Choosing the Perfect Dining Table


The dining table is more than just a place to sit and eat meals; more often than not, it exists unoccupied. That’s why it’s important to choose a dining room table that suits the space and is complementary to your interior decor.

The following tips will help you choose the right dining table for your home, in terms of size, shape, seating, etc.

The basics. First, there are some general basics to keep in mind before you get into the details. Consider that you’ll want at a table that’s at least 36-inches wide to accommodate place settings and food. Also, you will want to have between 42- and 48-inches of clearance between the edge of the table and the wall, or any other furnishings, so seated occupants have enough room to enter and exit their chairs comfortably.

If you have a smaller dining room space, you want to measure and mark these distances so you don’t end up buying a table that nobody can fit around!

Size. Now that you have got the basic dimensions down, you can begin to think about table size. If there are rarely more than two to four at your table, there is no need to splurge on a larger table if you don’t have the space. However, if you entertain, have a larger family, etc. you will want a table that seats everyone comfortably. If you don’t have a large room, consider purchasing a table with leaves that extend the length temporarily when necessary.

If you have a hard time visualizing, use graph paper to draw a scaled model of your space, furniture and all. Or, use bed sheets or blankets folded to the prospective table size to see if it works for you.

Shape. The most classic shapes for dining room tables are rectangular and oval. However, round and square tables are becoming more popular. In most cases, you should choose a shape that complements the shape of the room. So, a room that is longer than it is wide would have a rectangular or oval-shaped table, and a square room would have a round or square-shaped table.

Keep in mind that the larger the round table is, the more difficult it can be to reach for food or to pass dishes across the table. If you love the look of an oversized round table, consider finding a complementary lazy susan when you have guests.

Looks. Most dining room tables are made of wood. However, the finish of that wood is completely dependent on your style. A darker wood will look more formal, distressed or barely-finished natural woods will look more casual. If you are a modernist, or you have a small dining area, consider a glass table top to create the illusion of space.

Seating. If you have the room, go all out and find the most comfortable dining room chairs you can find. There is nothing worse than enjoying a delicious meal and wonderful conversation while counting down the minutes until you can get out of the chair. Purchase your dining room chairs with comfort as the primary consideration and looks as the secondary component.

If space is an issue, keep your eye out for chairs with a minimal profile so they don’t take up a lot of space, or use a bench on one side that can be tucked away when it isn’t being used.


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