Check out our tips for creating a delectable dining table.
Whether it’s for a casual weekday supper or for something a little more formal, our top tips show you how to create a dining room table to be proud of.
The dining table and chairs
There is, of course, a plethora of choices when it comes to choosing your dining room table and chairs. From solid wood to glass and metal, it really comes down to personal choice and available budget.
Once you’ve settled on a style, it’s important to think about how you’ll use it. If you have a small family but entertain a lot, investing in an extendable table is a good idea. If you do go for this option, look for additional chairs that can be stacked or folded away when you don’t need them.
The most important thing to consider when it comes to the dining chairs is comfort. Once you’ve got that sorted, you can choose designs which match your dining table for a cohesive look or those which contrast for something a little more eclectic. Brightly coloured painted wooden or plastic chairs can look great with a wooden or sleek gloss table.
While you might not use table linen everyday, it’s a good idea to have an assortment of choices on hand. Plastic coated tablecloths are ideal for young families as they can be wiped clean after every mealtime and come in a variety of designs and colours to add interest to your table.
For more formal occasions and those times you really want to impress, a linen tablecloth and napkins are a must. With a huge range of patterns and colours available, it can be hard to choose but white or off-white linen always looks stylish and works in both contemporary and classic schemes.
If your dining table is particularly precious, think about investing in a table protector, which will safeguard against any knocks, spills and burns.
Choosing hard-wearing, dishwasher-safe cutlery is a good bet for everyday use. If you fancy something a little grander for supper parties and special occasions, there’s a huge range to choose from, whether sleek, modern designer styles or ornate, classic collections.
If you want to create a vintage look, consider collecting a mish mash of designs from second hand shops. Cutlery that is only going to be used occasionally should always be stored in a felt-lined box to prevent it from getting damaged.
When it comes to special occasions, it’s important to think about what glassware you’ll need. Red and white wine glasses are essential, plus tumblers and jugs for water and soft drinks. Strictly speaking, clear glass looks the most stylish but coloured glass can look good if you’re going for a particular theme.
From the all-important plates to bowls and serving dishes, choosing your tableware is where your style personality can really come into play. White tableware looks the chicest whatever your style but if you want to add some colour and pattern, think about adding side plates and serving bowls and platters in different colours and styles.
For an impressive dining table, try layering soup course, first course and main course plates and bowls in varying colours or patterns to give a restaurant feel.
Flowers look beautiful on a dining table, especially for special occasions. Opt for low vases and think about the height of flowers so you don’t have guests straining over them to see one another.
Placemats are a good idea for both everyday and special occasions; as well as protecting your table they’ll also add pattern and colour while candlesticks are great and instantly pretty up a dining table. Apply the same principle as flowers and make sure they’re low enough for guests to see over.
A smattering of tealights is an affordable, hassle-free way to create a simple yet stylish display.
Shop the look...
Add gorgeous colour to your dining table with these Coloured Pressed Glass Tumblers, £5 each.
As I have a habit of breaking glasses on a regular basis, I can’t really be trusted with expensive ones. So I thought I was doomed to a life of supermarket cheapies.
But not so after a recent snoop around Primrose & Plum’s gorgeous products, which led me to discover these Coloured Pressed Glass Tumblers.
Available in three colours, Green, Clear and this gorgeous Deep Blue, these decorative vessels are a bargaintastic £5 each, which means stylish glasses can be mine.
Ensure your meals look as good as they taste with our pick of stylish dinnerware.
Whether you’re enjoying a full meal at dinner time, or just sneaking a biscuit or two with your elevenses, food always seems to taste better when served on a gorgeous plate.
The Marimekko Kompotti Round Plate features funky fruit and veg in retro shades, while the Miss Blackbirdy – White Flower Plate (designed by Merel Boers) looks oh so dainty with its pretty floral design, yet is safe in both the dishwasher and microwave.
Clockwise from top left: Kartell Yellow Jelly Plate from Heal’s, £66; Pasha Plate from OKA, £14; Marimekko Kompotti Round Plate from Heal’s, £20; Avoca – Button Side Plate – 8" from Amara Living, £10; Iittala Sarjaton Flat Plate from John Lewis, £15; Miss Blackbirdy – White Flower Plate – 26.5cm from Amara Living, £9.95.
Bring style and personality to your dining room with our pick of the best dining chairs.
Whether you have a large, separate formal dining room used only for special occasions, or a small table tucked away in the kitchen for wolfing down your breakfast, finding the right style of chair is essential to make your eating space work for you.
We have a huge selection of dining chairs here at Furnish, including the decadent Moooi Smoke Dining Chair from Occa Home, which undergoes a unique wood burning process to achieve its unusual and gorgeous finish, and the Sasha dining chair from Tom Schneider, a stunning chair available in a wide choice of wood finishes and fabric.
