The traditional chair with four legs, a backrest, and a seat is an invention that has been around for thousands of years. However, the chair was always a symbol for nobility, dignity, or royalty. Thus, many of the chairs that exist today from ancient times – found in museums of ancient culture and history – were chairs that were used and sat on by Pharaohs, kings, and noblemen – these were heavily adorned with details, hand carved and painted crests, jewels, ebony, ivory, and etc.
The significance of the chair as a seat of honour like a throne has been part of societies for thousands of years. Even today, many governing bodies of countries and states like the House of Commons in Canada and the United Kingdom use the chair as an emblem of leadership and authority.
It was only in the 16th century when it became more acceptable for chairs to be used as ordinary furniture for every day use. This is also the same time when elevated tables became popular and people would commune around a dining table in a dining room for meals. The chairs used at these meals came to be known as dining room chairs.
Today, although the table etiquette and manners are generally casual in most restaurants in homes, there is still some kind of importance when it comes to dining room chairs.
When hosting a dinner party, the host/hostess should always enter the dining room first. If there are no place cards, the host should then instruct people on where they should be seated or allow guests to choose their own place at the table. Only when everyone is standing by their dining room chair, should everyone be seated.
The host generally sits at the head of the table. In a dining set, this will also often be a slightly larger chair with proper armrests. The place of honor at the table, aside from the head of the table, is to the right of the host or hostess for women and to the left of the host or hostess for men. If your guests of honor are a couple, then one on each side is the proper etiquette.
When planning on who will sit in which dining chair at the table during a party it’s good to consider a few things: couples should be sat together, friends who would like to catch up, some rotate male-female-male-female around the table, common interests, professions, potential business dealings, and etc.
One last tip: most sets of dining chairs come complete with a dining room set but it’s always a good idea to have a number of extra chairs on hand for larger parties. The last thing you want to do is to ruin the table seating with a desk chair!
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Article Added on Saturday, April 7, 2012
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