One of the earliest prototypes of the dining room had been developed since the Romans in the form of a Great Hall. Prevalent in the manors and castle of British and European nobility, the Great Hall had a variety of functions and was able to seat the entire household plus all guests received. It is believed that the family of whom the home belonged to would be seated at a table positioned at the head of the room which was elevated via a platform; this enabled them to act as hosts accordingly as well as be completely visible to their guests. Due to large numbers of people gathering in the hall, long benches and tables supported by trestles were used as they took up the least room and seated the largest number of people. With so many people and such good food, the Great Hall would be a merry and busy place where we people really enjoyed their meal and socialising whilst dining. High ceilings gave the Hall a grander appearance that also functioned as a way to allow air circulation to peak.
By the later part of The Middle Ages, the fashion for large gatherings declined due to the Black Death; people stopped mixing because they feared infection with the plague. As a result of this change from large gatherings to smaller, household meals, another version of the dining room appeared in homes of the upper classes. Known as the ‘parlour,’ it was positioned close to the hallway and was used for mealtimes. The furniture for the parlour was much simpler as it was a place seen for eating a meal rather than dining. The majority would feature a standard, fixed table with plain seating. You would also find a cabinet or cupboard with shelving inside for crockery, cups (or drinking vessels as they were formerly known), and flagons to be stored. A parlour was for practical use only and not much attention to décor or aesthetic beauty was taken into account then, even if it was the rich who had one in their home.
During the middle of the 17th century, the dining room had evolved considerably from a practical space for eating, to an area for fine dining and entertainment. Still prevalent in households of the upper classes, the dining room would also be used by the men of the party to stay after dinner where they would then enjoy a few glasses of brandy or port and smoke their cigars. As a result, dining room décor and furniture of the time had a more masculine appearance that resembled furniture you would find in a study or billiard room. A new addition the catalogue of dining room furniture was the sideboard which more or less replaced the standard cabinet used previously. Sideboards were larger and could store a larger amount of crockery and linens. It was even used to keep wine bottles and hot plates due to its extensive storage potential. A fine attribute to any dining room, it served both practical and aesthetic purposes. Whilst the sideboard was used for storage, dressers were introduced to act as a surface to prepare food for meals.
With the dawn of Victorian times, the dining room had found its way into the homes of the middle classes. They could no afford a house with the bonus of a dining room that was separate from other rooms therefore increasing the importance of the room and increasing the market for items like sideboards and dressers.
An issue had arisen concerning furniture for the dining area, however, and it involved the most central item of the room – the dining table. People were finding that they had no way of increasing their table facility when entertaining guests unless they positioned an additional table next to it. This made for an awkward hassle of finding another table and trying to wedge it next to the existing one; not to mention how unattractive it would look. Consumers needed a table that they could extend easily without the need of an extra table completely. Thankfully, by the 1800s the first ever extendable dining table was manufactured successfully and is still common in households today. It was a far cry from the tables of The Middle Ages which were simply hefty cuts of wood placed on top of some sort of trestles.
Throughout the late 20th and early 21st century, family dining had undergone a massive change. Lesser families were now eating together for dinner due to work commitments and children socialising with friends; the family was just no longer able to or chose not to gather together to enjoy their daily dinner. Television dinners were no longer pre-packaged, processed food that was popular in the 1950s but rather just any type of meal that people chose to eat whilst watching television instead of at the dinner table.
Regardless of this change, there are still occasions where the family all gather for a meal in the dining room. In Britain, this is usually every Sunday for roast dinner, and throughout the year other occasions like Christmas, Easter, and birthdays are of paramount importance where many families eat together in the dining room at the same time.
Aside from the table, dining chairs have had an interesting history themselves and a great deal more different today than they were centuries ago. Presently, you can by dining chairs in all types of styles, shapes, sizes, and designs. A very common style is the leather dining chair which consists of a plump and cushion leather seat that runs along the seat and back of the chair. In fact, you could argue that dining chairs have become more comfortable in recent years because of recent studies showing how good padding and support is necessary to prevent back pain.
The sideboard is still very popular, except now it is attributed more to the living room even though it looks equally good in the dining room. However, most commonly found in the dining rooms of today are dressers – tops, bases, or combined – as well as display cabinet. Most of us like to show-off any fine china, photographs, and fancy ornaments we own in visual splendour; this led to the popularity of the display cabinet. With dazzling glass doors and glass helving, display cabinets enabled us to display our belongings with pride whilst keeping them protected from excess dust and possible accidents. The inclusion of spotlights in display cabinets remains popular because of the way it makes glassware and china sparkle. Dressers and sideboards are still used to store crockery, cloths, and linen – more or less anything that you want to store away.