Clockwise from top left: Iconic Metal Dining Chair from Out There Interiors, £155; Sasha dining chair from Tom Schneider, £310.25 – £450.50; Velvet Oval purple back dining chair from Lover’s lounge, £190; Retro circles dining chair red from Dwell, £69; Moooi Smoke Dining Chair from Occa Home, £1,157; Paparazzi Grey Velvet Crystal Buttoned Dining Chair from Alexander and Pearl, £320 for a pair.
Enjoy a perfect caffeine hit with our pick of the best espresso cups.
When you need a quick pick-me-up there are few things better than a small hot cup of strong coffee. We have a great selection of espresso cups allowing you to serve your shot in style.
From the simple but beautiful Pair of Menu Espresso Cups from Gifts with Style to the romantic Guzzini Love Espresso Cups from Red Candy we have designs to suit every taste and mood.
There are even espresso cups to make you smile while your coffee wakes you up, such as the Moustache Espresso cup from Lifestyle Bazaar or the Set of Scrabble Espresso Cups-C,A,F,E from Graham & Green.
(Clockwise from top) Set of Scrabble Espresso Cups-C,A,F,E from Graham & Green, £24.95, Pair of Menu Espresso Cups from Gifts with Style, £24.95, Moustache Espresso cup from Lifestyle Bazaar, £16.95, Entomo Espresso cup & saucer from Lifestyle Bazaar, £65, Guzzini Love Espresso Cups with Saucers from Red Candy, £29.70, LSA Zanzi Espresso Cup & Saucer from Occa Home, £9.50.
Stylish and funky, create instant impact in your home with a colourful bar stool
Break the mould within your home with one of these ultra chic bar stools. Perfect for creating an eating area within your kitchen or as a quick fix style update for your bar, these quirky stools will add an instant splash of colour to your space.
Whether you’re looking to splash out in red retro funkiness or make a statement with modern elegance, they’re sure to impress. Who says they only needn’t belong in a cocktail bar?
(Clockwise from left) Aly Alluminium Adjustable Bar Stool, £159, from Love Your Home For Less, BE362 Bar Stool, £87, from The Pole House, KNOLL Bertoia Bar Stool With Seat & Back Pad, from Utility, Arper Babar Stool With Backrest, £438, from A White Room, Stokey Walnut Bar Stool, £145, from Alexander & Pearl, Lucido Bar Stool Range, £375, from Heal’s.
Give your dining area a makeover with a range of stylish dining chairs
You can’t rely on the English weather this summer to dine alfresco, so make sure you dine in style with our most elegant and luxurious dining chairs.
The best part? If you don’t fancy having a complete makeover, changing your dining chairs provides a quick, cost effective solution to update any dining table and is a must for impressing guests! So make sure you indulge this summer for your ultimate dining experience.
(Clockwise from left) Sophie Pink Leather Dining Chair, £130, from Love Your Home For Less, Purple Velvet Medan Dining Chair, £180, from The Pole House, Marcel Dining Chair, £63, from Habitat, Zach Dining Chair, £136, from Habitat, Calligaris Easy Leather Dining Chair, £183, from Heal’s, Belgravia Silver Dining Chair, £195, from Sweetpea and Willow
Bring some winter magic to your dining room for a perfect Christmas dinner
Hosting Christmas for your family can be an exciting challenge (not simply a hectic rush to get prepared and organised) So, we’ve found plenty of festive-inspired furnishings and accessories to help you create the perfect dining room.
The dining table
Remember that your table will be the focal point of your dining room, so it should shout style and elegance. We aren’t suggesting that you buy a brand new table just for Christmas, but you might need to think about extending and extra tables if you’re expecting lots of guests.
Lombok’s Canton Black Lacquer extending dining table has a distressed finish, and its grandeur will make it a perfect feature piece in your dining room (this is a keeper for all year round, not just for Christmas).
The dining chairs
Sitting down to a delicious feast at Christmas is the one time of the year that allows us to eat as much as we want, but one which means we cannot move for a long time afterwards. So when considering your dining room seating you should be thinking of comfort and style; don’t consider compromising one for the other because you’ll only regret it later.
If you’re looking for a new set of dining chairs, why not consider Tom Schneider’s distinctly curved Poise Carver Chair, which looks fabulous and provides comfortable support.
Most importantly, make sure you have enough chairs for the number of guests you’re expecting, and extend your table if necessary. If it’s a squeeze, try stools or benches as a space saving solution.
