Choosing the right dining table can be an overwhelming affair, especially if you do not know exactly what you’re looking for. The options are simply endless, and going into a store uninformed means depending on the judgment of the salesman. Most often, that strategy leads to bringing home a table that is a complete misfit. There was a time when picking up a new dining table was a pretty simple affair. You went ahead and brought home a table depending on the size of your dining room and also your own budget constraints. Picking matching chairs was not even an issue, as most of these tables came with a pre-existing set of chairs.
But those decades are well behind us, and the modern home is all about a wonderful amalgamation of several different styles, trends, textures and shapes. Add to this the popularity of the open floor plan and the conventional dining room seems like a thing of the past. Worry not though, we will get you through your decor conundrum with this simple and effective dining table buying guide. Delve in to find out more…
Rectangular Dining Tables
A rectangular dining table shape is perhaps the most common, and there’s a reason for it. A rectangle is possibly the best shape of a dining room table because most dining rooms are also rectangular.
A rectangular dining table is also a good shape to seat a more than four people, especially if it comes with an extra leaf for extending the length, should you need to seat additional guests.
Ideally, a table with this shape should be between 36” to 42” across. Narrower rectangles can work well in a narrow room. However, if the table is any narrower than 36” you may find it difficult to fit place settings on both sides and also have enough room for food on the table. If you do prefer to have such a narrow table, you might want to consider placing the food on a sideboard, so guests can help themselves before sitting down.
Square Dining Tables
Square shaped rooms look best with a square dining table. Square dining tables are also a good solution if you don’t have a large group to seat most of the time. A square table that can be expanded with leaves is good for the times you do need to seat more guests. Two square tables can be grouped together to create a larger rectangular seating arrangement for special occasions.
A benefit to having square tables is that they provide intimacy and a satisfying solution to seating a small number of people. It can be off-putting to have large a rectangular table if there are only two or three people present for most of your meals—a larger table can make the space seem cold.
Round Dining Tables
The square table is not the only solution for a smaller or square shaped room. A round dining table is another possibility, and it may very well be the best shape for small gatherings: everyone can see everyone else, conversations are easier to carry on, and the setting feels cozier and more intimate.
Keep in mind that a round table is not ideal for larger gatherings. A large round table means that, while you can still see others, they seem far away, and you may have to shout across the table to be heard. Besides, most dining rooms aren’t large enough to accommodate very large round dining tables.
If you do prefer a round table over a rectangular one but you need to seat a larger number of people from time to time, consider getting a round table with an extension leaf. That way you can use your round table most of the time but extend it when you have company over.
Oval Dining Table
An oval dining table is very similar to a rectangular one in almost all its attributes.
However, visually it seems to occupy less space than a rectangle because of the rounded corners.
Use an oval table when you have a narrower or smaller room, but still need to seat more people.