The Importance of Having a Family Meal Time

Perhaps the World Ends Here 

by Joy Harjo

"The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what,
we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the
table so it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe
at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what
it means to be human. We make men at it,
we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts
of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms
around our children. They laugh with us at our poor
falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back
together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella
in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place
to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate
the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared
our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow.
We pray of suffering and remorse.
We give thanks."

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table,
while we are laughing and crying,
eating of the last sweet bite."

A dining set sees us through family meetings, hosting loved one, tears during hard times, happiness, love and a whole set of life emotions that shape us as families. For generations, families practice the “ritual” of coming together for supper and sharing their day’s experiences. Your dining space is where you entertain, where you regroup as a family after a long day and connect.

With the dining furniture playing such a prominent role in strengthening family bonds, there are so many factors  to consider before you design your dining space. Some families pass down the dining room furniture as a sign of carrying on the legacy.

Whether you choose to make an extension of the ancestral heirloom or plan to keep up with the changing trends, it does take time and effort to design this space that can foster the togetherness of a family.

Here are a few insights for creating that perfect space your family needs to share, laugh and grow together.

Shape and Size: Start by choosing the right size and shape of table to fit properly into your dining room. Over-sized tables give a clumsy look while irrelevant shapes spoil the cohesive look of your dining room. (Remember, you should always have at least 2 to 3 feet on all sides of the table where there will be seating to allow for a seated guest as well as traffic behind their chair.)

Finish:  Dining furniture comes in different types of stain colors, such as dark walnut, early american, midnight, etc. Coordinate your new furniture with your existing furniture to give your home a look of cohesiveness. Nobody wants things to be an exact match anymore, but having each piece of furniture in your home compliment the others will improve the look of your space  and give it a homey eclectic feel.

Style: The architecture of your home may aid in deciding the style of your dining set. You may choose a traditional style or the casual style or try mixing the two to get an eclectic look. A dining room is a reflection of your family style and traditions.

You can browse all of the styles of tables we offer at James+James at

If you need help deciding what table style, colors, size, and features are right for you family, let our design consultans at James+James help. Call 479-633-7557 or email We want to help you select a table that's perfect for your space and family.


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