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Standard Dining Room Size

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Want to design the perfect dining room? In this guide, I'll show you how to create your ideal dining space using standard dining room sizes and dimensions.
dining room illustration as cover image

Want to design the perfect dining room? You might wonder: What is the standard dining room size? What is the best dining table size to get? What is the best layout for my dining space?

If you answered yes, then you’re in the right place!

Hi, I’m Bahaa, a licensed architect with over five years of experience in transforming boring rooms into stunning and practical spaces. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to:

  • Use standard dining room size and recommended measurements to achieve the perfect dining space
  • Choose the best dining room table size
  • Use ergonomics to make your dining experience more comfortable
  • Pick the best location for your dining space
  • Set the right lighting heights for your dining space
  • Pick the best rug size for your dining room
  • Get inspired by a dining layout example that shows you how to put everything together

So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s get started!

What is the Standard Dining Room Size?

According to The International Residential Code (IRC), the standard dining room size is 120 square feet (11.1 square meters).

But guess what? You can go even smaller and still have a functional dining room.

The smallest dining room size you can have is 108 square feet (10 square meters). (But that’s only if you use a rectangular table)

Here are the standard dining room sizes for other table shapes:

Number of peopleDining Table ShapeMinimum Standard Dining Room Size (Width X Length)Dining Table Size (Width X Length)
4-6Rectangular9 x 12 feet (2.7 x 3.7 m)2’6 x 5′ (0.76 x 1.5 m)
4Square9 x 9 feet (2.7 x 2.7 m)5′ x 5′ (1.5 x 1.5 m)
4-5Circular10’6 x 10’6 (3.2 x 3.2 m)3’6″ (1 m) in Diameter
Standard dining room size based on dining table shapes

But hey, you don’t have to settle for the minimum standard dining room size. You want your dining room to be comfortable and satisfy all your needs. I’ll show you how to achieve that in the next section.

But first, let’s pick the best location for your dining room.

What is the Best Location for your Dining Room?

The best location for your dining room is close to the kitchen. (why?)

Because it makes your life easier. You can serve food faster, without having to walk a long distance or risk spilling anything.

💡 Personal Insight: The path between the two rooms is always busy, so make sure pathways are clear and accessible. If there is another room between the kitchen and dining room (like the living room), make sure there’s a direct route between them.

Make It Easy to Reach

You also want your dining room to be easy to reach from other parts of your home (if possible). Here are all places you need to consider:

  • The bathroom: This is the second most important factor to consider, after the kitchen. Because your guests will need to use it at some point. (It’s inevitable!)
  • The living room: You might want your guests to move from the living room to the dining room. (Or vice versa)

Consider Feng Shui best location for dining room

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art of arranging your space to promote harmony and balance.

The best location to achieve a Feng Shui dining room is in the center of your home, where it can receive a balanced energy from all directions. Ideally, you want your dining room to be visible before the private areas of the house such as bedrooms. You also don’t want your dining room to be too close to the entrance, or in view of the main door, where it will get too much chi. (Chi* is one of the key concepts of feng shui, which means energy.)

💡Personal Insight: If your home has several levels, you still want to make your dining room at the center of your home. Aim for a level lower than the bedrooms (The Private Areas) and avoid the basement level (if possible).

💡Personal Insight: If your dining room is off-center, you can use mirrors to create the illusion of a more central position.

Now, you’re ready for the fun part.

How to design the perfect dining space that is functional and comfortable. Let’s go!

How to Design the perfect Dining Room?

You can design the perfect dining room in just 3 easy steps:

  1. Measure your dining room
  2. Pick the right dining table size
  3. Add other dining furniture pieces (optional)

Let me explain each step in more detail.

1️⃣ Measure your Dining Room:

The first step to design your dining room is to measure your room. (This will help you choose the right furniture size for your space.)

You can use a tape measure for this. Just write down the length and width of your room in feet or centimeters as You’ll need these numbers for the next step.

2️⃣ Pick the Right Dining Table Size

The second step to design your perfect dining room is to pick the right dining table size that gives you enough space to move around and sit comfortably.

I’ve created a simple formula for you to use:
Your Maximum dining table Dimension= Your room dimension (Length or Width Measured in the first Step) – Minimum Clearance for circulation (The amount of space you need to move around which is 3 Feet or 90 cm).

For example:
If your room Length is 10 feet, then your maximum dining table Length can be 7 feet — 10′ – 3′ for circulation = 7′ (Easy, right?)

💡 Personal Insight: The formula tells you the biggest dining table you can fit in your room, but that’s not always the best choice. You also need to think about other furniture. To make it easier for you, I’ve created some handy tables that show you the ideal dining table size for your room. All you need to do is measure your room and look up the table that matches. You can find them in this article: Standard Dining Table Sizes

But wait, what does clearance for circulation mean?

Clearance of Circulation for a dining room

Clearance for circulation is the amount of space you need to leave around your dining table for people to walk and sit comfortably.

  • The minimum clearance for circulation is 3 feet or 90 cm. This is enough space for someone to pass by (edging when using the chair).
  • 42″ to 44″ (105 cm to 115 cm) all around will create a more comfortable dining room for seating that will let people move easily. (More Desirable Dining Space)

3️⃣ Add Other Furniture Pieces (Optional):

After you pick the ideal dining table size for your dining room, you may want to add some other furniture pieces to complete your design.

For example, you can add a buffet or a bar cart. However, you need to ensure you have enough space for them.