Today, many households do not have a separate dining room but rather a kitchen/diner. This usually consists of a single room where one side features the kitchen whilst the other features the dining room; another version has the kitchen units and facilities running along the outskirts of the room whilst the dining set has been placed in the middle. Although this has benefits like bringing the family together more, for example, the kids do their homework on the dining table whilst the parent cooks dinner; an individual dining room is still very much desired by homeowners.
Our ranges of dining room furniture.
At Right Price Furniture we have an extensive collection of dining room furniture. All constructed from solid oak, mango, or mahogany, the quality of each item is unparalleled. A vast assortment of style, sizes, and finishes are available because we understand that everybody has different tastes, preferences, and requirements. Below we have listed our different ranges according to their style: traditional, rustic, contemporary, and Indian.
If you want a dining room that is bursting with modern simplicity and understated elegance then one of our contemporary ranges may be just up your street. With an assortment of designs varying from smooth, bevelled edges, to sharp, clean cut lines, you’ll find a contemporary dining set that is almost tailored to fit your preference. Cubic shapes and sleek curves can be found in every line, as well as a choice of various handles including chrome, brushed metal, and wood. Select the contemporary furniture category to have a good browse or look through each line individually; you can choose from the Arianne, Atlantis, Brooklyn, Cambridge, Cotswold, Cottage, Cube, Glencoe, London, Opus, Oslo, and Tuscan lines.
For those of you with more traditional taste buds, we have some gorgeously rustic lines available. Featuring stunning attributes like flared cornices, arched bases, metal handles, and warm wax or oil finishes. Our traditional collections of dining room furniture are a beautiful blend of traditional beauty and rustic warmth that collectively create a cosy and homely feel. Please take a look at the dining furniture in the Quintoch and Country range. If you want a French twist integrated with your rustic items then our Toulouse line might be ideal for you.
If you like the classic look of a traditional-style dining room but want the furniture to be darker then our Marseille range made from mahogany or our York and Wexford ranges constructed from mango are a fantastic alternative.
We understand that contemporary and traditional furniture isn’t for everyone, that’s why we have included two stunning lines of Indian dining sets. With rustic warmth and a semi-distressed finish, both are fantastic ways to brighten up your dining area. What makes these two ranges so intriguing is their Indian inspired design which is sure to impress dinner guests. Both are constructed from mango wood.
Every range of dining room furniture features an outstanding collection of dining room items. Everything including dressers (tops and bases), display cabinets, sideboards, wine racks, and dining chairs with various cushions/upholstery are available. To suit any size family and any number of guests, we have fixed, extendable, round, square, and D-end dining tables in stock. All storage items feature robust shelves and deep, sturdy drawers constructed with dovetail joints. Why should I choose dining furniture made from wood?
Furniture stores today offer dining room items in all kinds of materials. Whilst artificial materials like chipboard and plastic are cheaper in the initial purchase, they actually cost you more in the long run because of their low durability. Not only will they look worn and old within a matter of months but they will lose their attractiveness soon as well. Therefore it is best to save yourself the time of trying to replace the item and a lot of money by going with the most reliable material there is – wood.
Also, do not be fooled by those who sell apparent ‘solid wood’ furniture; more often than not the wood has been combined with a chipboard or some other artificial material, meaning that it is a cheaper, poorer quality product. Every item that we sell at Right Price Furniture is constructed from solid wood alone – our highly skilled craftsmen never use a trace of chipboard, MDF, veneers, or any other artificial material.
Wood has been used to construct furniture for centuries. Being a natural material in such a colossal range of varieties, every species is unique in texture, structure, and appearance, as is every tree different from another. The beauty of wood lies in its distinct pattern, grain detail, colour, and texture, making it eternally gorgeous and never out of fashion.
To increase the longevity of our furniture, we have not just relied on the sturdiness of the woods we use. Every item we produce has been finished in a nourishing and protective seal of wax, oil, or lacquer. This not only helps preserves the wood but enhances its beauty in some way – lacquer and oil enhance grain detail, whilst wax and oil add a warm glow to the colour of the wood. For top tips on how to add more years of glory to your dining furniture then please continue reading the rest of this article in the sections dedicated to cleaning and maintaining wood.
Our use of various finishes is particularly handy in the dining room. Mealtimes can be pretty destructive for dining room furniture with the clanging of cutlery, passing of plates, hot dishes, and of course spillage – especially with kids around! That’s why our furniture is ideal because it has sealed the wood against damage to keep scratches and marks at a minimum. We implore all customers to clean up any spilt liquids – whether hot or cold – immediately. Leaving it for longer will allow the seal to be penetrated and potentially damage the wood.
