5 Fresh Dining Room Layout Ideas

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

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Put an enclosed patio or sunroom to work as a light-filled dining space. Photo by John Casado.

If you have a screened-in porch or sunroom, consider using it for casual dining. To make this windowed room meal-ready, designer April Sheldon placed antique Chinese scholar benches on either side of a table made from an ironwood platform from India. The backless benches are surprisingly comfortable, she says — and they are easier to get in and out of than benches with high backs. And because there is no upholstery, spills are never a concern.

You could create a similar feeling in an indoor dining room, too, says Sheldon; just make sure the furniture is not only beautiful, but comfortable, as well. "People really like to linger at the table," she says. "It's all about feeling good, relaxing and enjoying good food."

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