If your dining room table could talk, the stories it could tell. It’s easy to overlook this important piece of furniture—the old standby that’s always there to seat your family and your guests. But there are some important logistics to consider when choosing a table and a plethora of styles to influence your overall dining room décor.
This article will discuss:
How to Size Your Table
The wrong size dining room table does more than simply cut a few people from your guest list. It can also upset the balance of the room. Here are a few tips on how to find the perfect size table for your room and for your guests.
Fit: To ensure a comfortable and visually appealing room, leave a distance of 3–4 feet between the edges of the table and the surrounding walls or furniture.
Size: The size of your table should be based on the number of people who will use it regularly. Allow at least 2 feet of length per individual place setting. To allow room for plates and serving dishes, make sure the width of your table is at least 3 feet.
Like people, tables come in all shapes and sizes. Rectangular tables are the most popular and fit easily into the standard rectangular room, but consider the positive traits of all the shapes.
Rectangular: There’s a reason it’s the standard shape. Rectangular tables can accommodate a crowd. They work well in narrow rooms, allowing for more traffic flow. Rectangular tables also offer more options for seating, such as a bench rather than chairs. This, too, saves on space and accommodates more guests.
Square: For a smaller room consider a square table that lends to more intimate conversation. If you worry you may occasionally host extra guests, consider a square table that can be expanded with leaves.
Oval: Oval tables take the edge off of boxy rooms, but still accommodate a large number of guests. Since the majority of furniture has straight edges (bookcases, buffets, etc.) an oval table is a great way to introduce curves to a room.
Round: Round tables also are recommended for more intimate gatherings, as they allow for better conversation and interaction among guests. Here’s a fun party trick: Purchase a large Lazy Susan for the middle of the table so guests can easily reach condiments, napkins, and other dining necessities. Or, if it’s a function you’ll use a lot, consider a table that includes a Lazy Susan built right in.
Dining in Style
Dining room tables are more than just functional. They set the design style in the room. Before you purchase your table, consider your style.
- Modern: Go modern with sleek finishes, straight lines, or metal- or glass-top tables.
- Country: If you seek a homey, country style, look no further than a trestle table. The style dates back to the Middle Ages and is commonly found in farmhouses.
- Cottage: Cottage style dining is casual and laid back. Tables often have a pedestal base and/or painted finishes.
- Formal: Formal dining room sets often feature high-gloss, dark woods, and carved or bowed legs.
- Eclectic: You don’t have to go with a set. Mix and match your style by pairing a country table with a variety of formal chairs and vice versa.
Make your table work it. It’s easy to hide extra storage and space in tabletops and legs. Consider the following options:
- Extra leaves: If your guest list ranges from 2 to 12, you may want to consider an expandable table with extra leaves that can accommodate a crowd when needed.
- Height: Give your guests a view with a counter-height table. These work especially well in kitchens and rec rooms.
- Storage: If real estate is tight around your house, consider a table with extra storage. With everything from shelving to cupboards to wine racks, a storage table can help you stash all your precious cargo.