Go for the tried and true: a weathered wood table. A secondhand wood table with a farmhouse or industrial heritage has already passed the test of time. Any scratches and nicks in the tabletop surface have mellowed into design details becoming features to admire. If you accidentally add a few more to it it won't matter. For this reason these tables are great for families with children – you never have to worry about whether your brood is unwittingly or even intentionally marking the table. The damage if minor will only become part of the beauty of the piece. That said it's worth protecting your table with a hard wax polish which should be applied about twice a year.
Norwegian wood. In this country kitchen designed by architect Christine Fikseaunet a simple window seat with an upholstered banquette cushion is paired with a wood table to create a casual dining setting. With the addition of a small screen in the corner of the nook it also allows for communal television viewing among family members or friends.
Rough hewn. This industrial‐style dining arrangement is easy to copy. Find a wood trestle table and some midcentury modern chairs and fit them into a small area of your home preferably with a window view. The tight space and brick and plaster walls give the dining area a congenial air.
Same chairs different upholstery (or seat cushions). Another way to mix up a set of matching chairs is to re‐cover the seats in an array of different fabrics. Or for nonupholstered wooden chairs simply add fresh seat cushions in a pleasing range of colors and patterns.
Select a dining table made of sturdy stuff. If you want a table to last through years of dinner party wear and tear choose a table made from a hardwood such as mahogany walnut maple oak and teak. Tables made from engineered or composite woods which include plywoods and MDF are durable and economical but are never as strong as a hardwood.
Different chairs same color. Sort of like the trend in bridesmaids' dresses to have the ladies pick their own dresses as long as they are in the same hue mixing and matching chair shapes is easy when you match the color. It does help to choose chairs in the same general style (modern traditional) to keep them feeling like a set.
Retro kitchen and dining nook. This small eating nook would work well in a house with midcentury aspirations. It's plain and simple but has been well decorated with a set of shelves that also acts as a divider. The wall map is a retro classroom touch that can encourage guests to share after‐dinner stories of their world travels. Decorating the area with fun travel posters from faraway places can also encourage the exchange of personal travel stories and tips for future adventures.
Settle on a shape that will work in most rooms. Round tables look good in compact rooms and living areas that have square dining zones. They also offer flexible seating. If you buy a six‐seater eight can usually be accommodated at a pinch – the larger the diameter the more people can be seated. On the other hand rectangular tables have limited seating spots due to the position of the table legs and because only one person can be seated at each end. However if you choose a rectangular table with leaves the table can be extended to accommodate extra guests whenever an event is planned such as for a family Christmas or birthday party.