What varieties of wood do you use? What are their benefits?
Solid mango furniture.
Mango is commonly seen as the Indian equivalent to oak. Native to India, the mango tree has been recently been recognised as a fantastic material to construct household furniture with. Strong and durable, mango is a hardwood and therefore ideal for long lasting items. Mango is renowned for its distinct colour that is full of rich and bold hues blended into one striking piece of furniture. Best of all, it looks equally good in contemporary and traditional designs alike. First noticed for its benefits when the 18th century was in full swing, Europeans were stunned by the beauty of mango wood as well as its similarity to oak. We have taken great time and effort to meticulously design authentic Indian furniture constructed from solid mango wood which gives you a way to add life and vibrancy to your home.
Solid mahogany furniture.
Mahogany is seen as one of the finest woods in the world and has been used to build ships, furniture, as well as many other things over the centuries. A strong hardwood and resilient to wood rot, mahogany has been a trusted material since the American colonies of the mid-18th century. During the final part of the 19th century, it is estimated that Britain imported over 80,000 tonnes of mahogany from the Americas.
Native to the Americas, mahogany is known for its rich, reddish-brown colour, straight grain, and is particularly favoured for not containing any voids or pockets. As mahogany matures, its reddish-brown colour darkens considerably and enhances its already regal appearance. The red hue that runs through it is amplified to a red sheen when polished properly. Aside from its durability and beauty, mahogany is also favourable in furniture making because of its girth being easily cut into wide boards.
Mahogany is also popularly used in the making of musical instruments; studies have shown that mahogany produces a warmer, deep tone in comparison to other woods and is therefore in demand for creating acoustic guitars and drum shells. Its supreme nature for musicality has also led to it being incorporated in the construction of phonographic record cartridges and headphones for stereos.
American white oak.
One of the most sustainable woods in the world, oak has been the most popular material to construct furniture with since The Middle Ages. We use American white oak which is grown in the North-Eastern side of America. With a potential age of 450 years old American white oak is very similar to European oak in that it has a light grey sapwood and a heartwood that ranges from light to dark brown. Contrary to its name, it is in fact incredibly rare to find a white oak with a white bark. A white oak tree can grow up from 15-30m and up to 1m wide. Its grain formation is straight and with a coarse to medium texture; it also has considerable crushing strength as well as flexibility. Its slow growth means that white oak from the North-East of the USA is lighter in weight making it ideal for constructing household items. Another bonus is that both its heartwood and sapwood are resistant to preservative treatments, whilst the heartwood is also resistant to decay.
Another type of white oak can be found in the southern states of America, namely Florida and Texas. Its different habitat means that white oak from this area grows faster and is therefore heavier than oak from the North-East. It is also a lot more rigid because of its fast growth, and has wider rings throughout its trunk. The average colour of this species is either a pale-yellow brown or a pale-reddish brown; some even have a pink hue.
Like mahogany, oak was also used to construct furniture, ships, and buildings throughout the past thousand years. It is a strong and highly durable hardwood that gives you years worth of value. Oak has a gorgeous, warm colour that really gives a homely feel to your household. In the past, oak was only affordable by the rich, but luckily with the production of American white oak at the beginning of the 20th century, solid oak furniture was within the price range of the lower classes.
Oak has been recognised for its beauty and strength for centuries, and even had significance in Greek and Norse mythology having been important to the gods Zeus and Thor. Humans have always known that oak is a great choice, and today the demand for solid oak furniture is still high.
How to care for your dining room furniture.
Furniture is an expense to all of us, that’s why it is best to buy premium quality furniture that could potentially last you a lifetime rather than cheap and cheerful items that barely last a year. If you buy with us at Right Price Furniture, half the job is already done; we only use premium solid oak, mahogany, and mango which are all finished with a protective seal. This gives you items that have a durability which should last years. However, there are simple things you can do which will make your furniture last even longer! Here are some easy tips that we advise all customers to follow.
First – positioning your furniture. Always place your item with around an inch of space between itself and the wall; this will enable air to fully circulate around your item and keep it at an equal temperature. This also prevents marking the wall.
Secondly, in no event should you place your item in front of a radiator or air conditioner. By exposing your wooden furniture to extreme hot and cold temperatures you are forcing the wood to shrink and expand. This dehydrates the wood and makes it crack or split.
Thirdly, we recommend that all items have felt pads applied to the bottom of their feet or legs. These felt pads act as a cushion that stops scrapes and marks caused by the item coming into contact with the floor. Not only are you protecting your wood furniture, but also your flooring. It may sound simple and unnecessary but it is highly effective and is popular in households across the country as the best way to prevent unsightly marks.