Here’s the standard size for each dining furniture type

Dining Room Chair Dimensions

Dining Chair Standard WidthDining Chair Standard Depth
18 inches (45.7 cm)18 inches (45.7 cm)
The standard dining room chair dimensions

Dining Room Buffet Dimensions

Buffet LengthBuffet WidthBuffet Height
60 inches (152.4 cm)18 inches (45.7 cm)36 inches (91.4 cm)
The standard dimension for a buffet

Dining Room Bar Cart Dimensions

Bar Cart LengthBar Cart WidthBar Cart Height
36 inches (91.4 cm)18 inches (45.7 cm)36 inches (91.4 cm)
The standard dimension for a bar cart

💡 Personal Insight: You can use standard sizes for dining room furniture as a guide. But you don’t have to follow them exactly. Pick what suits you and your space best. For example, you might want a longer buffet to store all your dishes.

Lights above table

You’ve done a great job planning your dining room to be functional and have good circulation. Now let’s ensure your dining room lighting is at the right height.

Why does that matter?

Because if the lights are too high, they can hurt your eyes and create a glare. And if they are too low, they can block your view and get in the way of your conversation.

how high should dining room light be above table?

It depends on the type of lighting you have in your dining room. Here are the standard heights for each lighting type:

  • Pendant lights: The best height for pendant lighting is 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm) above the table.
  • Chandelier: The Chandelier should hang it slightly higher than pendant lights, at 30 to 32 inches (75 to 80 cm) above the table.

How big Should a Dining room chandelier be?

You don’t want your chandelier to be too small or too large for your table.

A good rule of thumb is to make it about half to two-thirds of the table’s width. For example, if your table is 48 inches (120 cm) wide, look for a chandelier that is 24 to 32 inches (60 to 80 cm) in diameter.

This way, you will ensure that the chandelier fits well above your dining table.

How to apply ergonomics to Your Dining Space?

Ergonomics is the science of designing things to fit human needs and abilities. Here’s How you can apply ergonomic to your dining space:

  • Choose dining chairs that have a seat size of 16 by 20 inches (40 by 50 cm) and a seat height of 16¼ to 18 inches (41 to 45 cm) from the floor. Personal Insight: If your chairs have cushions, sit on them and measure the height. Soft cushions will sink more than firm ones, so you need to measure from the actual sitting position.
  • Pick a dining table that has a top height of 28½ to 30 inches (72 to 75 cm) from the floor. The bottom of the table should be at least 25 inches (63 cm) from the floor. Personal Insight: Measure from the bottom of the table. If the table is very thick or has a deep edge, you might not have enough legroom, and the table might rub your legs.
  • Make sure there is about 12 inches (30 cm) difference in height between the seat of the chair and the surface of the table. This will give you enough space to move your arms and elbows.
  • Allow 24 by 15 inches (60 by 35 cm) of space for each person’s place setting, including plate, cutlery, and glasses.
  • Don’t forget about the table legs when you decide how many people can sit at the table. The size of the table top can be tricky if the legs are in the way or at a weird angle.
  • Leave at least 36 inches (90 cm) between the chairs and the wall or other furniture. This will allow you to move around easily.
  • When you choose a table, don’t just look at the top. Look at the bottom too. You don’t want to get your clothes caught on rough wood, sticking-out screws, or sharp edges. Choose a table that has a smooth and safe finish.

how big should a dining room rug be?

Your rug should be big enough to fit your table and the chairs around it.

A good rule of thumb is to add 24 inches (60 cm) to the width and length of your table. That way, your chairs won’t slide off the rug when you pull them out. For example, if your table is 40 inches (102 cm) wide and 70 inches (178 cm) long, your rug should be at least 88 inches (224 cm) wide and 118 inches (300 cm) long.

💡 Personal Insight: Shape matters too. Your rug should match the shape of your table. If your table is rectangular, go for a rectangular rug. If your table is round, go for a round rug. This will create a harmonious look in your dining area.

Dining Room Layout Example

You’ve learned how to design the perfect dining room space. Now, see how it works in practice. I’ve created a dining room layout for you. It follows all the rules and tips we have covered above:

Commonly Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about dining rooms.

What size is a 6 person dining room?

A 6-person dining room should be at least 9 x 12 feet (2.7 x 3.6 meters)That’s assuming you don’t have any other furniture in the room, like a buffet or a sideboard. However, the size I recommend is 14 x 16 feet (4.3 x 4.9 meters). It allows you to add some extra furniture and gives you more comfort.

How tall is a dining room table?

The standard dining table height is between 28 and 30 inches (71 to 76 cm) high. This height is comfortable for most people because it allows enough room for the legs and knees under the table. It also matches well with the typical height of dining chairs, which are 17 to 19 inches (45 to 50 cm) high.

what is the average dining room size?

The average dining room size in new single-family houses in the US is a spacious 196 square feet (or 18.2 square meters). This is according to The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

, the average dining room size in new single-family houses in the US is 196 square feet, (18.2 square meters).

However, that’s not a rule. It’s just an average and it varies from one country to another. For example:

  • In the UK, the average dining room size is 161 square feet, (15 square meters).
  • In Australia, it’s 172 square feet, (16 square meters).

What to do with an unused dining room?

You can transform your dining room into a multifunctional space that fits your needs. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Home Office: You can use your dining table as a work station or a meeting table (or Both!).
  • Reading Nook: If you are a book lover, you can create a cozy reading nook where you can curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.
  • Lounge Room: You can also turn your dining room into a lounge or game room where you relax and have fun with friends.

The key is to make your dining space reflect your lifestyle. That way, you’ll enjoy it and use it more often.

🎁 Design Days Extras

I hope you enjoyed this guide about standard dining room size and learned something new. Share your thoughts and questions in the comments. I would love to hear from you. And don’t miss out on my other design guides. Happy designing!

Picture of Bahaa Aydi

Bahaa Aydi

I'm Bahaa, a Licensed architect specialized in Interior design & Archviz • Sharing my design days with you to help you design better space