Needless to say, the entire magic of well-executed dining rooms consists in a proper choice of a dining table. This is not just a random piece of furniture where you sit and eat, but a piece of art that makes the room pleasant and unique.
Many families have a dilemma on how to choose a dining table, considering that it has to be both beautiful and comfortable. Luckily, there are many dining room table design ideas, meaning that you won’t have to sacrifice any of these basic features.
When choosing a dining room table, these are the options and factors that need to be considered:
A classic rectangular table
Before you go as far as to choose colors or materials, you need to decide whether the dining room will be a classic rectangular one, or it will have a unique shape that is not so typical for the purpose.
As difficult as it seems, this is a simple decision: we recommend the indecisive ones among you to go for a traditional table type, since it is also the most popular one.
Its straight, perfectly defined lines look classy and sophisticated, and it provides enough space for your rich menus. Rectangular tables are always a good choice for big families, or such that like to organize gatherings and family celebrations. Get ready to be the favorite host in the neighborhood!
A rectangular table’s ideal length should be between 36” and 43”. Logically, a narrower one will fit a narrower room, even if a 36” one is generally ‘a tight choice’ for serving food. Assuming that you really want (need) a narrow table, you could consider self-service sideboards, where people will take their food before sitting to eat.
A modern square dining table
Square dining tables are similar to the rectangular ones, due to clear-cut lines and unique characteristics. They used to be avoided in the past because they were considered as small and impractical.
Whilst this is true to a certain extent, small families that want an intimate dining experience can still consider them.
Square tables are really a ‘family business’, keeping people close to each other, and enabling them to interact better. Besides, they look absolutely modern, and they fit perfectly the minimalist style of contemporary homes.
A beautiful round table
Round tables look amazing, and they have the benefit of being perfectly convenient for any size/shape your dining room could have.
Their circular shape is somehow intimate, encouraging guests to talk and to interact. Besides, round tables have neither edges nor awkwardly positioned table legs, and it means that there will always be some space for an extra guest.
Round tables, however, will not be perfect for big time gatherings, and this is an inconvenience you cannot substitute with a larger table than the one you have.
A spacious tabletop will only mean that you can’t reach to the people across, and communication is simply impossible. Besides, there is hardly any dining room that is large enough, or has the proper shape to accommodate such tables.
If you insist on having a round table even if you occasionally need more space for guests, buy one with an extension leaf. It will look busy, but it won’t leave any of your guests without a place to eat.
An oval dining table
Oval dining tables are timeless in beauty and style, but they’re not the most practical choice you ever made. Even if they come with rounded corners, they can occupy more space than the rectangular ones, and are slightly more incongruous to move.
An oval table, however, is reasonable in narrow rooms where more people need to be accommodated.
Why would your dining room ‘stand out’ from the theme and style typical for the rest of your home? You can use style to your advantage, and create brilliant visible connections between the diner and the rest of your rooms.
For instance, dining rooms in open floor plans are a logical extension of your living space, and they ought to resemble its looks. This can easily be achieved with chic metal tables, or rustic, wooden tops with predominantly warm tones.
Doing this will certainly turn the dining table into the focal point of your home, especially if there is enough natural light inside. Small studios and apartments could benefit from modern glass/acrylic tables, ideally ones that can be extended for comfortable weekend gatherings.
Being in harmony with space
We all want this and that for our dining rooms, but space still holds the final say about it. You need to keep furniture in harmony with the space you have on disposal, and the rule doesn’t become less strict in the case of dining rooms.
The simplest guideline to follow is to simplicity-you need enough ‘surface’ to place your food, and to accommodate the people that are about to eat it.
There should be at least 24 inches between the table edges and the walls, or 38 inches when you want to leave some walk-around space for your guests.
Think about the number of chairs you’d need, and make sure there is at least 24 inches of space between each chair (you don’t want your guests to knock each other’s elbows while eating, don’t you?).
Another thing to keep in mind is that tables should not be larger than 48 inches, because that would make passing food from one end to the other almost impossible. In terms of width, you should provide at least 36 inches in order to ‘accommodate’ all of your glasses, plates, and big serving bowls.
The big question: Where and how are you going to use it?
Have a clear overview on the purpose of your dining table: Is it meant to serve the needs of your family? Is it going to host dinners for many people? Are you ever going to bring it outside? All of this matters!
If you’re planning to purchase an indoor-outdoor table, make sure it is light, durable, and not so prone to water damage. It would mean that you got yourself a valuable asset for both family dinners and neighborhood barbeques.
There are many materials that you could use for your dining table. A classic choice is wood, due to its durability, easy maintenance, and evergreen beauty.
However, the decision will still depend on the aesthetics you’re striving towards, meaning you can also opt for metal, plastic, quartz, glass, or even marble tables.
Don’t forget the bases
At the end of the day, bases support the structure of your table, and you need to choose proper ones. But are bases a better idea than table legs?
A pedestal base, for instance, will have nothing to do with the legroom, which means that you can seat more people around your table. Leg supporting, on the other hand, can limit the seating space, especially if it is positioned at the corners of your table.
You can have the most wonderful dining table in the world, but that won’t mean a thing if you don’t choose appropriate seating for it.
The size and shape of your chairs are really important, because the comfort and pleasant mood of the family will depend on them. A good and modern choice would be to replace chairs with large benches, since they gather more people, and are at the same time easier to match.
If you have a large table, you could even afford to have banquette arrangements on a single side of the table, and to liberate space in the room by leaving the center open.
Look outside the box
Just because a dining room is a reception area doesn’t have to mean you have to keep it standard and dull. You’re always welcome to incorporate your own ideas, such as choosing unique shapes, colors, long tabletops or more seating.
Whatever you think is suitable for you room, works. A very good choice for every style and expectation is to purchase a table with self-storing leaves, in order to free some extra space where there are no guests around.
Banquette-style bench seating is again recommended for any dining room, because it requires less of your floor space, and it looks amazing.