Designer Tips: Entertaining for the Holidays

December 01, 2022

If you're planning on hosting any holiday gatherings this season, the most important thing to plan - other than your delicious meal - is the dining room seating for your dining table.

We’re here to give you some tips and ideas on your seating arrangements, the seating capacity to fit your table, table decorations, and go over some table shapes and styles if you're on the hunt for a new modern dining room furniture.

1. The shape

There are four main shapes for dining room tables - rectangular, circular, oval, and square. In most cases, the shape of your table may be dictated by the shape of the room and where the lighting is located.

What shape of table suits your space? Pay attention to the lines and design of your home to determine the best suited table.

  • Round and oval tables offer organic lines that can break up harsh surfaces and soften the room. They can complement various designs, but we love rounded shapes for contemporary or mid-century styles.
  • Rooms with prominent geometric lines have a very sleek, ultra modern look. Rectangular tables may be an excellent choice to continue the length of the kitchen island and elongate your space.
  • Dining areas with limited space may function best with round or square tables to maximize seating while ensuring enough space around the table.
  • Consider the base of the table shape you like, as the table base may limit your dining chair layout or seating capacity. Some large statement table bases can look beautiful, but may limit the knee space for your guests. If trying to maximize seating, look for table bases with a central pedestal, or a simple edge leg style.



2. The size

Once you have decided on the shape of your dining table, determine the size you need. How many do you seat on a regular basis and on special occasions?

If you are not regularly entertaining, but would like the option to expand your dining table, a table with 1-2 leaves would be a great option. We have many dining tables with self-storing leaves to make setting the table even easier.

Plan for a minimum of 24 inches for each place setting. If you have more room, 30 inches is much more comfortable (this should typically be 4-6 inches of space between chairs). And to ensure proper clearance around your table, provide at least 24 inches of space behind each chair when someone is seated.

Below we have some sizing diagrams that explain the ideal sizing for your seating capacity.



3. Style of seating

There is so much freedom around choosing your seating styles. Whether you have a formal or casual dining area, you can choose the seating style best suited for your space.


  • Chairs with a high back bring a formal and elegant feel to your room, while low back chairs bring a contemporary and more-relaxed feel to the space.
  • You can choose to bring a semi-formal feel to the room by highlighting the ends of the table with high-back chairs or armchairs.
  • Bench seating suits both formal and informal dining, but can also be used as flex-seating for shared living and dining spaces. It is also a great option for kids who can sit close together.


Our Arrow Dining Table and Bench

4. Accessorize to pull it all together

And for the holidays; don’t forget the table decoration and accessorizing of your place settings.


We’re bringing you our designer advice on styling your tables with decorations to suit the style of your table.

For rustic or farmhouse style dining tables, opt for raw and natural festive decorations like greenery, pinecones, and wood slab trays. You can even highlight some of the greenery with fairy lights and candles. Soft fabrics like napkins, place mats, and napkins break up the raw materials and help bring a cozy, eclectic appearance to your table.



Keep it clean and simple for sleek stone and glass tables. The modern look pairs well with mixed textiles like soft fabric napkins, simple cutlery, and layered dishware. If you’re wanting to bring a bit of festive style while keeping minimal, try rosemary wreaths. These add a perfect small decoration to each place setting and can also be used as a napkin holder.



Expert designer tips from Revolve Furnishings

Use festive items, even if you don't want to have greenery placed directly on your table, adding a simple rosemary strand to your place setting elevates it for the occasion.

Try out gold or black cutlery. We love it because it stands out and makes a simple but big statement.

Candles and fairy lights can be used to provide additional mood lighting and create an intimate atmosphere for your guests. To bring a refined look to your table, opt for candlesticks and candle holders instead of plain candles.

If you don't have much room on your dining table to fit decorations, consider decorating the dining hutch or sideboard. Additionally, you can bring a holiday atmosphere to your room by hanging decorations, greenery, or even pinecones from your lighting fixture above your table to save some space.



Needing any help designing your dining space and choosing the right table for you and your family? Our designers are here to answer all your questions and offer design solutions.

Happy holidays and happy dining, from Revolve to you.


- Written by Larissa Shannon

Larissa is an interior designer and artist. She aims to make interior environments beautiful and practical. She understands that form & function are the keystones to great design. No matter the project size, Larissa is happy to assist you with great design skill & guidance to make your dream home a reality.

"I believe design is meant to be Fun and Creative. Let's highlight your unique personality."

Contact Larissa at larissa@revolvefurnishings.com403-255-8372 ext. 811

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