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Warm your dining room with wood


Do you have a dining room?

Whether it’s a formal separate space or integrated as part of a large kitchen or open floor plan, great dining room furnishings add to the enjoyment of eating, socializing and spending time with family and friends.

Current trends for 2024, as reported by, include plenty of wood and wood tones; warm and cozy earth tones like terracotta and rich chocolate browns; curved furniture, which can mean chairs, tables or table bases; and textured or “tactile” finishes.

Set the table

Tables are a huge focal point in a dining room, whether they’re located in an open, multi-use format or as the star in a dedicated dining room space.

Angela Carroll Ast, an interior designer and owner of ABCA Design Decorating Den Interiors in Milford Township, said customizing the color of a dining room table can create a fresh new look.

“Maybe the top is wood and the base is a color. There’s a lot of customization in dining rooms” right now, Ast said.

Size, shape and materials

If you’re in the market for a statement table, consider a custom, solid wood piece tailored to your needs and your home’s style.

The size of your table and the space it will consume matter. So does accommodating the number of people using it daily or regularly.

Extensions make more room for people at holiday and other gatherings, while solid top tables won’t expand or contract — making their just-right sizing even more important.

Nancy Gracia, interior designer and owner of Bare Root Design Studio Inc. in Newtown, recommends getting the right wood species to complement or harmonize with wood floors in the home, too.

“Take a look at a domestic Pennsylvania hardwood like maple, oak, walnut, cherry and ash,” she encourages.

Among her favorite hardwoods are curly maple and tiger maple.

Curly woods are distinctive because they have wavy or curly patterns in their grain, said.

Figured woods refer to the grain shape, according to

Gracia recommends visiting local lumber or mill facilities to see wood species before making a selection.

Most custom pieces will involve selecting a table top and a base, which will be joined together to style a one-of-a-kind piece.

“If you’ll have a bigger breakfast area it will be more of an informal table and seating space. You can do something clean or include something [table and chairs] custom and unique,” Gracia said.

Seating Selection

Selecting the right chairs and seating is an important factor in setting up a cohesive and interesting dining room space.

“An assortment [of chairs] in harmony will look warm, comfortable and curated rather than a set,” Gracia explained.

She prefers not to match table chairs to the table. Even with a solid wood table, chairs don’t have to follow the same lead, she said.

“A combination of painted Windsor chairs in maybe a black green” offer a nice contrast to a hardwood table, she said.

Try various chairs before you decide to order or buy them. Visit showrooms and pull them out to see how they handle. Take a seat to gauge comfort and use.

If you’re looking to seat additional people without adding more chairs — or are dealing with space constraints — consider bench seating on one side of the table. As well as being practical, a handcrafted artisan bench can be elegant and add visual interest to dining room seating.

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