Finding the Best Dining Table for Your Home

December 7th, 2016

With the holidays approaching, we often find ourselves scrambling to make sure all of our guests will have somewhere to sit at dinner. Whether it’s a problem you encounter once a year or every night, it’s important for our family and friends to be happy and comfortable in the dining room so that they can focus on enjoying the excellent food and company. By following a few simple ergonomics guidelines when shopping for a dining table and chairs, you can ensure that your guests feel comfortable during every meal.



Ergonomics is the study of human body measurements relative to the safe use of equipment and furniture. With all the time and money going into designing ergonomically sound office furniture and tools, it’s about time someone talked about ergonomics within the home. Our families’ musculoskeletal welfare should definitely be considered when making that dining room table purchase!



Rectangular Dining Tables

Rectangular tables are definitely the most popular shape for dining. Think about the length of table that your room can comfortably accommodate. You generally want about 36 inches between the edge of the table and each wall (or any other pieces of furniture) to allow for chairs to be pulled out with ease. 48 inches between the table and the entrance into the room will help avoid traffic jams at your door when you announce that dinner is ready.

Once you know how big a table you can fit, you can work out how many seats can comfortably fit around it. Allow at least 24 inches of elbow room for each guest.

Regardless of shape or materials are used, the average dining table should measure between 29 and 32 inches from the floor to the top of the table.



Round Dining Tables

If you crave a more intimate space, consider a round dining table. Round tables are perfect for entertaining smaller groups of friends and family, or for homes that don’t have a dedicated dining room.

Just as with a rectangular table, measure your space and apply the same rules for chair measurements. Allow 26 inches per person for elbow room on a three- to six-seater and 24 inches for six or more. Round tables usually have one pedestal leg in the center, which offers extra leg room.

General seating guidelines:
• Four people will fit around a 36 to 44-inch table
• Four to six people will fit around a 44 to 54-inch table
• Six to eight people will fit around a 60 to 70-inch table.

The larger your round table is, the harder it will be for all your guests to converse with one another. Keep this in mind if you want to keep that intimate feeling alive during your meals.



Square Dining Tables

Square dining tables have their pros and cons, which is why they are not as popular as rectangular or round tables. However, if your space is small and you tend to plan dinners for only four to six people, it can be a lovely intimate design.

If you only need to seat four people, a table 36 to 44 inches square will suffice. If you want room for six, 54 inches square is the perfect size.



Dining Chairs

Once you have chosen your table, it’s time to choose your chairs.

For the most comfortable fit, there should be 10 to 12 inches between the top of the seat and the top of the dining table. If your seat is 18 to 20 inches from the floor, it will fit nicely under a standard table.

When it comes to back height, it really comes down to personal taste. More contemporary tables look good with shorter backed chairs, while a classic design may look better with taller ones. As for ideal lumbar support, a back height between 12 and 16 inches is recommended.

Many dining chair backs have a slight slope. As seen on the metal chairs above, this slant is generally from 5 to 8 degrees from the top and it stops people from sliding off when they get too relaxed.

If your chairs have armrests, they need to support the forearms without shoulders being raised. The ideal height for armrests is 7 to 9 inches above the seat.
The most comfortable seat size is about 15½ inches across in the back and 18 inches across at the front. It should be 15 to 18 inches deep. Much deeper, and it will press against the back of the legs and cause slouching.



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Weekly Round-up: Holiday Decorating Made Easy

December 2nd, 2016

Whether you’re putting up a tree, hanging white lights or creating a holiday look that’s all your own, ’tis the season for getting into the spirit of the December holidays.

Better Homes & Gardens provides a bevy of ideas for natural wreaths and greenery to decorate the outside of your home.



For many, holiday light displays are one of the highlights of the season.  Here are some wonderful examples of homes with festive holiday lighting.



There are so many ways to create a beautiful table setting for your holiday meal.  Whether you prefer a modern, simple look or want lots of sparkle, you’ll find inspiration for your tabletop in this article from HGTV.



If Christmas tree decorating is your favorite time of the year, then you’ll enjoy these images of festive trees with different holiday themes.



Here are nine beautiful and simple ideas for freshening up your Hanukkah table and mantel.


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Cleaning Up After Your Pet

November 16th, 2016

When it comes to pets, there is one universal truth that nobody can deny: Messes happen. With all the hair, odors, and inevitable (hopefully infrequent) accidents that come with having a pet, our floors are definitely subjected to a lot when it comes to our furry friends. But don’t worry—STAINMASTER® carpet is up to the task!


We know stains happen. Life is messy. STAINMASTER® PetProtect carpet is durable, stain-resistant and designed to last for years and years. In other words, it is the perfect carpet for pet owners and it lasts even longer with a bit of easy care. A little bit of regular maintenance will keep your carpet looking beautiful and will also ensure that if you ever need to, you can take advantage of your warranty.


  • Weekly vacuuming will remove dry soil particles that can dull fibers and cause matting.
  • Place glides under heavy furniture to combat crushing.
  • Rotate furniture to give carpet a rest.
  • Close blinds or shades to avoid long hours of direct sunlight that could cause fading.


  • A professional steam cleaning/hot water extraction at least once every 18 months is required to maintain your warranty.



  • Clean spills promptly.
  • If you cannot clean immediately, you can still remove most stains after 24 hours.
  • Flush the stain using mild dishwashing detergent and water. Blot excess moisture with a clean white cloth, moving from outer edge of stain toward the middle.


