James Hudson, sales and business development director at Gallery Direct discusses how dining at home has changed over the years, and in turn, how dining furniture has evolved.

Dining is not just a time for eating, it is a social experience – a time to discuss the day with the family, or to relax and catch up with friends. Over the years, dining at home has changed. Many people no longer have a separate formal dining room, but instead incorporate dining furniture into their living or kitchen area. The dining table is often used for a variety of activities, such as working on a laptop or kids drawing and playing, not just eating, and so this has to be reflected in the design and practicality of the table.

Gallery Direct offer a varied selection of dining furniture to meet different tastes and requirements. James Hudson, Sales and Business Development Director at Gallery, commented, “Our range of dining furniture has been developed to offer choice to suit modern lifestyles and a wide range of interiors, and we are continually working on new products to keep our catalogue fresh and current.”

“Offering a variety of styles, sizes and features enables our retail clients to attract a wider customer audience,” continued James. “Extendable tables are great for those who often have extra dining guests, but don’t want a large table all the time. With today’s open-plan lifestyles, the option to fully coordinate a room with matching dining and living furniture can be appealing, and so many of our collections offer a wide range of living/dining pieces. Other customers prefer to take a more eclectic approach to their furniture, and so we offer a range of dining chairs which can be mix-and-matched with different tables, along with a varied selection of occasional furniture.”

For those who still favour formal dining, Gallery’s catalogue includes the classic Spire collection, which features beautiful marquetry of blonde European walnut with intricate inlays that have been cut out and laid by hand. Their more recent addition Mustique, with its parquet inlaid veneer work, offers a modern take, and would look equally at home in a formal dining room or an open-plan living-dining area.  There is an option of a round and a rectangular extending table, and a side chair and an armchair, along with a range of accompanying furniture for a coordinated look.

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For those who prefer a more contemporary style, the Kielder or Wycombe collections are ideal. Kielder is crafted from beautiful mellow solid oak, using the planked and jointed build method to create defined lines in a contemporary design. The dining table is available in two sizes, and there is a dining chair and a bench to accompany the tables. Wycombe is made from a combination of the finest solid oak and veneers, and the collection includes a fixed size dining table, along with an extending round and an extending rectangular table, along with the choice of a bench, chairs and carver chairs. Both ranges offer a great choice of coordinating furniture.

Offering a completely different look and feel, the Chilson Trestle table features a robust, architectural style with flared trestle legs and black iron brace to give a dramatic feature piece for modern living. The unique characteristics of a hand applied concrete surface will suit a classic farm house kitchen or industrial loft conversion alike.

But as James pointed out, the style, size and design are not the only important factors to consider when developing new furniture; material choice and quality are also key to success. “The materials used have to be carefully selected to suit each piece,” James informed us. “Our skills and knowledge, combined with expert factory partners, ensures a high level of precision in a wide range of materials and applications, and that the best materials are selected for each item. Solid wood is fantastic, but in some cases veneers are actually more suitable. And quality and attention to detail are vital for continued success, so all our pieces are designed and manufactured to high standards. Our QA department plays an active part in the operations of Gallery, with QC at the heart of all products. We have management and QC staff in key manufacturing hotspots where we are actively on the ground performing Dupro spot-checks and pre-shipment inspections.”

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“We also recognise that we have a responsibility to current and future generations and so strive to promote good forest management,” continued James. “By demanding that our timber is sourced from responsibly managed forests and plantations wherever possible, we aim to stimulate the improvement of forest management in accordance with and above the EUTR (European Union Timber Regulations). Our QA with factories ensures we cover all the legal requirements of the regulations.”

Finally, looking forward, we asked James what’s next for Gallery. “At the forefront of furniture design, Gallery are always looking forward to the future to predict trends and to continue to stay ahead of up-and-coming interior style developments,” James told us. “We are firmly committed to creating value engineered design collections and are fully focussed on keeping on-trend but affordable. We are currently developing several new furniture collections. I don’t want to give too much away at this stage, but key points for next season are chevron and parquet patterns, in rustic weathered timbers, along with metallic! Watch this space for the big reveal later this year!!”

www.gallerydirect.co.uk