The modern dining table is used for so much more than just mealtimes; it’s a social space where we sit and chat, read the paper, sip our morning coffees and increasingly used as a makeshift office. A statement dining table should very much be considered as an investment piece for the home that will last a generation or more! We’ve put together a series of posts to guide you through how to buy the perfect dining table.
Whether your dining table is going to sit in your open plan living and/or kitchen space, or in a more formal dining room, the first thing to consider is the space you have available. There are a few key measurements and points to be double checked before deciding on the size, shape and design of a dining table:
• Always allow a minimum of 100cm around the edge of the table and other furniture or walls. Anything less than that will restrict the movement of guests around the table. If you can’t allow for this amount of space, then choose a smaller table.
• In an open plan living and/or kitchen space, place your dining table where it is easily reached from the kitchen or cooking area, and in a position that does not impede the flow of traffic through the living space. A minimum of 120cm between your table and other furniture should be sufficient.
• Whatever shape of dining table you choose, table tops can always be sized to fit your space and seating numbers in a wide variety of materials to fit your lifestyle and design scheme.
Rectangular dining tables
Most dining rooms tend to lend themselves more naturally to a rectangular dining table. It’s also very practical for fitting most homes (useful if you ever move!). The formality of the shape can be toned down in various ways such as using different chair styles at the head and food of the table to those down the sides, using a mixture of chair and bench seating, and by choosing softly rounded edges for the table top.
Oval dining tables
An oval dining table is incredibly versatile and elegant; the beautiful curved shape can add drama to any dining space whether open plan or a separate room. When paired with a pedestal table base, like our popular Capricorn dining table or Avebury, an oval dining table will always appear to use less space and make the room feel bigger. If space is tight in your dining room, opt for an oval dining table instead of a rectangular table; the curved shape is easier to navigate around and will allow the careful positioning of handy furniture such as side tables in the corners of the room - also great if you have little people roaming around!
Round dining tables
A round table works well in many spaces; in a square dining room it aids the flow of guests around the room and makes conversations easy across the table; in an open plan living and kitchen space a circular table can be placed neatly to one side allowing the daily traffic to flow around it.
Match a round dining table with armless dining chairs leaving the eye to be attracted to the beautiful shape of the table base and other visual details in the space. Check that the chairs are not placed too close together when you have a lot of people around the table for dinner; the front part of the chairs and the legs of your guests will be much closer together under the table.