The table linen
Be sure to have your best linen on show to impress your guests. Firstly, wash and iron your tablecloth, runner and napkins, and then lay your table. Check that your tablecloth is large enough to cover the table; do this a couple of weeks before so you don’t have a panic on Christmas Eve.
This Star Bright Runner from John Lewis will spruce up a plain tablecloth with its rich burgundy colour and gold star design. Top tip: make sure that your runner hangs evenly at either end of the table for a perfect look.
Your napkins should be folded neatly on top of each main plate; you can fold every napkin into a pocket and insert a name card just inside so your guests know where they can sit. Or why not use these pretty metal star napkin rings from Nordic House for a lovely addition to your table.
Your tableware checklist should include some pretty plates, bowls and dishes, along with plenty of serving spoons. Why not serve up your Christmas cake on this Robin plate by Emma Bridgewater.
This is the perfect time to get your finest cutlery and china out; lay these first so that you can see how much room you have for decorative pieces. Remember to lay your cutlery in order of use, working from the outside in.
Allow for a water glass, wine glass and champagne flute for each adult guest. A Champagne flute is a tall, thin and elegant glass which will ensure you get the best from your bubbles. This set of four flutes, made from mouth blown glass by LSA from Pelican Pear, is certainly no exception. If you’re celebrating with red wine, go for glasses with a wider bowl to release the bold aromas, and choose a narrower bowl for white wines.
The best tip for decorating your table, especially for when you’re expecting plenty of hungry people, is to keep the look minimal. Large centre pieces and lots of unnecessary table decorations will only spell trouble with a capital ‘T’. Add small, decorative touches to your table with festive candle holders such as the Nickel Plated Reindeer candle holder from The Contemporary Home. This will truly bring character and a majestic charm to your table, leaving your guests in awe.
With a few inexpensive but impressive table decorations, you can create a beautiful table display. Try a few sparkly baubles in decorative bowls lined along the centre of your table, or a sprinkling of glittery stars on the tablecloth for an effortless look. We think you’ll love these silver Scatter Stars from Cox and Cox because they will instantly bring glitz to your table and you can also get creative and stick them to your place cards to bring your theme together.
These handmade, silver plated snowflake crackers from The Conran Shop look absolutely stunning and they’ll add a glamorous sparkle to your table. However, I have fallen in love with these ‘Charming crackers’ from Pedlars; the vintage and illustrative design features animals such as cats, rabbits and mice humorously pulling crackers and enjoying the festivities.
Fill your glasses, pull your crackers and tuck in! Merry Christmas everyone!
Get ready for Christmas with our guide on how to create the perfect dining room
With Christmas just around the corner (just over eight weeks to go) it’s essential you get your dining room sorted in preparation for entertaining guests. Perhaps this is your first time hosting the main event or you just want to give your dining room a makeover. Whatever your budget, style and reason, our guide shows you how to create the perfect dining room for the festive period and all year round.
The dining table is an essential bit of kit. A good option is to choose one that’s extendable, that way you’re always have room for the extra guest who just happens to turn up unannounced. The Malang Dark Teak Extending Dining Table will add a touch of oriental –chic to your scheme while the refectory-style Ash Extending Dining Table from Sweetpea & Willow is perfect for those that want something a little simpler. If you don’t have room for an extending design, opt for a round one, which is much more sociable and guaranteed to get even guests who don’t know each other chatting.
The days of having to match chairs to your table are long gone. Of course, if you want to match your chairs to your table then there are plenty of options. However, mixing and matching chairs is a great way to give your dining room a unique look. Brightly coloured chairs such as the Tolix A Chair from The Lollipop Shoppe work well with a plain, wooden table. Comfort as well as style is important when it comes to dining chairs, make sure you opt for ones that your guests will want to stay in long after pudding rather than running for the hills before the starter has arrived. If you’re going to use benches instead of chairs, make sure there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre them and add some colourful cushions for extra comfort.
Lighting, as in every room, plays an important part in the dining room. Firstly, it’s important to choose a central light to create drama and atmosphere. A pendant light such as the Clarence Pendant Shade from Heal’s is a good choice. Make sure it’s connected to a dimmer switch so you can alter the mood of the room accordingly. Candle light is a must for any dining room, whether you opt for a dramatic candelabra such as the Medium Abbey 5 Arm Candelabra from Alexander and Pearl or subtle tea light holders (Also Home has a good choice), they’re a sure fire way to add some atmosphere to any scheme.
Choosing your tableware is as important as the food you serve on it. White is best, it looks classic, is timeless and means should things get a little out of hand or the washing up chaotic, pieces can be easily replaced. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, decorative plates such as the Art of Entertaining collection by Andrew Tanner from Designed in England look fabulous with plain white china.
Follow these simple tips and you’re ready to entertain, now all you need is to get cooking...