For generations, the dining room table has been more than just a place to eat. In many homes, the dining table is headquarters for the family: it’s where kids do homework, where the family convenes to discuss important things that concern all of them, where holidays are planned and special occasions are celebrated — it’s the heart of the home. The folks at Herman Miller appreciate this aspect of dining tables and the “meetings” they hold, too. As they put it, “Thoughtfully curated and carefully balanced, this range of Dining and Meeting offerings navigates the many moments of living when we gather around a table — recognizing that the purpose may easily shift from sharing food to sharing ideas, from the leisurely to the long, from the elegant to the casual.” And there are as many types of dining table setups as there are uses for them.
In some ultra-modern homes, with minimalist décor for example, dining tables are clear and chairs are curved, contoured plastic or chrome. You may have “minimalist” seating — the basics, with no cushions or other frills, and with or without arms. Some people make no bones about choosing office chairs: leather or fabric, they can rock, swivel, and be positioned for active conversation and focus anywhere in the room. Long tables and easy-slide chairs, in multiple colors, are often what you see in a public cafeteria. Some chairs are mesh — either fabric or metal — for a flexible transparency that goes with any décor. And tables can be any size, from tiny rounds you’ll see in a bistro to rectangles seating 12 or more. There’s a lot of variety; examples like these can be the starting point for creating your own special dining room ambience.