There are quite a few factors that go into selecting the perfect dining table. Style is of course key – though so is functionality and feel. Putting a bit of legwork into determining the right size to suit your needs will pay off in spades down the line. That’s why we’ve pulled together a straightforward guide that will help you understand the maths behind the magic.
We make our dining tables to order and are always happy to work to bespoke dimensions. Our team is at the ready to offer advice on the sizing that will work best for your project – though it’s wise to begin considering how your dining table will fit into your space and how you’d like to use it ahead of time.
It’s helpful to begin with the dimensions of each table setting. The standard width for a table setting is 60cm, which is a useful number to keep in mind as a baseline. If you prefer a cosier atmosphere, you can cut that back to a minimum of 50cm. For a more spacious, formal seating arrangement, we’d advise you budget for a 70cm width per setting.
If you’re opting for a rectangular dining table and would like to include a seat at each head, you should factor in an extra bit of length. Add a minimum of 60cm to the total length to accommodate those two combined place settings. Do also keep in mind that you should reserve a 90cm clearance around your table to allow for everyone to comfortably pull out their chairs.
With this formula in mind, we’ve done some of the maths for you. Our standard dining table sizes are as follows…
(accounting for seats at the heads)
190cm in length: 6-8 people
220cm in length: 8-10 people
250cm in length: 10 people
300cm in length: 10-12 people
100cm in diameter: 4 people
120cm in diameter: 4-6 people
150cm in diameter: 8 people
170cm in diameter: 8-10 people
110cm in width x 190cm in length: 6-8 people
120cm in width x 220cm in length: 8 people
120cm in width x 250cm in length: 8-10 people
140cm in width x 300cm in length: 10-12 people
Generally, a good standard width for a dining table is approximately 100cm. This will allow for decorations as well as sharing platters down the centre. However, width can be a matter of personal preference: Some people like to be seated more intimately, cutting that width down to as little as 80cm. Others may lean towards a more expansive dining table, opting for a squared format. The choice is well and truly yours.
These are general rules of thumb to get you started. Though once you begin your search for the perfect table, other considerations are sure to pop onto the scene. For example, it’s wise to consider how a dining table’s legs might affect its seating capacity. In some cases, you may need to plan your seating arrangements so as to avoid placing anyone in line with a table leg, limiting the number of people who can be accommodated. Many of our designs are pedestal dining tables, meaning there are no legs to factor into the equation! That maximises the capacity of the dining table and allows more flexibility in your seating arrangements. You’ll also need to consider which shape will serve you best in achieving the desired effect. Let’s get into that now…
A rectangle is the traditional format for a dining table. It’s simple and straightforward, making it easy to work out which size is best for you.
If you’d like to maximise your dining table’s capacity, it’s important to consider seating as well. If you opt for carver chairs (with arms), they’ll tend to take up more space. If you’d like to go for a less formal, more flexible seating arrangement, benches can work wonderfully well. They allow you to sneak in an extra place here and there, while setting a more relaxed tone. Our Exe dining table and bench are an excellent example.
A small round dining table, like our Angel (below) creates a sense of intimacy and can evoke a bit of a bistro feel. The continuous circumference also allows you to be a bit adaptable in terms of place settings. The 60cm per head rule still applies, though you won’t need to factor in any extra space at ends. A circular dining table is the most space-saving format and allows for an easy flow of movement through more compact quarters.
We sometimes pair our circular dining tables with stools, which create a lovely, laid-back look. Stools also help to save space, as they’re designed to a smaller footprint than chairs are and can be neatly tucked away when not in use. This sort of arrangement works wonders in a breakfast nook or garden setting.
Our Papillon round dining table and stools create a light and airy look in courtyard dining areas, especially in our signature Butterfly colourways.
We can also make our designs in hard-wearing Corten weathering steel, or even bronze – both of which will protect them against the great outdoors. For example, we created a bronze AVA round dining table for the Chelsea Flower Show a few years ago.
Oval dining tables are a strong favourite of many seasoned hosts. They create a sense of closeness and conviviality, inviting everyone into the conversation. Like circular dining tables, they facilitate a centralised orientation. The oval format then brings those sitting across from each other closer, which makes both conversation and serving that little bit easier. The lack of corners gives you a bit of wiggle room in terms of numbers, creating the freedom to add a chair in a pinch. They also help to maximise space as every bit of their circumference is usable, creating a continuous seating plan. In terms of measurements, you can apply the same rule as with a circular dining table, budgeting for a 60cm width per setting.
An oval dining table will generally be placed on a pedestal base, as ours are. This adds to the table’s adaptability in terms of numbers and further maximises usable surface area as there are no allowances to be made for table legs in the way of seats. Our soft and sculptural Papillon oval dining table draws together all of these handy attributes in a design-forward package. Pair it with crisp and simple Jak chairs to complete the look. If you’re after a more dramatic, geometric design, our Avebury fits the bill quite nicely.
Whatever your preferences, we can handcraft your selection to the dimensions of your choice for a perfect fit. Please do get in touch to discuss the ideal shape and measurements to suit your needs. We’ll be more than happy to tailor our designs to work harmoniously with your space and style.
Text by Annabel Colterjohn