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Dining Room Guide

i) Why Us

We at Sierra Living have created a dining furniture collection to speak to both the dedicated traditional dining room and the multi-functional dining space across all design styles and decors. From expertly-crafted dining tables to sturdy wood dining chairs to beautifully-designed sideboards, each piece of our fine dining furniture is handcrafted from superior materials using centuries old techniques and modern applications including intricate-grain hardwoods, hand-wrought iron hardware and hand joinery.

We remain dedicated to a healthy home and environment by producing eco-friendly furniture made from sustainable materials. The hardwoods we use for our dining tables, chairs and buffets are harvested sustainably and finished with natural stains and wood preparations.

We seek to help you create an inviting, beautiful dining environment at an affordable price point to fit with your means and budget. Each piece of dining furniture you purchase arrives backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee and customer support team.

ii) Dining Sets

A wonderful way to take the guess work out of furnishing the dining room, Dining Sets offer a preconfigured arrangement to fit a myriad of dining room dimensions, styles and desired components. Included in our dining sets are a table, chairs and/or benches to make a complete dining solution for the home. Dining sets make a wonderful alternative for those who want an easy dining solution. To understand what is available to you, it’s best to look at each of the components that combine to make up a dining set.

Materials

Sierra Living dining sets are constructed from sustainable hardwoods such as Rosewood, Mango, Teak and Acacia woods finished with eco-friendly stains; or made from responsibly reclaimed wood with age-worn finish. All dining set tables, chairs and benches are hand-crafted by expert craftspeople and artisans using centuries old techniques such as hand-joinery and hand-wrought iron processes. Each piece included with our dining sets is of the finest quality to ensure it becomes an oft-used, heirloom fixture in your home for generations to come.

For a casual setting with a rustic or country style, salvaged wood and warm wood finishes are hardier and tend to handle daily use in high traffic kitchen and dining spaces. They are ideal for families with children or for households that entertain frequently. For formal traditional and transitional spaces, dining sets rendered in a fine grain wood with rich, dark finish make a beautiful choice as they give a dining room an added element of elegance.

Tables

Choosing the ideal dining table for you depends upon your lifestyle as much as your décor style preferences. For those who tend to enjoy daily meals at their dining table and have a more casual lifestyle, choosing a warm wood with medium or large grain or salvaged wood table in a round or square shape works nicely. For those with a formal lifestyle, where entertaining is an oft-occurrence, a fine grain wood in a rich finish and rectangular or oval shape will fit perfectly. Read on for additional factors to consider when choosing a dining table.

Shape

Dining tables come in a myriad of shapes including square tables, rectangular, oval and round tables that seat from two to twelve guests. The shape of your room should dictate the shape of table you choose. For rectangular spaces a rectangular or oval table will be the best. Square and near-square spaces make a nice fit with a square or round table. Once you’ve chosen the shape of your table, you can then determine what your room will accommodate size-wise.

Size

The key factor in choosing a dining table will be to determine the available space in your room. First, measure your space, then factor in the following rules of thumb to calculate the size of the dining table your room can handle. Minimally you’ll require 36” between the walls and the edge of the table. Ideally between 42-48 inches is best if possible, and if you tend to use your dining space for daily dining and intimate gatherings. For larger rooms, extension tables and tables with leaves expand to accommodate larger groups if you tend to entertain or host large gatherings a few times a year.

Base

Table base types include trestle, pedestal, four-leg and recessed, and come in transitional, modern, minimalist, rustic, traditional and country décor styles. Tabletop designs include solid and slat board with varying edge styles including squared, rounded, multi-step and living edges.

Choosing a base style for your table should be based on personal preference. However, if your room is smaller, yet you need to fit more diners at the table, opt for a pedestal base which allows for more leg room. A trestle base works best for larger spaces as it takes up the most under-the-table space.

Chairs

Often the most difficult choice when furnishing a dining room, the dining chairs in our sets are pre-chosen to fit the dimensions and style of the table perfectly. The dining set chairs include armchairs and side chairs. Armchairs are most often set at the ends of the dining table while the side chairs flank the sides to accommodate a larger number of diners. Consider the following factors when choosing the ideal dining chair to accompany your table:

Styles

Dining chairs include ladderback, lattice, x-style, flute and rolled style backs to fit décor styles from Mission to Contemporary to Old World. Chair legs, feet and bases are beautifully hand executed in a myriad of styles from simple tapered, saber, hand-turned, multi-stretcher, x-style and more.

