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Meet me at the table:

How the dining areas in American homes are taking the spotlight

The season to celebrate family and friends and the simple pleasures of gathering around a table, or for some just gathering again, is upon us. And while many say the kitchen is the heart of the home, according to Liz Werner, founder and owner of Furniture Market in Las Vegas, things are changing.

“Home designs have been shifting,” said Werner, “People are loving the ‘open concept’ more and more and that makes the dining area of a home much more of a central focus.”

And when it comes to dining areas, Werner says it can be a spot that is most sentimental for a homeowner, especially this time of year, with the holidays approaching.

“I still have memories of gathering around my mother’s French provincial dining table with the family,” said Werner. “She loved to throw parties and it was always beautiful. But yes, it was very 80s at the time. I remember mirrors on all the walls (laughing), but times have changed.”

According to Werner, that also goes for the styles of dining room sets her customers are looking for. In her luxurious 48-thousand square foot showroom located at 6675 South Eastern Avenue, there's a variety of dining tables on display, from round to square to rectangular to those that even expand with the help of a motor engine!

“These tables have come a long way. Some can now expand both longer and wider to fit as many as 12 people comfortably,” said Werner. “But we know all of our customers are different and they have different needs, and we will find that right table to suit them.”

Werner works with furniture makers from around the United States and across Europe, especially Spain, Portugal, and Italy. She said her customers have come to expect quality furnishings, but there’s also an element of fun for many who are new residents to the valley.

“It really feels like people who are moving here are looking for a fresh alter ego,” said Werner. “So, we highlight fun products they haven’t seen before, and they get really excited.”

What gets Werner excited is how her business continues to grow especially in the last few years. She just hired five new workers for the fall, and her showroom is about to double its square footage by the end of the year. Werner says many people are drawn to Southern Nevada’s way of life, and new homeowners translate into new opportunities for her team to create something unique and beautiful for her clients.

Werner’s team of design specialists work with each client to create a whole home aesthetic. While dining may be top of mind for many at this time of year, it’s important to have a flow that works from room to room. With the many furniture makers that they carry, the Furniture Market team has a breadth of selection that is unmatched and allows them to curate a look that is exactly what the client wants and what works best for their home.

“We have a lot of people coming from out of state, and they are thrilled to be here,” said Werner. “I have seen these new housing developments and many of the homes showcase the best of both worlds, the strip, and the mountains.”

The desert landscape also means many of Werner’s clients are looking for outdoor dining sets, and the trends have shifted to accommodate that lifestyle as well. Werner says many of the furniture makers now create pieces for both indoor and outdoor living so the looks are seamless.

“These patio dining furniture sets are designed so they look like they could be used both inside and outside the home,” said Werner. “But the outdoor pieces are crafted so they are also sturdy to withstand a lot of things, especially the crazy strong winds we have here in the valley!”

Another piece of advice from Werner when it comes to searching for a new dining set or any other pieces for your new home: Do your homework, don’t be afraid to customize, and go for what you really love. 

“If you love what you look at every day, you will enjoy that space,” said Werner. “I tell people let’s try not to settle. Get what excites you.”