5 Fresh Dining Room Layout Ideas

Designers share five original ways to rethink the traditional dining room arrangement.

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Although this table provides plenty of space for entertaining, clear chairs and a streamlined design take up little space visually. A round table is always a good option as more or less chairs can be added to accommodate guests. Photo by John Casado.

While wooden tables are still the most readily available, tables in more unusual materials are increasingly popular — and can really set the tone for a dramatic dining space. For this dining room in Woodstock, N.Y., designer April Sheldon (http://www.aprilsheldondesign.com) set a round Calacatta Oro marble tabletop on a base of bleached, rift-cut white oak. The table is surrounded by clear, modern chairs by Philippe Starck for a look that's fresh and sexy. 
"The key to this kind of look," says Sheldon, "is to start with a great table and then find the chairs that play off the material or attitude of the table." And once you've spent the time to select a table in an unusual material, be sure to show it off: "There are so many beautiful place mats available today," Sheldon says. "And you can also place the dishes right down on the table. There's no reason to cover a beautiful table with a tablecloth."

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