The dining room table is the ideal place for family and friends gather together. But with so many styles and sizes to choose from, how do you decide?
First, consider the overall space and style of the room, as well as how you intend to use it. Is the dining room an extension of the kitchen, as may be the case in many open-concept homes? Is it a more formal space that you intend to use only when entertaining? Do you need a table that has the ability to expand because you host large crowds frequently?
Second, consider the size of the table, both in relation to the space that it will fill and the number of people that it will seat. In general, you should have minimum of 24″ between the table and the wall to allow people to easily move in and out of their seats (38-44″ if others will walk behind those who are seated). You also should allow 24″ for each place setting so that your diners have ample elbow room. The minimum width of the table should be 36″ — any narrower and you will find it difficult to place food platters/serving pieces during meals.
Third, consider the shape of the table:
- Round tables are great for small spaces. You usually can squeeze more people around a round table and there are no corners to bump into. A round pedestal table offers even more flexible leg room. Use caution when purchasing a round table for a larger space as you may find that large round tables make it difficult to reach the food.
- Rectangular tables are quite common and can be used in a variety of room shapes and sizes. They also are typically easier to expand for large groups and often come with leaves for this purpose. If you’re short on width, a bench can be used for seating along one side of the table and conveniently tucked beneath the table when not in use.
- Square tables, like round ones, lend themselves to smaller spaces. However, square tables can usually be easily expanded or grouped together for accommodate larger crowds.
- Oval tables, because of their rounded corners, can be used in slightly smaller spaces than rectangular tables. Just remember that, if the table is not pedestal style, you may lose the ability to seat additional guests where the legs are attached.
Still confused? Looking for inspiration? Check out a large selection of dining room images on our Pinterest page.