THE BEST VINTAGE DINING SET ACCORDING TO YOUR HOSTING STYLE
When you consider how many breakfasts in jammies, science projects gone haywire, and late night homework sessions your vintage or antique dining set is bound to witness during its lifetime, shopping for one can feel akin to interviewing for a new member of the family. Not to put on the pressure, but a vintage dining set is a definite investment piece (let’s just say you probably didn’t run out to buy one for your first apartment the way you did an accent chair or a coffee table. So, choosing the right table for your space is a must.
How to begin shopping for a dining room set? From farmhouse dining sets to Mid-Century Modern dining sets, the possibilities are endless! First, ask yourself how you’ll be primarily using your vintage dining set. Are you a frequent hostess, or is style on the back burner given that your dining room is currently the equivalent of a bustling cafeteria (complete with PB & J’s making an appearance at virtually every meal)? Next, what’s your style? Glam, mod, contemporary rustic? Once you’ve assessed these basics, give our used dining set style guide below a try. From size to style to tips for upkeep, we’ve taken out all of the guess work to make secondhand dining set shopping an effortless two-step.
YOU'RE A DINNER PARTY AFICIONADO...
About You: You eagerly volunteer to take on hosting Thanksgiving every year, cocktail parties are seasonally inspired, and you’re founder of the Annual Autumn Pot Pie Bakeoff (yum).
The Vintage Dining Table Set: A massive 9-Piece dining set
Tips for Success: Frequent entertainers know that a successful dinner party isn’t just about the food and flowers, but also crafting the right party for the right number of guests. To accommodate soirees that fluctuate between four and nine, look for an extendable dining table, or a drop-leaf dining table. The ability to extend your dining table will make all the difference when the company brings company. Try a farmhouse dining table or reclaimed wood dining table if your hosting style is more casual, or an antique dining table if your entertaining playbook is of the candlelight and passed-appetizer variety.
We Suggest: While there’s no denying the appeal of an antique dining table set or a farmhouse dining set, we house a special place for Milo Baughman’s mile-long modern dining table sets. Crafted of glass, chrome, brass, or burl, his modern dining tables feature simple Parsons-like silhouettes. In opposition to the table’s simplicity, we like Baughman’s tables paired up with low-slung, tufted dining chairs upholstered bold, cabana-colored upholsteries. The marriage of the two opposites is glam perfection.
YOU'RE A POP TARTS & CEREAL GAL…
About You: The only pigs in a blanket you’ll find in your dining room are hungry kidlets. A growing tribe has you short on time, making heat-and-serve meals the kind of thing you can really get behind.
The Vintage Dining Table Set: A round, compact 5-Piece Dining Set
Tips for Success: With kids in the equation, one can never overlook the importance of durability. Look for laminate or wood dining table which will easily stand up in battles with crayons, spilled juices, and elbows. If you can’t live without upholstered chairs, stick with vinyl and leather dining chairs rather than liquid-loving linens. A round or oval dining table also makes the pass-and-serve a wee bit easier.
We Suggest: When you figure that Chromcraft was once deemed “The Cadillac of Furniture,” you have to figure them a good choice for an uber-resilient dining set. A popular maker of Mid-Century Modern dining sets and Mid-Century Modern dining tables, vintage Chromcraft dining sets offer everything we want in a family-friendly model: a round table with a laminate top and a near indestructible chrome base. We love these tables paired with their original tufted vinyl bucket chairs, or Eames dining chairs. Either pairing gives off casual yet chic diner-era vibes.
YOU LOVE DINING AL FRESCO
About You: Those scenes in the Sound of Music that follow Julie Andrews parading through the Swiss Alps? That’d be you celebrating nature all the time if only you weren’t a city dweller with a pint-size balcony. Until then, you’ll gladly take every meal you can get served with a generous side of sunshine.
The Vintage Dining Table Set: A bistro-style 3-piece dining set
Tips for Success: The best part of shopping for vintage outdoor dining sets is that inclement weather has likely already weeded out any dining sets that weren’t really in it for the long haul. Still, seeking out element-proof materials like powder coated metal, wrought iron, and teak wood will ensure longevity. If you can find it, a marble dining table is also perfection. Looking for something extra special? Try a counter height dining set.
We Suggest: Nobody did outdoor dining tables and outdoor dining chairs like Salterini. An Italian-born designer who married a MCM aesthetic with an enchanted garden feel, his furniture feels sprung straight from the ground. His Mid-Century Modern dining sets feature tables with simple glass tops and high-backed metal dining chairs decorated with twisted tendrils. Despite being downright lovely, this is furniture that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is exactly what outdoor dining is all about.