The age-old problem of needing more seats at the table and in your home may be weighing on you as the holidays approach. One of our goals this year is to be ahead of the game by tackling as much prep work as we can now. If Hobby Lobby can put Christmas décor out in July we can start holiday prep at the beginning of October. Because, let’s face it, it will be here BEFORE WE KNOW IT and nobody needs to stress about seating guests at the eleventh hour when the doorbell rings. So let’s dive right in!
Here are 5 of our favorite tricks for finding extra seating around your house. In the market for a new table? We’ve included and a handy-dandy table seating guide (below) to keep in mind as you shop.
Trick #1: Low Seating in Front of the Fireplace
People tend to avoid putting seats in front of the fireplace for fear of blocking the view — but you can easily tuck in a few low ottomans, or even a bench, while keeping sight lines open.
Tip #2: Stools Tucked Under a Console Table
This is a classic decorator trick for good reason — filling that blank space beneath a console makes a room look more complete, and the stools can easily be pulled in to help with seating during a party. A pair is nearly always better than just one.
Tip #3: Entryway Seating
Make the most of your space by positioning a stool, chair or portable bench in your entry — it’s useful for those putting on shoes and can do double duty as extra party seating when needed.
Tip #4: Folding Chairs
Stashing a stack of slender folding chairs in the coat closet or under the guest bed is smart for anyone (you would be amazed how often you need them), but it’s especially useful if you have a dining table with extension leaves. It’s so much easier to store a few spare folding chairs than the full-size versions. If you are concerned about comfort, invest a few extra dollars in tie-on seat cushions — they make a world of difference.
Tip #5: Bedroom Bench
Another option for sneaking in extra room at the dining table (or elsewhere) is the bench usually kept at the foot of your bed. Choose one that will also work at your dining table and you will always have seating to spare.
Now that you have a seat for everyone, here is a helpful table seating guide as you gather around the table. Keep in mind that the chair/bench configuration and size of the legs will affect these numbers.
- If rectangular, and the table length is 5 feet: sits 4-6 comfortably; if it’s 5 feet round, up to 8 people comfortably
- If rectangular, and the table length is 6 feet: sits 6-8 comfortably; if it’s 6 feet round: up to 10 people comfortably (if you use folding banquet chairs, you can squeeze 12 people)
- If rectangular, and the table length is 7 feet: sits 8 very comfortably; if it’s 7 feet round: 9-11 people comfortably
- If rectangular and the table length is 8 feet: sits 8 very comfortably; if it’s 8 feet round, up to 12 people comfortably
- If rectangular, and the table length is 9 feet: sits 10 comfortably; if it’s 9 feet round: up to 14 people comfortably
- If rectangular, and the table length is 10 feet: sits 10 comfortably; if it’s 10 feet round, up to 15 people comfortably
- If rectangular, and the table length is 11 feet: sits 10 very comfortably and 12 comfortably
- If rectangular, and the table length is 12 feet: sits up to 12 very comfortably and up to 14 with narrower chairs
- If rectangular, and the table length is 13 feet: sits 12-14 comfortably
- If rectangular, and the table length is 14-15 feet: sits 14 very comfortably and 16 if needed
- If rectangular, and the table length is 16 feet: sits 16 very comfortably and 18 if needed
If your table is bigger than that I hope you have a personal chef because you are going to need one!
Now when it’s your turn to host a party or have the whole family over for a holiday event you can remain calm knowing you prepared for this in October! Happy hosting and happy decorating!