What makes a successful dinner party? You might think of guests passing food around and chatting in an ambient glow, or laughing over drinks and appetizers. The defining factor is usually the sense of community that a great gathering can establish. An inviting dining room will naturally become a focal point in the home, and the key component that distinguishes one dining room from the next is its dining room table.
Just as friends and the fam will admire an attractive table and enjoy sitting around it during meals, they will also notice a cramped, mismatched, or clunky table that isn’t comfortable. You know it’s true, right? So, when you’re considering investing in a quality dining room table – that will last long into the future – here are some tips on how to choose the right furniture based on its size, shape, and color.
Let’s say you found the most top-trending table, but it’s kinda big for your dining area. Do you get it anyway? Tasteful design or high-quality materials are definitely not enough to hide a dining room table that is sticking out like a sore thumb in your home. Before you think about entering a long-term relationship and “offering a rose” to a new dining table, measure the available space in your room.
What’s available space? Houzz suggests leaving between 42 and 48 inches between the walls and the edge of the table, or between any wall-lining furniture and the table. Leaving anything smaller means that your guests may feel cramped when trying to slide their chairs in and out. But on the other hand, leaving a much larger gap can make the table look like a tiny island in the middle of the room. That ship has sailed, dolls. Either option is no bueno! But, you can consider an extension table if you’ll be flip-flopping between hosting intimate dinners and larger groups. Keep that in mind while choosing a table.
If you Google dining table materials, wood has been the popular choice over the years. Modern tables use wood, glass, plastic, and metal (think reclaimed or industrial) for a fresh take on a classic design. Since your options are open for material, what most represents your style? A dining room table is not an item that you purchase and replace after a few years. A sturdy, quality piece could (and should) stay with your family for years and even decades.
Tip: Look for quality hardwoods like mahogany, teak, walnut, oak and maple if you do decide to go the wood route. If you’re interested in a glass-topped table, but are worried about strength, know that most quality pieces today use safety glass that’s tough and resistant to wear-and-tear damage like scratches and dings. Or, for an earthy option, you can even swoon over a marble or stone top!
Besides the size and the material, the shape makes the biggest difference in how your table looks, feels, and functions. Here are a few shapes to consider on your quest for the perfect dining surface:
Rectangular. The default dining room table shape tends to be rectangular. It’s traditional, but it’s earned its keep over the years by facilitating easy conversation and food movement. Look for a table that’s at least 28 inches wide.
Oval. Oval offers most of the benefits of a rectangular table without the sharp corners. Consider pedestal legs for a more formal look, and use stools or benches for seating if space is an issue.
Round. A round table feels very cozy and personal, and is a good choice for a small room. To seat more than four people at once, look for a table that’s over 60 inches across. Stay above 48 inches in diameter or a round surface can quickly feel overcrowded.
Square. If you have the space, opting for a square surface can make the room feel very contemporary and fresh. This is a good opportunity to display a show-stopping centerpiece. Just keep in mind that you’ll need a lot of open space on either side to make this shape work.
Picking out the right dining table is an investment for the future. As your interests change and grow throughout the years, you’ll always have a place to host loved ones and serve delish dishes. Getting the material, shape, and size right means that you can keep this piece with you for years to come. Makes sense, right?
What style of dining room table is your DREAM table?