What Size Should A Dining Room Be?

As you plan your new house or remodel, you may be considering what size you want your dining room to be. This room is built for entertainment, so you definitely want it to be the right size to fit your needs. So is there a certain size that a dining room should be? We've done the research to bring you the answer. 

There are multiple factors to determine the size of the dining room. The two main types of dining rooms are enclosed and open concept. The average enclosed dining room is 14 feet by 16 feet. An open concept dining area offers flexibility for the size of the area. To base it on the square footage, you should total the square feet of the open space, divide the total square feet by the number of different sections you wish to create, and then use the end number to determine how much space you want to use for the dining area. 

If you still have more questions about the dining room size, stick with us. In this guide, we'll talk about deciding which type is best for you, where to place it in the home, and how to change the roominess if it is larger or smaller than desired. So, let's get to it, shall we? 

Cozy dining room interior with wooden chairs, what size should a dining room be


Dining Room Size

As we mentioned, a dining room can either be an enclosed space or part of an open concept. Either one is perfectly acceptable; it only depends on your personal style and design wants. There are benefits to each. 

There's an additional method to determine a suitable dining room size. If you want to start with your dining room furniture's size, then measure your dining set and add a minimum of 30 inches in between the table and any obstructions, such as a hutch or the wall. This will lead you to an appropriately sized room. 

Enclosed Dining Room

On average, an enclosed dining room is approximately 224 square feet. This space allows for a nice-sized dining set and a formal ambiance that an open-plan concept does not have. This keeps the rest of the home separate and provides privacy to the guests.  

For a more formal dining room, use a measurement of 14 feet by 18 feet, allowing space for a formal dining set and a hutch.

Open Concept

An open concept dining room is a dining room that is part of a combination of a kitchen and living room. All three share a common area with a visible design division to separate them. Easy ways to define the dining area is with the arrangement of the furniture, color coding the zones, and adding floor variants such as a rug under the dining area. 

Deciding Factors

Do you need a formal dining room? Or is an open concept more suited to you? To decide, take a look at your lifestyle and budget. If you plan on entertaining a lot and have the budget, there are multiple benefits to an enclosed dining room. The room will add privacy to the guests and it will keep the kitchen separate. You can get daily use out of it for both dining and other activities. If you aren't planning to use the room very often, then an open concept may suit you better.


Place the dining area in a place that is accessible to the kitchen and other rooms that the guests will need to access, such as the bathroom, living room, or patio.


Here are a few concepts to consider if you want to follow a specific theme for your dining area. You can mix and match or hold true to each style. The formal dining room has elegant furniture that is normally part of a matching set. The sets are elaborate with curves and inlays.

Classic Style

The formal set adds a warm feeling to the room.

Click here to view this set on Amazon.

Farmhouse Style

Farmhouse style invites families to come over often as it's laidback and comfortable.

Click here to see this set on Amazon.

Cottage Style

Cottage style brings a classic feel to the dining room. It's typically charming and full of light and airy colors. 

Click here to see this set on Amazon.

How Can You Make A Small Dining Room Look Bigger?

If you have a small dining room, there are multiple ways to make the room seem larger. If possible, add a large window to allow more natural light in. Hang a light fixture centered above the table to accentuate the table area, which will move the visual focus away from the walls. Use a round or oval table instead of a rectangular one.


Use furniture pieces that don't take up a lot of space. Consider using benches instead of chairs to optimize seating and the amount of space in the room.  


Add a rug under the dining set to break up space and to delineate the walls. Rugs come in plenty of colors, patterns, and sizes, so you're sure to find the perfect one for the room.

Lighter Paint Color

Go for lighter pastel paint on the dining room walls to open up the room. Dark colors tend to make a room feel smaller while lighter colors will open up the area. 

How Can You Make A Large Dining Room Seem Smaller?

Most of the same ideas that make the room seem larger can also make the room smaller. Dark colors instead of light, multiple rugs to break up the room, and adding pictures to the walls. You can also split up space by adding attractive storage options for extra dishes or a place to hide the craft supplies.

Click here to see this pantry cabinet on Amazon.

For more information about how to fill up the extra space attractively, visit our post about How To Fill Empty Space in Dining Room [5 Awesome Ideas!]

How Much Room Do You Need For A 8-Seater Dining Table?

To seat 8 people comfortably at a dining room table without a shared area, you will want a table that is 8 feet long by 2 feet 6 inches wide. If you include shared space, go with a table that is 8 feet 6 inches long by 3 feet wide. A dining table can have two areas: place settings for each person and the other space for serving dishes, condiments, and table decorations.

The basic rule of thumb is to calculate about two feet of space per seat. For comfortable chair placement, calculate at least 24 inches between chairs measured from the seats' the center peats. Ensure that everyone can easily slide their chairs back and maneuver around the room. 

Click here to view this dining set on Amazon.

If you need to reduce the table size when your guests leave, get a table that extends in size with leaves. The leaves can slide in the middle to create space for 10 or go down to service 4.

Click here to view this table on Amazon.

Do Dining Benches Save Space?

For small, enclosed dining rooms, consider dining benches. They save space and have the optional added benefit of storage. Dining benches are designed so that multiple people can slide in and out, and you don't have to worry about space between chairs. You will want the bench to be the length between the table's legs, minus a few inches so that you can tuck the bench under the table. 

Keep in mind that while the benches save space and you can add storage to them, they are not comfortable to sit on for long periods of time. When someone needs to get up, everyone on the bench will need to move or at least squeeze over so that the guest can get out. 

Click here to view this dining bench pair on Amazon.

Should There Be A Rug In The Dining Room?

A rug in the dining room is a personal preference. The benefits of having a rug include adding ambiance to the room and protecting the floor from scuffing or scratches by the chairs sliding against the floor. The rug can be used to help define the space in an open-concept design by being placed strategically under the table to spotlight the dining set. 

There are a few things to be mindful of when adding a rug in the dining area. Depending on how accident-prone your guests may be, it can create a mess on the rug that's hard to clean. Crumbs and solid spills are very easy to sweep off or run a vacuum over, whereas a liquid spill will require more intensive cleaning. 

When choosing the rug, be cautious that the rug doesn't pull attention from the room. It should accentuate the room. 

Click here to see this rug on Amazon.

Rug Size

You will want to have the rug cover an extra 1.5 feet to 3 feet larger than the table on each size. This will allow the chairs to slide in and out without catching on the edges of the rug. This size allows the dining set to be spotlighted as it is centered on the rug.  

In Closing

We have discovered the average size of a dining room, including how to measure based on the furniture that will be in the room. We added what sizes of tables to consider along with benches versus chairs to optimize the space.

Now that you have decided on your dining room plan and have seen some options about different dining sets, learn more by reading our post about What Type Of Fabric Is Best For Dining Room Chairs?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *