When it comes to dining tables there are so many options. How do you choose the right one? After all, you’ll be dining and entertaining with family and friends, making memories for years to come.
The aesthetic of your table is important, but even more so is how your table fits in your dining room. You want to be sure that your dining table does not crowd your dining room, that you can easily walk around the table, and that you have enough comfortable seating for your diners.
Ideally, the width of your table needs to start at 36 inches. This distance will provide enough space for place settings and food. While eating at the table, you want to provide at least two feet for each person.
Table-to-wall or table-to-furniture clearance is key when selecting a new table. During dinner parties you want your guests to be able to move around the table freely without bumping into anyone or anything. You also want to be sure that there is enough room to move your chair in and out from the table.
To ensure there’s enough space, measure from the table to either the wall or a piece of furniture and make sure it’s 42 to 48 inches.
Working the angles
Rectangular tables are long and lean and leave enough room for traffic. They are great for big dinner parties because you can accommodate a large group around the table. People will be close enough to carry on conversations. When picking a length for a rectangular table, here are some basic guidelines:
- Four feet long seats four
- Five to six feet long seats six
- Seven feet long seats eight
- Eight to nine feet long seats 10
- Ten to eleven feet long seats 12
Seating all round
Round tables are perfect for conversation because all guests can see each other. Round is great for large or small gatherings. If you have a kitchen nook, a round table might fit best. Round tables are especially good for small spaces because there are no sharp corners to bump into.
Also, you can usually fit more people around a round table because there are no corners. Pedestal bases are even better, offering ample legroom and seating.
To be sure you have enough seating for four people, use a three-foot round table with a pedestal base or a four- to five-foot round table with legs. When seating six people, use a five-foot round table with a pedestal base.
If you’re seating eight to nine people, a six- to seven-foot round table will be suitable. When choosing a large round table, it can be difficult to reach food that is placed in the middle of the table. Using a lazy susan is a great solution.
More shapes and sizes
Oval tables offer the best of both worlds. They give you a longer profile but still keep the closeness of a round table. This is a flexible shape for dining rooms of all sizes.
Just like oval and round tables, square tables can keep the coziness. Square tables accommodate square rooms perfectly by mimicking the space around it. Everyone is equal distance from each other so this shape is ideal for conversation.
Remember that with large square tables, it will be harder to reach the macaroni and cheese in the middle of the table, so use a lazy susan. Adding leaves to your square table will accommodate additional guests.
Now that you have an idea of what size and shape of table you want to use in your dining room, have fun and stylize your table. The options are endless for table finishes and design, tablescapes, your seating around the table, the chandelier, and the rug beneath the table.
Let us help
At Samuel Design group we’ll customize your table so it looks fabulous in your dining room. Come by our studio or call to set up an appointment. Let’s get started creating your perfect dining experience!
Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, CAPS, is founder, principal and lead designer of Samuel Design Group in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Samuel Design Group 844.284.6999