  • Soak up and blot spill.
  • Apply tested cleaning solution.
  • Leave solution on for at least 5 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water; cover with white paper towel.

Mix 1/4 teaspoon mild liquid dish soap with one cup warm water.

Mix 2 tablespoons white vinegar with 4 cups warm water.

NOTE: These practices also work on wine or dirt stains!

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Lauren Coles for the San Diego Humane Society with her Canine Personal Trainer

November 11th, 2016

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Lauren Coles for the SD Humane Society with her Canine Personal Trainer

November 11th, 2016

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Weekly Round-up:  Decorating on a Budget

November 11th, 2016

We all want our homes to look their best, but sometimes a complete decorating overhaul isn’t in the budget (it’s the season of gift-giving, after all)! So we’ve rounded up some wallet friendly updates for your home.

Here are 12 ways to add affordable touches of glamour to your home (think extra long curtains, luxe pillow fabrics and metallic’s).



Everyone always mentions it, but that’s because it’s true. Paint is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to dress up a room. Try a fresh new color on an accent wall or accessories.



Having a tranquil bedroom to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life is always a good idea. Here are simple, low cost ways to decorate including incorporating soft textiles and accent pillows.



Area rugs are a great way to change up your decorating scheme if you don’t have the time (or budget) to commit to brand new flooring. Plush and soft underfoot, area rugs warm up your home and can be moved from room to room (giving you even more design options).



One of our favorite parts of HGTV magazine is their high/low section. It’s a great way to find high-style items for less.


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Weekly Round-up: Dining Rooms

November 4th, 2016

This is the one room in your house that’s guaranteed to see extra activity over the holiday season. Make it sparkle and go the extra mile for your guests.

There are so many ways to wake up a dull dining space. Consider a soft palette of colors, a square table and comfortable seating to create a warm and inviting room.



Many people prefer more traditional dining room decor.  If this is your preference, here are a selection of dining rooms found at Traditional Home.



Want your dining room to have a wow factor? Create drama with bold colors and oversize lighting fixtures that are sure to turn heads.

dining-room3 dining-room4


Sunset Magazine has rounded up a series of Western dining rooms, sure to inspire your own creative space.


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Coles Fine Flooring Donates the Gift of a Lifetime to Teachers and Students

October 31st, 2016

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Weekly Round-up:  Home Design Trends

October 28th, 2016

2017 will be here before you know it and home design experts are already talking about what’s ahead. Read on to get some fresh ideas for decorating in the coming year.

Next year’s popular colors may be determined by your personality. From confident sunshine yellow to comforting powdery blue, look to your mood for color inspiration.



Trendy in 2016 and still hot in 2017 are upholstered headboards. It’s not hard to figure out why – not only do they look chic, they provide a soft place to lean while reading in bed.



Plants were everywhere at a recent home design festival, say the folks at Houzz. From large potted ferns to tiny planters on shelves, bring fresh greenery back into your home and embrace nature.




Repurposed and vintage furniture will be popular in 2017. A vintage piece is a great way to add character and warmth to your home. Go DIY and paint an old dresser for a new purpose, or scour antique stores to find the perfect piece.




But sometimes you just want the tried and true. If that’s the case, HGTV has rounded up 20 design trends that never go out of style (hello, white kitchens!)


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Prepare your Home for Halloween!

October 19th, 2016

While you may not feel the need to cover your front yard with fake spider webs and jack-o-lanterns, if you plan to distribute candy to any trick-or-treaters who stop by, there are a few things you can do to help ensure that all those little ghosts and witches have a safe, yet fun, festive night.

Turn on the light. A front porch light signals to trick-or-treaters that you’re participating. If you don’t wish to want trick-or-treaters or if you run out of candy, you can easily let people know by turning off your porch light. A pumpkin here or there also lets people know that you’re feeling festive!

Clear a path. Whether it’s Halloween décor or fallen leaves, be sure to leave a clear path for anyone coming to knock on your door. Any moisture or anything littering the ground between the sidewalk and your front door can easily become a slipping or tripping hazard and the last thing you need is an injured child. Don’t forget to check for things like bikes, potted plants or children’s toys that also need to be moved out of the way.


Turn on extra lights. While you may not normally turn on every light in the front of your home, turning on a few extras will help any visitors navigate your unfamiliar yard. Once you’ve lit up your front porch, check to see if you have any burned-out bulbs and replace them so that your front door and steps are well-lit.

Add safe and festive lighting. Decorative lights on the porch are perfect for adding just that little bit more visibility. Spooky lanterns or lit up pumpkins along the path put light right at trick-or-treaters’ feet. Battery-operated lights offer illumination without the risk of a fire hazard. If you do use real candles, you need to keep an eye on them at all times, keep them at least twelve inches away from anything that can burn, and sit them on a sturdy, level surface.


Put away pets. Your family pet may be the nicest on the planet, but with the door opening to unfamiliar guests every few minutes, it’s just not worth the risk. You don’t want your pet to escape or scare (or hurt) any candy-seeking children. It is best to keep pets inside and away from the door for everyone’s benefit, including the pets’!


Greet guests. If you plan to spend the whole night passing out treats, hang out outside! Create a seating area for yourself that lets visitors know that you’re ready for them to stop by. Plus, you can watch the parade of costumes! Once your lights are on, your decor out and any hazards put away, you can enjoy a safe, spooky night in the neighborhood.

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