man grilling with family seated nearby
Photo: Blend images/Intl. St. Clair/Getty Images
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The Best Dining Setups For...

Family gatherings: Plan seating for six to eight around a table that's about 96 inches long (shown). Ideally, allow 42 inches between the edge of the table and a wall or other obstruction so that there's room to push back chairs and walk behind those who are seated.

Intimate meals: A bistro set offers space-saving and portable lightweight seating for two, while a 42-inch round or square table provides enough elbow room for four.

Entertaining with friends: Just as guests congregate in the indoor kitchen, they'll gather around the grill outside. Give them a place to perch—and keep them out of the cooking zone—with a freestanding pub table and stools. For built-in kitchens with a peninsula or for grill islands, add a breakfast-bar-style overhang that's 15 inches deep for a 36-inch high counter, or 12 inches for a 42-inch one, to allow enough space for knees.
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