Our edit of the best and most beautiful dining furniture to buy now

By Kirstie McDermott 11-02-2020
Our edit of the best and most beautiful dining furniture to buy now

We eat out more and at home, we sit together for meals less often, according to research. Some studies indicate that the frequency of family dinners has declined by 33% in the last 20 years, as we ditch the table for the tablet (in the UK, just 18% of families eat together) and eschew the traditional six o’clock repast for a recline on the couch with a bowl of something slurpable instead.

Sure, we’re busier. That’s a given. And the lure of HD TV, screen-stacking and social media has seen the family evening meal fade into obscurity in many homes. As a result, we either use our kitchen or dining tables as dumping grounds for our detritus – bills, Amazon deliveries, stuff to send to the charity shop – or we’ve gotten rid of them in favour of smaller setups – studies indicate that up to 20% of people have trashed the table.

Calligaris Fifties chair, €POA, Frankmcgowan.com

But we’re on a mission. Not only is a great dining setup a beautiful centrepiece in our increasingly open- and broken-plan living spaces, but science supports the idea of sitting down in groups to eat too. It can strengthen relationships – dedicating that time to actually speaking face-to-face is vital – as well as helping you make more mindful food choices. And if you’re particularly stressed, there’s good news: A US university conducted a study of IBM employees, which discovered that family meals help to defray the tension of long office hours.

If all of that doesn’t convince you, perhaps Instagram might. Delicious dining setups are some of the platform’s most popular content, with 1.9m images tagged #diningroom. Go on, get snap happy.

Total Eclipse

Think curves - the shape is ideal for a nook or smaller space and offers better hip room and circulation too

Texture Trick

The gorgeously glossy surface of the Cattelan Italia Atlantic CrystalArt Table, €4,534, at Bushellinteriors.com, works well with moody matte walls, the embellished elements on the sideboard and the high polish the chandelier and accessories. It's a composition class to take style notes from

Add a mix and match of chairs to HK Living's Black Oval dining table, €939, Woodesign.ie, for an eclectic, I-didn't-try-too-hard result

The Porada Infinity dining table in ash with Calacatta marble top, €3,545, and Ester chair, from €883 each, at Bushellinteriors.com, are heirloom pieces

The Charlie Round 4 Seat Dining Table in grey, €169.99, Argos.ie, is designer specially for smaller rooms or apartment living

5 spacious and space saving oval tables

Giove black frame extending sining table, €899, Ezliving-interiors.ie

Ligne Roset Ennea marble table, from €3,765, Arenakitchens.com

Somerset dining table, €699, Michaelmurphy.ie

On the bench

Casual and cool, a bench makes dining fun again - especially for kids who may find sitting at the table tiresome

The Valetta dining table, from €629, and bench, €259, both Arnotts, are a great choice or a large open-plan space and will mix and match well with any interior scheme

5 perfect table accompaniments

Arundel oak bench, €820, Neptune.com

Valetta dining bench, from €229, Caseys.ie

Aura bench, €299, Ezliving-interiors.ie

Calia smoked oak bench, €358, Meadowsandbyrne.com

Kare Zipper bench, €309, Woodesign.ie

Extended vision

Keep it tidy for day-to-day, bust it out for big gatherings

Soubling in size, the Jones grey extending dining table, €339, Marksandspencers.ie, is a space-saver

The Easton Dining Table, €1,499, Harveynorman.ie, gives a whole new look

The clean lines of the Calligaris Ponete extending dining table and the Anais chairs (available in a variety of shades) work well together. Find both, €POA, at Frankmcgowan.com

5 perfect chairs for extra-long conversation


If you liked this you might also like: Broken-plan kitchens: turning your open plan dining room into a smarter space

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