The dining area can be one of the most used rooms in your home. It’s where you start your day with coffee, help the kids with homework or host a large dinner party. And no matter the affair, the furniture you choose can make or break a gathering. What size table should I use? How many chairs do I need? Here are 5 steps to think about when searching for the perfect dining room table.
When shopping for a table, consider the style as well as functionality. Do you have young kids? Then a glass table might not be the right fit. Do you tend to keep things neat, clean and organized? Then I would not opt for a wood table that requires placemats, coasters, etc. Keep in mind the general look and feel of the rest of your home, as you want the elements to feel cohesive throughout.
Design by BANDD/DESIGN Photography by Molly Culver
Generally, dining tables come in four shapes: rectangular, oval, round or square. And depending on the size of your room, the shape can make a big difference. If you have a small space, it’s easier to walk around a curved-edge table. Whereas if you have a large dining room, a rectangle might work best. It also offers the ability to add more seating as needed.
Design by BANDD/DESIGN
No matter what, one of my fast and hard rules is to always measure before you begin shopping!! And keep those dimensions with you as you shop. Keep in mind you’ll want plenty of space to walk around the table. Also a good rule of thumb is to keep at least 3 feet on each side of the table and about 2 feet of elbow room for guests seated at the table. [Tip: use painters tape to mark where you’d like the table go so you can get an estimate of the size you need.]
Design by Kate Marker Interiors
Don’t forget to consider the overall comfort of the table and chairs. Is there room to add guests without the legs or base getting in the way? The last thing a guest wants to do is knock knees or shins into the legs or base. Test the chairs, make sure whichever ones you choose fit well with the table and offer ample leg room. Chairs should be able to slide under the table with ease with or without arms. Ideally, there should be 7″ between the chair arm and apron of the table but that’s not a hard rule. Just for your reference dining chair seats are usually 18″-19″ high and dining tables are typically 30″ high.
A dining room table is an investment, it’s not a piece of furniture that you toss after a few years. It’s an important piece you’ll want to keep even if the role it plays changes over the year. Consider the quality and the joinery first and be wary of buying trendy pieces. This table should stand the test of time and last for years to come.