If you are ready to remodel the dining room, I have some numbers you will want to keep on-hand. A new series I have started called Designer Quick Tips will have some simple ideas at your fingertips to guide you, starting with some essential dining room dimensions.

While we won’t be gathering around the table in large groups this year, many people are reaching out for design help. We thought we would put together some of the essential dimensions you will need to plan your dining room. The right proportions and placement will look just right and if they are off, well, you’ll be bumping elbows at the dinner table and you won’t be in love with your room until you fix them!

Designer Quick Tips – Essential Dining Room Dimensions

For the rug in a dining room, there’s really just one rule of thumb. Ideally, you want to measure your dining room table, and then add 24″ to each side to determine the dimensions. That will ensure that all of the dining room chairs stay on the rug even when they’re pulled out, and they won’t lift up the carpet edge when you slide them in. You can go a little wider as well, but you don’t want the rug to be too large and feel out of proportion to your dining table. They really should play well together as a unit. Aim to leave a perimeter of 12″ to 18″ of hardwood flooring around the rug.

Table Space

If you are purchasing a new table and want to know how large a table you will need for all the family to gather around, allow 24″ per place setting. Remember, many tables have extensions so that you can get one that is the right size for your room when it isn’t pulled out. When the family gathers around, they will be more interested in the food than whether your table ideally fits your space.

If you are looking for a table at flea markets and antique shows and find something you hope will work, make sure it is 30″ from the floor to the top of the table. Chairs should leave 8″ for you to slide in and leave comfortable room for your legs under the table. Be sure and take the apron (under the table top) into account.


Sconces should be located at about 60″ above the floor. Measure from where the light will be, not the bottom of the mounting plate. You may need to place the electrical box higher or lower to accommodate the light at the correct height.

While many of us no longer use an intricate crystal chandelier, in the design industry this term is still used to categorize any multiple light fixture typically used over a table, in a foyer, or in the living room. Your dining table chandelier should finish roughly 30 to 36″ minimum above the table surface depending on the style, and on your ceiling height. Having the right lighting height matters!

Here are some dining room numbers to have at the ready when looking at dining room furniture and furnishings.

  • Size of area rug – 24″ larger than the table on all sides
  • 24″ per place setting
  • Height of dining table 30″
  • Height of light fixture over the table – 30″ (or 32″) to 38″ above the table top
  • Sconces – 60″ above the floor

 Here’s a Pin for you to save for quick reference.