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Dining Room

April 20, 2012 - Author: Amy - 34 Comments

We don’t have a dining room table.

Well, we had one, and I actually really liked it, but it was round and our new dining room isn’t.  So we sold it.

This is it in my townhouse.


Nice, but just wouldn’t fit the new space quite right.  So we saved a few of the applewood boards to make a harvest table. 

Something like this.


Or this.


Or this.


Hi, Michelle!

My first question is this: With a kitchen/dining room layout that looks like this:


Do I want chairs all the way around the table, or do I want a bench on the side nearest the kitchen?

(D, if you’re reading this… I’m considering a bench.  Do you know how to make benches??)

And my second question is: Above the dining room table, do I want to hang this light?


I think I do.  I was also considering a pot rack light, but D very astutely pointed out that pot racks are meant for hanging pots on, and might be less appropriate dining room lighting, and more appropriate kitchen lighting.

Smart as a whip, that one.

So what do you think?  Bench or chairs?  Yay or nay on the light?


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Discussion (34 Comments)

  1. I think that’s going to be a sweet looking table! So much more fitting for the space. My vote is for chairs although I think the bench is pretty awesome too. Just for comfort’s sake for me :) The light would look awesome above a nice harvest table.

  2. by Angie Essman

    I like the idea of a bench on the kitchen side, yes cumbersome than a few chairs always getting knocked out of place by kids/doggies. Will you have stools at the island?

    • by Amy

      Definitely! That is where we will drink our wine when you come over. ;)

      • by Angie Essman

        I’m a pro at falling off bar stools!

  3. I do love the bench look but my mom got one that goes with her harvest table and it’s a little impractical for holiday meals when for example, I have to get up to grab something we forgot in the kitchen and that involves making grandma slide out and get up too or me straddling the bench and lifting my knees above the table.

    I love the light fixture!! It would be perfect with a harvest table :)

    • by Amy

      OK, good point.. Maybe I’ll need to go ahead and buy enough chairs to switch the bench out for holidays? hmm..

  4. Yes. You want to hang that light. Because it’s gorgeous.

    Also, indoor benches are fun. Doooo it!

  5. I love the idea of a bench, but Lindsay brings up a good point. If you have the space for extra chairs then I say do it!

    Yes to the light. Love love love. And then you can have your pot rack light in the kitchen.

  6. by Kim S

    We had a small bench (big enough for 2) at the end of our table with chairs on both sides worked out great.. Your house is beautiful.. !

  7. Love the light- go for it!

    As for the bench- I always love that look. I think it’s great for kids too.

  8. i like indoor benches. a lot!! I like that light too :))

  9. Love the bench idea. Found Ana White plans for you:

    I love the light in the picture. Very cool and would look awesome with the farmhouse table. I think a potrack light would look a little cluttered over a dining room table.

    • by Amy

      Thanks for the link – I love it!

  10. I want a table just like that! And I’ve been debating the bench on one side as well, but Lindsay has a great point… hmmmm… I love the light too! I was thinking about a rectangular fixture or two pendants for the fixture.

  11. My gut is telling me a bench might be a good idea – less visually obstructive. In fact, I think we’re going to do the same thing in our eating area IF my table ever comes (it’s been on order since November). Guess I better call that guy.

    As for the light – I love it!!

  12. Amy,

    I have a harvest table too, and I love it. It seats 8 comfortably. There are 8 chairs around it. But my family is larger than 8 when they all come over to visit. Sometimes I wish I had benches on both sides to squeeze in an extra few people, without having to bring out those ugly folding chairs.

    A mix of chairs and a bench is the way I would go!

    By the way, I recognize that floor plan. Great choice and nice layout. I have books which show it, that I browse through in hopes to build our dream cottage one day.

    • by Amy

      Awesome! Hope you get to build very soon!

  13. by Kenz

    love love LOVE it all Amy! If it were me I would do the lovely antiquey farm table with a bench. A really long one so as your family grows it can accommodate everyone. After all, the kitchen is the main hangout. And I would go with the light from lows and the pot/pan light in the kitchen. Oh I can’t wait for you to post a picture tour!

  14. We built a similar table and decided to build the same bench that Maury@Life on Mars linked. I will say this– I love having the bench because it lets us squeeze a few extra people around the table during the holidays, it can be tucked out of the way under the table, and it avoids having a visual interruption.

    However, the particular plans we used make one hefty bench. It’s sturdy and won’t tip over (which can be an issue with lighter benches) but it definitely takes 2 to lift & move across a room.

    • by Amy

      Good to know – thanks Martina!

  15. I don’t know what kind of light or about the bench but I was all prepared to pick table #1 or #2.


  16. I love the bench idea…and you could just make sure that YOU are in a spot that is easy to get in and out of when you have company over. I don’t think the company issue is enough to NOT get a bench, but it is definitely an issue worth thinking through. And that light is KILLER – I LOVE it!

  17. Jamie and I have the exact same table from World Market – except she got benches and I got chairs. After several years we’ve concluded that they chairs are better. The benches just ARE. You can’t move them around and reconfigure their use. Like, I can put a chair at each end and two on the side, or three on each side, or I can put chairs in storage and just use four. The only good thing about a bench is that you can fit more than three people on it (especially if some of those people are little kids. :) Benches sure look cool though! :)

  18. I’ve always wanted one of those tables. I think it would be neat to do all chairs, except do a bench on one side of the table. & I’m all for that light :)

  19. Or maybe you want a buil tin bench like Tisha made against the wall? That way the table moves more to the right, giving a bigger walkway between the island (with bar stools?) and the table, sine that is how you get to the outdoor kitchen.

    btw- this is my first time seeing your floor plan, I can’t believe you have a hobby room, that is so awesome!


  20. Bench or chairs – but a definite yay to that light!

  21. I don’t think you can go wrong with the bench or the chairs. Both will look great…just depends on how you want to use the space. I love our table so much. So much that I want Nate to build another one for our formal dining room. Hmmmm.

    LOVE the light!!! Buy it. Yesterday.

  22. I say go with the bench and a total yay on the light :)

  23. I say yay to the light, that light is awesome…maybe on a dimmer so it’s not always a full 3 lights of brightness. And what about a bench on the wall side, like an banquette? Then you could easily pull the chairs into the great room for more seating and push the table all the way up to the wall over the banquette if you needed more space.
    Just an idea, I think you can’t go wrong with a bench and chairs combo.

  24. LOVE that like fixture. It seriously looks like it was made for your house. As for the bench seating…I think it depends how you will use the dining room. On one hand, it takes up less visual space and you can seat more people at the table. On the other hand, a bench is rather uncomfortable to sit on after a while. There’s nothing to lean against, and moving it in and out to accommodate one person means you are disrupting everyone else seated on the bench. We used one at our old house and I wouldn’t do it again :(

  25. GET THAT LIGHT GIRL! I love it! I would vote bench, but Adam votes for chairs.

    (side note: I am usually right in this relationship…)

  26. i love that light!! and i love a bench. although, i have to admit, i don’t love to sit on back-less seats often, but i love the way they look!

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