How to Arrange a Dining Room for Holiday Guests

by GraceAnn Simoni

Here’s some great advice for the upcoming holidays, from Contributor GraceAnn Simoni. An Interior Redesign and Staging Specialist and Instructor from the Chicagoland area, GraceAnn shares with us budget tips and advice for decorating with your existing furniture and accessories.

And so it begins….

The Dining Room 'Switch' - After

Can you believe it? Thanksgiving—the first big Holiday of the season—is right around the corner. I love this holiday, to have the chance to fill the house with the wonderful turkey and pumpkin smells, and the thoughts of all the people around the table.

“Oh no!” you say. “Where am I am going to put everyone?”

When I was growing up, there was always the extra card table or two in the living room and the ‘kids’ table’, usually set up in the kitchen. (I think I was still there at age 13!)

Thanksgiving is all about getting together over a meal and giving thanks. Let’s take a look at some ideas for at least getting more people in the same room.

Some tricks I have tried in the past include turning the dining room table at an angle . You will discover that it really opens up the ability to seat more people, and results in less damage to the china cabinet or buffet by chairs too close.

How to Arrange a Dining Room - Before and After

Photos above are a client’s home Before and After. You can see the space that is created for additional chairs. This also allows plenty of room to add the table extensions (leaves). Here again is the finished room:

The Dining Room - Redesigned

Another option is to ‘switch’ rooms. Below is a home of my client and her large family, where I did just that for the holidays.

Dining Room Before

Living Room Before

We then moved the table and china hutch to the living room. The table turned at an angle also allows room to set up small separate tables in the same room, perhaps one ‘for the kids’. The plan for the event was to accessorize the hutch with all sizes of old family photos, and extend the theme of ‘thankfulness for family’.

The Dining Room 'Switch' - After

We used the original dining room as a small sitting area for the Grandmas to talk and spend time with the little ones, in a room separate from the ‘football’ family room.

Living Room 'Switch' - Sitting Room After

As it turns out, these rooms were left this way after the holidays and the sitting room became the quiet homework center. The dining room was used more often because it felt more open and worked great for school projects.



GraceAnn Simoni of Yours Redesigned Naperville, IL, is a Redesign and Staging Specialist and Instructor, and a member of Interior Redesign Industry Specialists (I.R.I.S.).

If you need help getting the The Home You Want With the House You Have™ visit

How many guests are you expecting for holiday dinners this year? How will you handle the crowd?

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4 Comments for “How to Arrange a Dining Room for Holiday Guests”

[…] How to Arrange a Dining Room for Holiday Guests […]

This is SO timely. I am having this very issue. I normally have no more than 4 at my small dining room and I’m now faced with 12+ attending dinner for Thanksgiving. I was actually toying with the diagonal idea. I’m going to give it a try. Happy Holidays!

Thanks, Nancy!! We’ve made an effort to have some timely stories for the holidays this year — more to come and so nice you noticed.

Wow! 12 in the room that usually seats 4. That will be a challenge – can’t wait to hear how it works out. Have fun and Happy Holidays back at ‘cha.

I love webland, where we share such little but life-enhancing tips! The ‘oblique’ idea has been one of my favourites in all manner of home design, such as in one kitchen I had the oven built into a corner, with a triangle shelf for salt etc at the back of it, and a cupboard built into the triangle space behind, accessed from the room/wall behind.

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