Ladderback chairs are considered more casual and fit nicely in country, rustic and casual dining rooms. X-style chairs offer a more contemporary vibe and fit nicely in modern and contemporary settings. Flute and rolled styles tend to be more formal and work nicely in a semi-formal and formal style dining space.

Leg and Base Styles

It offers a sense of continuity to match chair legs to the style of your table base, however, some styles mix and match nicely, such as: a trestle base table with hand-turned, four-leg chairs; or saber style chair legs with a slender pedestal style table. For those with a heavier stature, chairs with multiple stretchers and substantial legs work best to support weight.

Side Chairs vs Armchairs

Both side and arm chairs are common in the dining room. Side chairs offer the most flexibility and mobility in accommodating more diners. For square and round tables, opt for side chairs for the most intimate setting and function. Armchairs work best when set at either end of a rectangular or oval table and add an air of formality to the dining setting.

Size

The number and size of dining chairs you require will be determined by the size of your dining table. To allow for optimal function and guest accommodation follow these few rules of thumb and calculate the space for the following:

Between chairs: To provide maximum function and comfort, allow at least 24 inches of table surface between guests and even better up to 30 inches for optimal elbow room. Allow for an extra 12 inches at the head and foot of the table. Add an additional 2” of space for armchairs.

Behind Chairs: Leave at least 24 to 28 inches behind each chair and consider the depth of your dining chairs. Dining chair depth should measure between 16-17 for comfort.

Seat Height: Allow 12 to 14 inches above the seat height to the tabletop for the most comfort. Dining chairs standardly range from 17 to 20 inches high.

Armchair Arm Height: Make sure the arms of the armchairs will clear the bottom of the table apron so guests may comfortably pull up to the table. For the best design, arms should be between 7 to 9 inches above the seat.

Benches

Dining benches offer a nice alternative to the typical armchair or side chair, they are especially suited to dining spaces oft-used by families with children. Benches are considered more casual and less formal making them ideal for dining rooms and eat-in kitchens that get a barrage of daily use.

Leg Style

While dining benches are consistently rectangular in shape, the style of legs and bases vary greatly. You’ll find classic and modern looks with trestle, four-legged, contemporary recessed, splayed-leg and x-style bases. Four leg styles offer the most room to tuck legs back at the table, so this style works best for tighter dining spaces.

Configurations

Dining sets also feature differing configurations with chairs and benches such as: two long benches flanking a rectangular dining table with two armchairs set at either end; a single bench set along one side of the table with side chairs on the other; or four short benches perched on each side of a square table.

iii) Buffets & Sideboards/Storage Cabinets/Hutches

For homes where built-in storage is minimal, versatile dining buffets, sideboards, storage cabinets and hutches are the answer. These hardworking pieces come in a range of styles, materials and configurations to fit today’s occasional or oft-used dining rooms and dining spaces.

Size

It is best to keep the proportions of the buffet or hutch in relation to the table and room. Avoid large, substantial or ornate pieces in small dining spaces, and alternately, feel free to introduce them in large open dining rooms. Width is also a factor—be sure to allow the same room between the sideboard and the chairs as you would the chairs and the walls, so guests can be sit and rise comfortably.

Buffets & Sideboards

A classic piece for the dining room, buffets and sideboards offer both interior storage and exterior serving or décor capacity. They come in may styles from traditional to rustic to minimalist to fit a myriad of decors.

Storage Elements: Most often interior storage is provided through doored cabinets, with or without shelves, and drawers, with or without partitions. This storage area offers stash space for tableware, serving dishes, linens and more. The top of the buffets offer ample surface space for serving dishes and beverages for entertaining. For those who entertain often or enjoy huge holiday gatherings, choose a buffet with a large top surface will allow for maximum serving space.

Hutches

Made from a range of fine hardwoods, our hutches make a smart addition to the dining room or multi-purpose space. Most often configured with doored or open display space above a set of solid doored cabinets or drawers below, these dining cabinets offer ample storage with a stylish repose. Classic style hutches often have glass doors opening onto shelves for displaying fine china, collectibles or other coveted heirlooms. Handwrought iron hardware and fittings add a finishing touch to our high-quality hutches.

