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Friday, March 13, 2009

DESIGN OF A DINING ROOM | PLANNING

Once you have met with your Architect, and given your requirements, he will design according to your Site size, budget and site conditions. The main things to look out for in the design solution are whether:
  • The minimum, basic room sizes which are considered comfortable for use and for good furniture arrangement have been maintained. It is always important to have a comfortable sized Dining room as the size cannot be changed later (unless you are prepared for large scale renovation).
  • All the planning considerations such as, furniture, clearances, space allowances, doors, windows etc for the Dining room have been taken into account.
  • The Dining room location and orientation is according to the cardinal directions , so that it gets the right amount of Sunlight and air.
Here, I have explained the design considerations, furniture and the minimum basic sizes for a Dining Room for your reference.
PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS FOR A DINING ROOM:
  • The principal factors to be considered in planning the Dining Room are: Number of persons to be seated. Seating arrangement. Space used at table. Size and type of Furniture Space allowance for furniture. Space around the furniture for passage and accessing. Storage space for china, glassware, silver etc.
DINING ROOM FUNCTIONS -
  • Primary Activities: A dining room is primarily used for Setting the table, Serving the food, Eating, Cleaning up after meals, Storing cutlery and crockery.  
  • Secondary Activities: A dining room can also be used for Children's play or study and homework, Reading, Writing, Entertainment, Board Games, Sewing, Watching TV, Ironing clothes.
FLEXIBILITY - The Dining room should have flexibility, in that, one should be able to put it to various uses, like dining, recreation, board games, studying, reading, sewing, ironing, etc. This is possible by having adequate space for varied furniture arrangements. If space allows, you can have some sofas and a TV so that you can use the room for entertainment, family activities and guests.


FURNITURE IN A DINING ROOM- Based on the primary and secondary functions of a Dining Room, the typical pieces of furniture used are listed below:
  • Dining Table - Tables with seating on 2 sides are generally larger than tables with seating on 4 sides. However, the required room size for seating on 2 sides is smaller than rooms with tables having seating on 4 sides.
  • Dining Chairs - 1'6"x1'6", 1'10"x1'10"
  • Sideboard - 4'0"x1'8", 5'0"x1'9"
  • Crockery Cabinet (Showcase) - 3'0"x1'3", 4'0"x1'3", 5'0"x1'3" depending on your requirement.
  • Sofas and TV- If space permits.

SPECIFIC SPACE ALLOWANCES IN A DINING ROOM - Recommended Space allowances based on research are listed below:

  • SIZE OF EACH SEAT - The minimum width along the perimeter of the table, needed for each place setting is 1'9". A width of 2'0 is comfortable. This allows chairs of size 1'6" to be placed at least 6"apart. However a width of upto 2'5" is desirable for greater freedom to allow elbow extension etc. 
  • PASSAGE BEHIND CHAIRS - The minimum space for passage behind chairs is 1'10" though 2'0" is ideal. The minimum depth for a place setting is 1'2". So a minimum space of 3'2" should be maintained between the dining table and the wall to enable a person to pass behind people who are already seated at the table.
  • SIZE OF TABLE - The minimum width of a Dining table is 3'0", though upto 3'8" is more comfortable. The size of a dining table depends on the number of members of the family and the number of guests who are entertained. As a thumb of rule, you can have a dining table to seat 2 persons more than the number of people in your family. For example, in 4 person house, you can have a 6 seater table, in a 6 person house, a table for 8 persons can be used.
  • The minimum dining table sizes are listed below:
  • Table for two - 2'6"x2'6"
  • Table for four (seating on 4 sides) - 2'6"x3'2", (seating on 2 sides) - 2'8"x4'0"
  • Table for six (seating on 4 sides) - 4'0"x3'0", (seating on 2 sides) - 6'0"x3'4"
  • Table for eight (seating on 4 sides) - 4'0"x3'4", (seating mainly on 2 sides) - 6'0"x3'4"
  • Table for ten (seating on 4 sides) - 6'0"x4'0"
  • At least 5'0" distance should be kept between the TV and seating for comfortable viewing.
  • STORAGE SPACE- In most houses, around 21'0" to 30'0" linear length of shelf space is required for displaying and storing crockery, cutlery, glasses, cups and saucers, etc for everyday use and guest use. The shelves can be fixed within the sideboard and the crockery cabinet.

CLEARANCES IN DINING ROOM - Adequate clearances should be provided around the dining table to allow for the efficient and comfortable use of the Dining room. In some cases, greater clearances are required to accommodate the needs of elderly people with wheelchairs etc. The following clearances from the edge of the table should be observed:
  • A minimum of 2'8" to access chairs but is not sufficient for passage behind the chairs.
  • A minimum of 3'2" to access chairs plus allow for passage behind the chairs.
  • A minimum of 3'6" to allow for serving from behind the chair.
  • A minimum of 2'0" for only passage.
  • A minimum of 4'0" from table to cabinet or sideboard.
DINING ROOM LOCATION-
The Dining room is the space where the family sits together to have a meal and where guests are entertained. The Location of a Dining room depends on factors like the proximity to the Living room, the Kitchen, wash basin etc. For Vastu tips on the best location for a Dining Room go to:
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