Finally, any direct light is to be avoided if possible. Wood is a natural material and is therefore sensitive to direct sunlight and even artificial light. The only issue is that exposure to direct light constantly can cause the colour of the wood to face considerably. We therefore advise that if possible, keep your item of direct sunlight; however if this is not an option position your item so that an entire section is subject the light. This will prevent you having the front of your wardrobe half faded and half normal. By positioning it correctly, the item with have equal fading that makes it unnoticeable. As for lamps, it is best to manoeuvre the lamp across the dresser or whichever item it is place. This evenly distributes the light which leads to any fading being equal and unnoticeable.
These are simple steps that anyone can do to preserve their item at its best. Each are a doddle to carry out in comparison to replacing your furniture within months.
Prolonging the life of your dining room furniture.
So, you’ve positioned your furniture correctly and are aware of precautions to take with light. Now here are ways to really increase the durability of your item enormously. Maintaining your item may seem daunting and time consuming, but it really isn’t. As said before, these little touch-ups every so often save you a great deal more time and money than paying for a replacement of your chipboard dining table. We have included a document on preserving wood furniture with every purchase so that when an item is delivered you have all the necessary information on paper in front of you. Please read the following instructions carefully as each method is specific to a particular finish.
Items finished with a lacquer coating can easily be cleaned with a damp, soft, lint-free cloth. Once you have cleaned the entire item, dry it with a dry, soft cloth. In no case should detergents or any type of chemicals be used to clean items with a lacquered finish as they could penetrate the lacquer itself and ultimately damage the wood.
Concerning wax finishes, it is fine to clean them with a duster and polish. This, however, is not a substitute for protection. To maintain the beauty and increase the durability of your waxed item you should give it a fresh application of wax every six months.
For items with an oiled finish, the initial maintenance is more but does reduce after a year. Every three months you should apply a fresh coat of linseed or Danish oil. Once you have performed this successfully for a year, you can reduce the applications to once every six months.
Before application of any of these methods, we implore that customers perform a mini test first. In the rare event that you purchased the wrong seal for your product, we advise that you test a small, discreet area of you item, for example the bottom of your dining table. Make it an area that people can’t see. Once tested leave it for a day and analyse the following day for any damage. If damage has been cause that it is easily mended and it isn’t visible to others. However, if you go ahead without testing you could have damaged the entire item and have a major furniture disaster on your hands that you cannot cover-up.
By performing a mini-test you are preventing a potential disaster. If you have chosen the wrong finish for your test, do not worry, it is easily remedied and covered up.
If you wish to give your item a good clean then we recommend the reliable Murphy’s Oil Soap. It is a subtle product that removes all dirt and grime without damaging the seal or the wood. Even if you choose to use Murphy’s Oil Soap or another cleaning product then please read the instructions carefully first to ensure that you are going to carry-out the clean properly. We recommend a mini test for this too.
In the case of the drawers of your dresser or sideboard becoming stiff, simply rub a wax candle along each runner to replenish the item with smooth-sliding drawers.
Every method we have listed is highly-regarded in the industry, and seen as the easiest and best ways to preserve your dining room furniture. Occasional maintenance is a quick task to do every so often, and saves you hundreds of pounds and heaps of stress in the long term.
Why should I purchase my dining room furniture from Right Price?
For premium quality furniture made from the finest materials of solid oak, mahogany, and mango, we give you the best value for your money. We have catered for everyone’s tastes by including a vast assortment of styles, sizes, shapes, and finishes to ensure that you can tailor-fit your dining room to suit you. No matter if you have a large family, are just starting a family, live with friends, or live alone, we have provided plentiful tables in various sizes and extendable/fixed qualities to suit your requirements.
Every item we sell has been meticulously crafted by our expert craftsmen. We never cut corners in manufacturing and use only the finest materials – solid oak, mango, and mahogany. No chipboard, MDF, or veneers are ever used in our products because we believe in giving you the best quality furniture in the country. And if that wasn’t enough, we have finished every item in a nourishing and protective seal of wax, oil, or lacquer to make it last longer and look stunning in your dining room.
With dining furniture available across all ranges, you are literally spoilt for choice; you also have the option of matching your entire dining room as a set or mixing up items from two ranges for a more personal touch and unique look. Don’t wait a moment longer and furnish your dining room with unmatched beauty and finery. Browse away, today!
All queries concerning our range of dining room furniture or any other product/service we provide, please give us a call, or alternatively email us.