Storage Cabinets

These highly functional pieces offer ample stash space where needed. They come in low, mid and high profile designs and varying widths to fit any space. Doored cubbies and cabinets offer space to store dining related supplies from tablecloths, party supplies, serving dishes and more. Each of our storage cabinets is hand-crafted from superior hardwood sustainably harvested and expertly made. For those who entertain or have a large collection of tableware, a storage cabinet offers the most functional choice.

iv) Dining Room Collection

As the heart and soul of the home, the dining room is a central place where family and guests gather to share about their day and linger over a tasty home-cooked meal. Over the years, the dining room has evolved to speak to hectic, modern lifestyles from a specific four-walled room to now include multi-purpose spaces that include kitchen, dining and living rooms in one open space.

Our Dining Room Collection speaks to both the classic dining room and the combination dining/living space. Included in our collection are beautifully hand-crafted tables, chairs, benches, credenzas, hutches storage pieces, and dining sets rendered in versatile style to fit today’s dining spaces. Our dining furniture melds seamlessly with many styles including Early American, Mission, Arts & Crafts, Rustic, Minimalist, Modern and more.

Unique to our dining furniture collection is the sustainable hardwoods we use to construct each piece including Rosewood, with its dynamic wood grain and superior resistance; and Mango, Teak and Acacia woods, tropically-sourced and kiln dried for a beautiful appearance and durable nature. Our reclaimed wood pieces are salvaged responsibly and offer the rustic appearance of weathering and seasoning. Handwrought iron fittings and hardware further highlight our dining furniture for aesthetic and function.

Customization Service

Sierra Living allows you to bring home only dining furniture to suit your style and function. With that in mind, we offer a free customization service on any piece of furniture at no charge to our customers. You may choose from 8 finish shade options at no extra charge and even ask for free samples before making a big purchase.

v) Care Instructions

Our craftspeople create each piece of our fine wood dining furniture for longevity making sure they realize their destiny as true heirloom pieces meant to last a lifetime and more. Fortunately, high quality furniture such as ours isn’t high maintenance. With a little care and mindfulness by the owners, the beauty and longevity of the furniture will last for years to come.

Our wood furniture is made from high quality hardwoods including Rosewood, which is extremely dense, durable and naturally resistant; Mango, a moderately hard and dense wood; Acacia, a very durable hard and tough wood; and Teak, one of the hardest, strongest most durable of all natural woods. While all the hardwoods we use are naturally strong and durable, we suggest caring for and maintaining Sierra Living wood furniture frequently and in the following ways:

Cleaning

Your dining furniture has a hand-waxed finish and should be cleaned and maintained as naturally as possible. Daily cleaning after meals and frequent maintenance dustings and wipe downs will preserve the wood’s beauty while allowing it to age and patina naturally over time. Avoiding caustic cleaners is highly recommended to avoid damage and wear to the wood’s surface. We recommend cleaning in the following ways:

1) For cleaning after meals, clean first with a damp cloth, then follow with a dry, lint-free cloth.

2) Clean spills immediately by blotting with a clean damp cloth, for tough spills a mild detergent can be used. Follow with a dry, lint-free cloth.

3) Frequent dusting with a soft, dry cloth or feather duster is recommended.

4) Avoid chemical harsh chemical cleaning and polishing products including those containing bleach, scouring agents, silicone and oil base.

Sunlight & UV Exposure

For dining spaces with large windows, note that exposing wood furniture to strong unfiltered sunlight can cause dis-coloring and fading over time. Avoid placing furniture close to or under uncovered windows.

Humidity, Moisture & Temperature

While wood can withstand moderate fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels, the solid hardwood used for constructing our dining furniture can become damaged when left in extreme heat or cold environments, or when situated closely to radiators, fireplaces, air conditioning units and heating and cooling vents. Avoid prolonged exposure to moisture as it will cause permanent damage to the wood.

Avoid Damage to Finish

Liquids containing oils or solvents can damage wood finishes. Avoid placing nail polish, potpourri, perfume or hair products around or on table surfaces. Materials such as plastic, vinyl, rubber and cork can cause damage to some wood finishes. Use prolonged exposure when placing cell phones and electronics on tabletops.

Tabletop Décor

Rotate decorative accessories and other items periodically to avoid tabletops from uneven aging and wear of the surface. Do not drag items across the wood tops to avoid scarring and scratching.

Moving Your Furniture

When moving furniture about the room, lift tables and chairs up and carry over to new location, do not drag or scoot furniture as this can cause damage to legs and base of furniture.

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