How to Choose a Dining Room Table for Your Home or Apartment
Whether you have a formal dining room or a tiny eat-in kitchen, the focal point of the space is your table. It's the critical place where everyone comes together for a meal and conversation in your home, which is why careful shopping for a table is important. If you're wondering how to choose a dining room table, take advantage of these quick and easy tips.
Complement Your Current Decor
If you're on the hunt for a new table, choose one that complements your current decor. For a good match, consider the following design styles and recommended table types:
- Traditional: Tables made from polished hardwoods like mahogany, maple, walnut, and oak
- Farm or Country: Rustic tables made from reclaimed wood
- Contemporary: Tables featuring a mix of wood and glass
- Modern: Lacquered wood tables with simple, clean designs
- Industrial: Tables with a mix of wood and metal
Choose the Right Shape
When choosing a table shape, consider your floor plan. A rectangular table makes a good choice for a room of the same shape. It's also the perfect pick for people who like to entertain and for large families. For holidays and other special occasions, some smaller rectangular tables extend with the addition of leaves. An oval table serves the same purpose as a rectangular table and doesn't take up as much space. Round and square tables work best in smaller spaces and in square-shaped rooms. They also make a good option for couples and families of four or fewer.
The dimensions of your table and your dining space are an important consideration when shopping. Before you purchase a dining table, make sure to take measurements and keep these handy rules in mind for comfortable mealtimes:
- Allow at least 2 feet between your chair backs and the wall so diners can enter and exit the table easily.
- For adequate space for place settings and serving dishes, your table width should be at least 36 inches.
- For easy conversation and passing of food, your table width should not exceed 48 inches.
- Allow 24 inches per place setting for comfortable dining.
When choosing a table size, start with the number of regular diners in your home and add two.
Choose the Right Table for an Outdoor Space
When the weather gets warm, many people move their dining room outdoors. When shopping for a dining table for an outdoor deck, patio, or terrace, look for products made from weather-resistant materials. Teak doesn't warp or need a lot of maintenance, and exposure to the elements over time gives it a beautiful patina.
Products make from powder-coated steel are sturdy and ultra-resistant to rust. Wrought iron tables are long lasting and stand up well to heat and moisture. When choosing cushions for outdoor chairs, buy products made from fabrics that are resistant to fading and mildew. Outdoor cushions stay in good shape if you store them indoors in cold and rainy weather.