Friday, February 29, 2008

Wooden Chairs: Rules of thumb for buying chairs for every room of the house

Sitting down to a family dinner is one of life's basic pleasures. But the easy mood of a convivial meal can be marred if the chairs are uncomfortable or the table wobbles so much that you're afraid you may end up wearing the soup.

The strength of a table is largely determined by the way the top attaches to the base or legs. A pedestal or column base is unlikely to give as much support as four corner legs. This does not mean that a pedestal table is unstable, but a wide table supported only by a single central pedestal may wobble slightly. Legs can supply sturdy, wobble-free support if they are attached properly. The top generally rests on an apron frame, and the legs are joined to the apron. The frame and the joins should be corner-blocked for stability.

Expandable tables come in many different forms, but whatever the mechanism for enlarging the table, it should be solid and work smoothly. Leaves should be approximately 16"-22" wide. Many tables have a storage system that holds the leaves within the table itself. This is a great space-saver, and you'll never have to remember where the leaves are stored. However, table leaves, when stored away, do not receive the same exposure to light and sun, and frequently fade at a different rate than the rest of the table.

More rules of thumb:

  • Dining chair seats should be approximately 16"-19" high.
  • Breakfast counter height is approximately 33".
  • Break fast counter stools should be about 52"-26"high.
  • Bar counter height is approximately 42".
  • Bar stools are usually 29"-30" high.
  • Coffee table height usually ranges from 15"-19". This should correspond to sofa seat height.
  • End table (lamp height) is 18"-24". Figure on one to two inches higher or lower than the sofa or chair arm.
  • Console table height is approximately 26"-35". Figure between 1" and 6" below your sofa back.

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