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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Dining Room Table

June 14, 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Dining Room Table

Your dining table is more than just a piece of furniture in your home. It’s where you share meals with your family, gather on holidays, and grow closer with those you love. Your dining room table is at the center of your home, making it one of the most important style decisions you’ll make. 

Not only do you need something functional, but you also want something that meets your personal design taste. It should fit both your lifestyle and needs without sacrificing style. Before you buy the first dining room table that catches your eye, consider these things in this ultimate guide to choose a dining room table. 


What Is Your Lifestyle?

While you don’t always need to consider your lifestyle when looking at home furniture, you do when it comes to your dining room table. In other words, how and when will you use your dining room table?


Is this to be a formal table, only used for big gatherings and holidays? Or is it a staple of your daily life, serving as the place where you and your family eat every meal at home? Some dining tables are an extension of the family room, so it’s used for homework, crafts, and food prep. 


In essence, your table fits into one of these two categories: formal and informal. A formal dining room table is only used on special occasions and for larger meals. It’s more decorative, and it also fits a larger number of guests. On the other hand, an informal table is all about durability and craftsmanship. While it still looks great, it needs to hold up to all of life’s challenges.





What Shape Fits Your Home?

Next, it’s time to think about the table’s shape. You’ll quickly discover that most modern dining room tables come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages, so consider which of these shapes makes the most sense for you. 


  • Round: This modern shape is a better fit for smaller rooms or spaces. It’s easier to fit more or fewer chairs, as needed, and it’s also more intimate than angular tables. 
  • Square: If you don’t expect to have a large guest list, a square table is a good option. It’s especially ideal for square rooms that don’t have enough space for a rectangular dining space. You can also combine this with another square table for additional space. 
  • Rectangle: Rectangular tables are the most common. These fit more than 4 people, and they are often extendable. Rectangular tables also appear the most formal, making them best for those who entertain often. 
  • Oval: Last but not least, oval tables are similar to rectangular except they take up less space. These usually are also expandable, and they also appear formal.       



    What Size Table Is Best?

    Finally, let’s discuss the sizing of the table. Once you know the shape and style, you’re ready to choose the right size. As the saying goes, you want something that’s “just right’ for your space size.


    A table that’s too big dominates the space, while a table that’s too small might not cut it for your needs. Here are some sizing rules to keep in mind:


    • Wall space: Leave enough space (at least 25”) between the wall and the table for guests to sit down comfortably.
    • The number of guests: What’s the average number of eaters at your table? This should be the basis for your sizing.
    • Too large: There is such a thing as too big of a table. If the width is over 45”, it’s difficult for guests to pass serving pieces back and forth across the table.

    Comfort: Ultimately, your table needs to allow for comfortable conversation and ease when passing plates.




    Your Perfect Dining Room Table

    There is often a balancing act in play when choosing the right table for your needs. While there might not be any such thing as the “perfect” table, you can find the best option for your lifestyle.




    Give some thought to these important considerations above before you make your final decision. Remember, this is where you’ll spend some of the most important time of your day. Make sure this is something you’re excited to have in your life.

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