture Match Dining Room Furniture?

21 Wall Decor Ideas For Your Dining Room

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