Dining tables are the most important centerpiece for dining rooms. More goes into choosing a table than you might expect.
You need to consider the best shape and size for your space, the best seating arrangement, and whether the style matches your home.
Round tables are perfect for small spaces and square rooms because they can fit into tight corners and have no sharp edges to bump into. However, they don’t provide much arm support, so if you work at the table, you’d be better off with a square or rectangular table. Rectangular and oval-shaped tables are best for rectangular rooms.
Instead of an extra-long dining table, having a small or medium dining table with leaves is wise. After all, most people don’t entertain formally very often anymore. Leaves give a table the versatility to meet the needs of our changing lives. Always store your leaves and/or table apron upside down under a bed, with the top side flat against the floor, so they don’t warp.
Seating arrangements are an opportunity to get creative with your dining area design. I usually do six armless chairs for smaller tables — three on either side — then add different host and hostess chairs on the ends. In breakfast rooms, I often like to put a banquette on one side of the breakfast table and chairs on the other three sides.
All-matching dining sets are less popular than they were, so we like our dining chairs to complement rather than match the table. If you buy dining chairs separately from your dining table, make sure they fit underneath, especially if your table has an apron.
The overall style of your house is another important consideration. You’ll want to find a sleek and simple dining table if you have a modern place. An elegant traditional house deserves an equally elegant dining table. Likewise, a country home will most likely need a country-style dining table.
If you have guests coming over and would like to breathe some new life into your dining room, breakfast room, or outdoor dining area, a professional designer can advise on all aspects of dining room design, from choosing the table itself to designing the layout of the room and finding the perfect table decorations and table settings.