Choosing New Furniture: Remember to Plan

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Tips For Choosing Dining Room Furniture For Family Life With Children

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A dining room often serves other purposes besides eating meals. Kids might do homework at the table, and you might use the dining room table to play card games or work on sewing crafts. The way you use the space plays a role in the type of dining room furniture you should buy. Here's a look at types of dining room furniture and suggestions for matching the furniture to your home when you have young kids.


If your dining room is large enough, you may want to buy a hutch that matches the table and chairs. A hutch is a classic piece of dining room furniture meant to display china. This gives you a place to safely store your good china away from cabinets the kids may use to get glasses and bowls. Plus, the china can act as decor for your dining room.

While the top half of a hutch usually has open shelves or glass doors, the lower half is often drawers and shelves behind solid doors. This gives you a place to store family games for game night so they're easy to access but are out of sight when you have dinner guests.


If you don't have china you want to display, you may prefer a buffet which is like the lower half of a hutch with solid doors and drawers. A sideboard, buffet, and server are all similar pieces of dining room furniture that hold things like table linens, silverware, serving bowls, and other items you might use for a formal meal. They can also be used to hold food so the table isn't as cluttered when you're having a large meal with several people.

Since the shelves and drawers are close to the ground, you can even store your daily dinnerware in the buffet where your kids can reach it easily when they're old enough to set the table.

Dining Chairs

Your dining chairs may not get a lot of use, so comfort may not be a big issue unless you have older family members in the house. Your primary concerns may be about the appearance and how easy the chairs are to keep clean. When you have small kids, you might want traditional wood chairs or mid-century plastic chairs rather than plush upholstered dining chairs.

Dining Table

Every dining room needs a table and choosing the right size may not be easy. There needs to be plenty of space around the table to move chairs easily, and you want a table at least large enough to accommodate your immediate family. If you entertain frequently, you may need a larger table, and in that case, you might want one that can be extended with a leaf. An extendable table is ideal when you want a large table for big holiday meals but a smaller table for daily living.