To design the perfect dining room for your clients, you need to learn how they live. Is their life always informal? Do they throw dinner parties and need a drop leaf table? Do they have kids who spill? Do they even need traditional dining room furniture?
Even when heirlooms are unlikely, a dining table is often something your clients may already own, so you have the difficult job of making it exciting with the right dining chairs or benches. You might specify a bar cart or bar cabinet to make things feel new. Maybe their table doesn't work in their space; perhaps they need a round dining table instead of a rectangular table. Marble tables, glass top tables, and teak tables can make a space feel modern. Dining sets are often dull but can be a good saving and work well if the room already has a lot going on.
If you don't choose a dining set, selecting dining chairs can be one of the more challenging decisions you'll make with a client. They will be concerned about comfort, durability, and leg shape. Some clients prefer classic upholstered dining chairs and others want eye-catching steel frame chairs. Fan back dining chairs are an American Classic that is becoming popular again, and fiberglass and powder-coated steel are a staple of any midcentury-inspired dining room. Wood frame cane back dining chairs work in almost any space and bring a little nature indoors.
If your client doesn't want a traditional dining room but prefers to eat in an open kitchen or living space, consider bar tables, bistro tables, and even ready-made kitchen islands. If the kitchen already has an island, you'll likely need to shop for bar stools or counter stools that work for their desired level of comfort and practicality. Leather and performance fabric are always good options for these high-touch pieces of furniture.