Dining tables are one piece of furniture that is guaranteed to be a workhorse in our homes. Rarely used as just a surface to eat from, they’ve become a place to work, a place to gather and reconnect or to partake in family activities such as arts and crafts with your little ones. It goes without saying that it pays to choose the perfect dining table for your home as they are very much an investment.
How To Choose The Perfect Dining Table For Your Home
There are lots of reasons why you might be looking to up your dining table experience but for us, it’s been driven by our recent house move. A new layout means our furniture doesn’t quite fit. Where once we had a large kitchen diner, we now find our dining table too large for our current kitchen. We are, however, fortunate in that we do have a garden room (apparently this is what we call conservatories these days and I’m sticking with this btw). This secondary space will become our family all-purpose entertaining room so we’re now on the hunt for a new table to accommodate our needs.
Of course, you may have stopped by today purely because you’re looking to update your dining experience in your home by way of a new table. Either way, I hope this post may prove helpful in the minefield of choices available.
How To Choose A Dining Table that adds longevity
There’s a lot to consider when looking to purchase a dining table so you’ll want to invest some time in researching as you’re unlikely to want to change them for a while. They’re pretty much an investment purchase like other furniture pieces such as a sofa. Although, I’d say if you purchase wisely, you’ll probably not need to change your table at all.
It’s really important to take into account where your new dining table is going to be situated within your home. This will dictate how large a table as well as its shape and style.
I wrote a whole post on how to plan a room here. Ultimately, a well thought out floor plan will help decide on the right size/shape table to suit your space.
Anthropometrics are really helpful as they help you get the most from your seating arrangements. For us to sit, stand and be comfortable doing both, it’s important to consider your surroundings as well as the dimensions of the table.
A minimum distance of 750mm from the table edge is needed to ensure you can sit and stand comfortably. My preference is more 900mm for larger tables as it’s easier to get past other seated guests. You’ll also need to be mindful of obstacles such as walls, additional furniture, door openings, etc. These will have an impact on your tables position as well as the overall table size/shape you decide upon.
SHAPE IS IMPORTANT
As a rule of thumb rectanglular tables work well in larger rooms. They are also the most popular choice when it comes to choosing a dining table.
If you’re lucky to have a formal dining space that is used just for dining then rectangular tables offer you the chance to go as large as your room will allow. Oversizing your table can make an impact and become the focal point of your room. You might also want to consider adding large scale lighting and a rug to create more of a focal area especially if you have a large open plan space.
Square rooms can be difficult to get right when it comes to planning furniture placement. As a rule, square tables are best suited to square rooms. They tend to add a sense of balance in symmetry. Of course, you can have a square table in any shaped room but tend to work better visually in smaller spaces.
Circular Tables & Small Spaces
Not only do circular tables offer you the best solution to tighter spaces within your home but they also add a more intimate sociable affair to your dining experience.
PICK YOUR STYLE
A dining table can be a lot more than just a surface to eat off especially if you have children. Ours has been pretty much a workhorse for our family. From everyday family meals, a place to work, and the kid’s homework and arts and crafts. It’s important to consider what activities your table may encounter to work out what table will work for you. After all, you won’t want to be replacing it after a few years.
I’ve picked a few table surfaces to consider below, but there are numerous choices available when it comes to tables. It’s all about personal preference.
Natural wood can be very forgiving when it comes to family life but not all wood is equal. Hardwood dining tables offer longevity compared to their softwood alternatives. Look for hardwood such as oak, maple, walnut, cherry and mahogany and you’ll enjoy the benefits for years to come.
Always check to ensure whatever wooden table you purchase carries the FSC certificate to ensure the wood used is sustainably sourced. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, an organization that works to promote the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide.
When investing in furniture pieces for your home, you might want to shop with a conscious. With our landfills being piled high, it’s worth investing the time to find a table that not only will stand the test of time, but also helps with our environment. Consider looking at reclaimed wood tables that provide longevity to your homes rather than their manmade equivalents.
Marble has seen a huge rise in popularity over recent years and isn’t going away any time soon. Marble itself is costly but there are a variety of tables that offer you the look of marble without the price tag. If you opt for faux marble, just be mindful to read the care instructions. Food stains and hot plates can mark and affect the surface.
Glass Dining Tables
Glass is a great material to consider if you’re lacking on space and don’t want a room to feel overwhelmed with large heavy furniture. Because you can see through glass, you create the illusion of space as the eye can see further. Combine glass with metallic finishes and you’ll help bounce light around making it feel lighter and brighter. A winning combination if your room is particularly dark.
Small Spaces Solutions…
If space is at a premium, then there are designs that offer you the ability to make the most of what you do have when it comes to square footage. I’m particularly taken with this table from above from Go Modern. A brilliant solution to smaller spaces. This coffee table transforms not only into a dining experience for smaller parties but also extends to accommodate those extra guests at Christmas and family gatherings.
Tables With Leg Room…
If you’ll be adding seating to your circular table look for a table with a central pedestal rather than the four-legged type. This way you won’t be dictated by the positioning of chairs. And it will be easier to squeeze an extra person or two without your guests battling with table legs.
Of course, the same applies to larger rectangular/square tables too.
Once you’ve decided on the shape, you’ll need to consider your surroundings. With so many styles of tables to choose from, you’ll need to ensure whatever table you decide upon actually fits in with your decor and style choices. There’s no good choosing a farmhouse table for a formal setting or vice versa.
Nowadays it’s not uncommon to mix and match your chairs to your table. It may be that you’ve struck lucky with a bargain find whether it be vintage or otherwise. Ultimately, mixing things up when it comes to your dining experience can offer you not only flexibility but a chance to create a unique look to your home rather than something from a retailer’s showroom.
Mixing up different styles of chairs with your table also allows you to experiment with different textures which can help create interest in neutral spaces.
That said there are things to bear in mind when it comes to purchasing a table and chairs separately. You’ll need to ensure that your chosen chairs will fit under the table especially if they have arms. Ideally, you should allow 30.5cm between the seat of your chair and your tabletop.
Benches have grown in popularity and if you’re concerned about how many guests you can seat, you might want to consider a bench or two. They allow a little more freedom when it comes to numbers.
Or why not combine chairs with a bench so you have the benefit of both.
Benches also work well with smaller areas in your home. Benches provide a feeling of more space as your eye isn’t obstructed by chair backs and allows your table to take center stage. You might want to consider opting for a padded upholstered version if you anticipate long dinner parties or perhaps working at the table. Comfort matters after all.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post on How To Choose The Perfect Dining Table for Your Home. I’m still in the process of searching for our perfect dining table…!
Until next time, thanks as always for stopping by!