Finding the right table may take some initial preparation, but its ability to accentuate and upgrade the look of your entire dining area makes it worth it. By selecting the best size, shape, and overall design, your investment should leave you and all of your guests feeling inspired and comfortable every time they sit down for a meal.
Measure the Space
The ideal dining room table has plenty of room on all sides for you and your loved ones to easily sit and move about as desired. Therefore, one of the first steps to ensuring you find the best fit is to measure your dining room and determine the best size.
After you’ve determined your measurements, subtract five or six feet from both the length and width, so you can gauge the right dining table size to aim for. This extra room on each side will protect you from bringing home a beautiful piece that just doesn’t fit.
To really visualize how it is going to look, you can find a tablecloth and fold it to meet the dimensions you’ve decided on. Does the size leave enough room between the piece and other furniture or walls? This allows you to adjust accordingly after viewing.
If you’re concerned about space, you’ll also want to consider the material of the table. Heavy woods, thick stones, and otherwise bulky pieces can bring a unique aesthetic. However, if you live in a smaller area and want to create a light, open feel, thinner tables may be a better option.
Also, consider the height of the table. If it is taller, it may also add slightly more visual weight than a medium-height or slightly lower table. Both options will also impact the style of dining chairs that best suit the area, further creating visual cues that will open up the space, or make it feel smaller and more intimate.
Worried about welcoming guests during special occasions but don’t want to have a large table for day-to-day usage? Extendable tables are a great option. They allow you to seat many more guests at a moment’s notice, without wasting space on your downtime.
Consider Your Needs
Each stage of our life may create different needs and goals in our dining space. Are you a young family focused on daily close-knit meals together? Or do you prefer to be ready to entertain while sparing no expense on the decor? How many people will be in your dining space on average every month?
If you need help visualizing what you need, try checking out our guide on finding exactly what type of table would be best for you.
Also, consider the general ambiance you’d like to create. Whether it’s private and personal or extravagant and gregarious. Your table will become the meeting of hearts and minds, and it will subtly influence the general atmosphere of your get-togethers.
Find a Shape You Love
One of the biggest influences on the aesthetic of your space is the shape of your table. Typical options include round, rectangular, square, extendable or convertible, and bar side tables.
Square and rectangular tables are very popular, which means most furniture shops will have a wide variety of colors, materials, and details to choose from. Square tables also tend to keep each guest a similar distance apart, making it easier to communicate and share during the meal.
Rectangular tables have two seats at the side for any guests of honor or hosts. It can create a more formal and sophisticated feel, but also make it a bit more difficult to fully connect with each guest, especially if it’s designed to seat many people. Although, this can be ideal for large families and big events.
The best of both worlds would be to invest in a square table with extendable leaves. That way, you can switch back and forth as needed. If you need even more space, try using a bench instead of regular dining seats during the meal. This will help save even more space taken up by bulky furniture, while still creating a comfortable space for guests.
Round or oval tables can help the room gain more space due to the lack of corners. This also helps with fitting more people at the table and creating a more intimate and communal atmosphere. However, if you’d like to entertain more than six people at a time frequently, it may be more difficult with a round or oval table. Square and rectangular shapes follow a more intuitive seating arrangement, and round tables can sometimes get overcrowded as guests are pushed closer and closer together.
Bar-height tables are popular for family breakfasts or evening drinks. Incorporating some bar stools alongside your kitchen island or adding a tall side table can create a special place for bonding casually before, during, or after meals.
Work Around Style
The aesthetic of your home will also have a large influence on the type of table that best suits your space. The table you choose will impact the flow and coherence of your current decor, so it’s important to consider the materials and colors wisely before investing.
A popular trend loved by modern enthusiasts is the Scandinavian style aesthetic. This look is characterized by its simplicity and elegance. The table should have clean lines and a natural feel. Square or rectangular wooden tables with a smooth finish can elevate the room while still remaining cozy.
Another modern style is the industrial look, which is marked by details like exposed brick, steel beams, or concrete walls. If your space resembles this and you’d like something to compliment its look, or you’d like to create a more edgy aesthetic, search for something unique like a thin metal table in a somber color. It won’t distract or overwhelm the overall decor, and it will keep the effortlessly cool effect.
For lovers of a more classical and traditional style, ornate table designs may be more appropriate. Search for vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces with carvings, or newer models with ornate details like gold trim or baroque-style table bases. Natural materials like wood tend to suit the interior design the best.
Think Outside the Box
Many people overlook the importance of table bases when choosing their tables. Yet, it’s one of the biggest ways to personalize your space. If the tabletop looks coherent with your style and is the correct size, but the stand is not in accordance, it can really dampen the overall look you’re going for.
It’s also important to consider how the table bases interact with the seating space. Large bases may interfere with potential seating arrangements, despite a large tabletop. If your guests have to cross their legs or are constantly hitting their neighbors, it will end up an uncomfortable meal for everyone involved. When you need to squeeze in an extra guest, it will be much easier if the table bases are thin and well-spaced.
However, if you prefer a wider base with ornate details because it elevates the look of your room, just consider investing in a larger table if you’ll be frequently serving many guests.
Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Consider a custom table configuration for more specialized needs. You’ll be able to choose a separate tabletop and table base to truly create the table of your dreams!