Food for thought before buying a new dining room set

We count up all the hours we spend there, and what it means when choosing the table and chairs

Buying a dining room set means considering your style of living. Photo: Courtesy
Buying a dining room set means considering your style of living. Photo: Courtesy

A research study was recently published on how we use our dinner table. Tonight, over dinner, you may want to share some of these tidbits.

The average life span of a dinner table is approximately 10 years. This surprises me. Maybe I eat out too much, because of all the furniture in my home, the dinner table is the one piece of furniture I can count on to stay looking new the longest. Nonetheless, we do a lot on this table, so getting one that is durable and chairs that are comfortable are a must.

Over its lifespan, the typical table endures almost 2,000 drink spills and 1,160 stains from food. That’s a lot of mess that could scratch or stain your table. I recommend to all our clients that they get a custom glass topper to put over a wood table top.

On average, over 2,450 meals are eaten at the dinner table over its lifespan. (An additional 2,700 meals are eaten on the sofa). While we eat, apparently our favorite topics to discuss are film and TV, general gossip and then politics. Most people sit down to dinner around 6:30 pm and spend only 10 minutes clearing their plate.

Just sitting at the table without any food involved, we spend about 1,230 hours. That does not include work we bring home or bills we sort and pay. The work we do at the table accounts for another 302 hours. We even sleep at the table 312 hours. No wonder getting comfortable dining chairs is a high priority.

To make sure you get a comfortable dining chair, one of the most important things to watch for in Mexico is the incline of the back of the chair. Many lower cost dining chairs available in Mexico have a 90 percent angle from the seat. In other words, the back is perpendicular to the seat, like an L. Most people find this very uncomfortable for sitting for long periods. Why have a chair with a straight back? It is the easiest, fastest and cheapest to produce. Most people prefer a dining chair that is built with the back on a slight angle, as well as a minor slope in the seat base.

There are two options when it comes to the seat of your dining chair. Either upholstered or not. When going the upholstered route, make sure to check the type and density of the foam to make sure it does not compress quickly. When possible, opt for a performance fabric cover.

Most people prefer dining chairs with arms. Make sure to carefully measure your room as they tend to take up space. Also, make sure the arms will slide easily under the table. 

Whether you choose an indoor or outdoor dining set for your home in Mexico, make sure to look for one that is comfortable and durable.


Need furniture for your new home or have questions? Email expat furniture expert and retailer Sheryl Novak at sa.novak@solutionsmexico.com.  

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