How to Select the Right Dining Table
What size? What shape? Here's our guide to choosing what's right for your space
Your table needs to allow for the number of diners you want to seat comfortably and still leave enough room for to walk around it. The width of your table should be at least 90 centimetres wide so there is ample space for place settings as well as food. Typically, as the table length increases, so does the width of the table top. Read on for sizes and shapes to consider when shopping for a dining room table.
Measure the space around the room. To allow diners to sit down and get up easily from their seats, try to leave 106 to 122 centimetres between your table and the walls.
If there is furniture in the dining space, begin your 106 to 122-centimetres measurement from the edge of the furniture instead of the wall.
To test out a table size in a room I grab a bed sheet or two, place it where the table will go, and fold it into the shape of the table. This allows me to visualise the space it will take up. Then I can measure the wall/furniture-to-table clearance. If your table has leaves, include them in your calculations.
The table manufacturer should recommend the number of people that can comfortably be seated without touching elbows while eating.
Each person needs about 60 centimetres of eating space. Of course, if your table allows for it, you might be able to squeeze in another seat or for those occasional larger gatherings.
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They fit in tight spaces and have no sharp corners to bump into. You can usually fit more people around it because it has no corners. Pedestal tables are even better, as they offer more legroom.
Add wire or transparent acrylic chairs to show of a beautiful table and make a small room feel more spacious.
I usually stick to this calculation to begin looking for round tables. Manufacturers may offer different recommendations, and you might be able to add more seating for a tighter fit. Also keep in mind that using a pedestal base allows more seating because it eliminates the legs that can get in the way of a chair.
- 90 centimetres with a pedestal base seats 4
- 120 centimetres with legs seats 4
- 150 centimetres with a pedestal base seats 6
- 150 centimetres with legs seats 4
- 180 centimetres with pedestal base or legs seats 8
- 210 centimetres with pedestal base or legs seats 9
It leaves more room for traffic flow. For most tables, as the table length increases the width increases as well.
These are the sizes I stick to when looking for rectangular tables. Again, manufacturers may offer different recommendations, and you might be able to add more seating for a tighter fit.
- 120 centimetres long seats 4
- 150 to 180 centimetres long seats 6
- 210 centimetres long seats 8
- 240 to 270 centimetres long seats 10
- 300 to 330 centimetres seats 12
If you choose a round table 152 to 182 centimetres in diameter, add the convenience of a centre Lazy Susan. Although the round table can be a space saver, the larger it gets the harder it becomes to reach the food.
When looking to take up less room in a space, try a bench instead of chairs on all or one side of your table. Make sure you can push the bench under the table so you can stash it away when not in use.
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If your room is square, a square table, like a round one, makes for a more intimate dining experience because everyone is an equal distance apart. Also it will look great mimicking the room shape around it.
Like the round table, the bigger a square table is, the harder it will be to reach for food. If you are looking to seat more than eight people comfortably, try out your table in person. You might be better off with a square table that comes with leaves that you can turn into a rectangular shape for a dinner party.
What dining table have you chosen and why? Would you buy something different now? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
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