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7 piece dining set style guide

Updated on August 27, 2010

The dining room is one of the most important places in your home. This is where you spend time with your friends and family. As a result, the dining set is a very important item in everybody's life. Before heading to shops you should take a minute and think a bit about what style would match you and your actual home decor. This exercise will save you a lot of time, money and effort in you mission to choose the right dining set. This is what this article is about, helping you divide dining sets in different categories and determine which style might suit you.

The two criteria

All dining sets are divided into broad categories using two different criteria. One of the criteria is piece count and the other is casual or formal.

As you may know almost all formal dining sets have a very traditional appearance, and usually made of dark hardwood. On the other hand contemporary dining sets are caractherized by heavier and more ornate lines, different colors and some times different materials.

Casual dining sets have a very different approach to style. Wood may be replaced with other materials such as glass and wrought iron, and casual dining chairs might also use leather or upholstered fabric. Also, casual dining sets can be found in other shapes that the classical rectangle.

The piece count refers to the total number of chairs plus the dining table. Most common are the 5 piece dining sets, but a 7 piece dining set or a 9 piece are still very popular.

Dining set styles

The most used types of wood used for dining sets are cherry and mahogany, so some dining set styles are simply called cherry dining set or mahogany dining set. On the other hand, dining room sets are usually broken down in categories by: shape, extension, and other features that you can read about bellow.


This refers to the shape of the dining table. Most of them are rectangular or square, but you can also find dining sets with round or oval tables.

Traditional dining sets usually include a rectangular table that can measure between four and six feet long. You can go with a rectangular dining set and still have it look modern by choosing a model with little or non decorative elements.

If you would like and intimate and informal atmosphere in your dining room you should choose a square, round or oval table for your home. This shapes make the dining set look smaller.

When it comes to colors, if you would like to have a traditional looking set i suggest you pick a table build with a single wood tone. Contrasting wood tomes or glass/wrought iron will add a modern touch to your home.

Drop leaf

The drop leaf dining set is best suited to small and traditional dining rooms. You can change the available dining space by raising or lowering the flaps on each side of the table.


In my oppinion extension dining sets are somehow traditional but can be placed in both formal and casual dining rooms. You can increase a table's lenght by sliding each site back and add a center extension piece.

Glass top tables

If you are after a casual or a contemporary dining set, a glass top dining table is the perfect choice for you. The natural qualities of glass make glass top dining sets an excellent choice for airy, open, and colorful rooms.

Before you go out and buy a dining set make sure to also read my dining set advices post.


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