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European Style Dining Room Furniture

European style furnishings afford simple sophistication to a home. They emphasize beauty in an ultimately useful form. While each European country has its own history of distinctive design eras, contemporary European style furnishings often reflect the aesthetic of the 20th century International school of design, which is characterized by minimalism, functionality, and smooth, sleek finishes. European style dining room furniture is simply beautiful by virtue of clean lines and quiet elegance.

Classic Versus Contemporary

Classic mid-20th century European furniture focused on the use of metal -- such as tubular steel in dining chairs -- glass table tops, and molded plastic seats. These materials exemplified the classic International design school’s simple utilitarian philosophy.

Contemporary European style dining room furniture reprises the use of wood as a primary material. Lacquered pine, richly stained teak, walnut, mahogany and rosewood are among the domestic and exotic species favored by contemporary furniture designers. Bestselling wood dining sets preserve the sleek lines and simple style of the popular European look, and plastics have largely made way for natural, sustainable materials.

Painted wood is in vogue for informal dining, with the French country style among contemporary favorites. The stolid, no frills look of farmhouse furnishings, whether in Pittsburgh or Provence, is the design that continues to dominate casual contemporary dining pieces.

The combination of steel and glass remains desirable as well in the right settings. Ultramodern loft apartments that feature polished, monochrome furnishings with minimal adornment reflect the International design philosophy that has become a mainstream design style. Today, the marriage of metal and glass in contemporary dining spaces is a popular look that is stylish without drawing undue attention.

One of the benefits of original European style furniture pieces was their adaptability to mass production, which lowered the purchase price of the furniture to make it more accessible to more people. Contemporary European style pieces are often produced one at a time by skilled craftspeople today. This handcrafted trend adds the value of superior construction, custom design and top quality materials to the benefits of purchasing European dining style furnishings.

Dining Room Furniture to Fit a Spectrum of Lifestyles

Size Considerations

Before setting out to select the right dining room set, shoppers should set some criteria for size, style, materials and price. Such a checklist helps streamline the selection process.

When considering the size of a dining room table, noting room measurements in advance will help to size the set correctly for the available space. One rule of thumb is to allow about three feet of space on all sides of the table where diners can easily seat themselves and walk behind those already seated. If a buffet or other furnishings must share the space, room measurements should take those pieces into account.

The room should be large enough to accommodate the table at full extension. If extra chairs must be removed when the table is adjusted to its smallest footprint, having a plan for storing these extra chairs is critical. Perhaps they can be set back against a dining room wall, or perhaps they will need to be removed to a guest room or storage area.

Despite the minimalistic element common to many European style dining room sets, some do include armchairs as part of the set. Considering the additional space requirements of chairs that cannot be pushed completely up to the table when not in use will prevent clutter in traffic areas. Conversely, if the dining room is large, selecting a table that is too small will result in an imbalance that can deter from the overall appearance of the space.

Style Considerations

Contemporary design is not always the result of perfectly matched furnishings. In fact, many successful and desirable looks are the result of a purposefully eclectic collection of themes. Because the dining table and chairs are likely to be the dominant furnishings in an eating space, a good design strategy is to start with the selection of the right set and build outwards in terms of whole room décor.

European style dining room furniture lends itself to a variety of integrated effects. A glass and metal set pairs well with a black enameled sideboard or buffet. A maple dining table and chairs with the simple lines of European styling partners beautifully with an antique china cupboard with a curved glass front. With the addition of framed, vintage botanical prints and a simple maple chair rail around the exterior of the dining space, the area remains understated yet richly appointed in the true European tradition.

Materials Considerations

Given the prevalence of the green movement during the past decade and the resulting consumer preference for sustainably grown materials, wood has come back into vogue. Currently, it is one of the most popular materials for European style dining ensembles. Ultramodern homes are likely to feature painted dining room sets with a high gloss black or white finish as a more contemporary statement than traditional metal and glass designs.

Danish furniture has long celebrated the beauty of wood, incorporating such hardwoods as teak into ergonomic designs that please visually and physically. Solid domestic woods such as walnut or cherry lend dining room furniture a classic elegance, while other sets feature wood veneers that add style and economy.

Chairs may incorporate leather or a similar synthetic material in the seat cushions. They may alternatively feature fabric covered padding. Some chairs reflect the minimalist style with bare wood that has been shaped to accommodate diners in comfort for an elegant but utilitarian look.

Examples of Popular Contemporary European Dining Sets

An excellent example of contemporary aesthetic blended with European lines, one popular set features a table built on a wood base with a high gloss, white enamel finish. The removable table top is glass, giving the set an airy yet elegant European flair. The chairs are fully covered in white eco-leather for a complementary appearance. These contrasting textures create tension that translates to positive energy within the dining room theme.

Another popular bestselling European dining room set centers on a richly stained, wood pedestal table. The plain, rectangular table top is eminently European in its minimalism, and the hardwood is grown sustainably for environmentally conscious consumers. The chairs in the set are fashioned from a lighter toned hardwood with a glossy finish. They are curved to match the shape of the body and although they appear hard and unforgiving, their custom shape makes them surprisingly comfortable.

A third popular, mainstay style of European design is the glass and chrome ensemble. The round table seats four, and the glass table top rests on curved chrome legs. The chairs have ultramodern, curved chrome frames with black seats and back rests. This easy care, sophisticated style would look fabulous in a breakfast room with plenty of natural light.

European style dining room furniture is eclectic and versatile. With its simple, clean lines and minimal frills, it suits a wide variety of design schemes and contemporary aesthetics. While wood has reclaimed an important niche in contemporary dining sets, metal and glass sets are still in high demand. Let Viesso find or craft the dining room of your dreams. Contact us today!