How to Choose a Dining Table for Your House

wooden tableBring the Family Back Together with the Right Table

Eating is one of the greatest pleasures of life, but when you’re at home, how often do you really dine at the table? Nowadays it’s rare for families to enjoy a nice sit down meal. The right dining room table can get your whole family back together for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The dining table is the epicentre of your dining room; it not only needs to provide comfort, but should blend with the surroundings. By following these tips you’ll know exactly what to look for when you begin your search.


The size of your dining room table should be relative to the room. According to interior designer Lauri Ward, your seats should have at least two and a half to three feet of leeway behind them. Measure the length and width of your dining room and subtract this number from either side. This will allow you to figure out the exact maximum dimensions of your table.


Assess the shape of your dining room and try to find a table that fits within the contours of the design. For example, if you have a circular room (though unlikely) a rectangular or square dining table may not be convenient. In addition, look at other furniture and try to keep a sense of continuity in regards to their shapes.


Most interior designers use the 10-30-60 rule. This means that 60% of your room should be your dominant colour (walls); 30% of your room should be your secondary colour (furniture); and 10% of your room should be your accent colour (ornaments). Make sure your dining table falls into the secondary colour category so it will seamlessly blend with the rest of your décor. If you want to give it a little more character, use a vase and some flowers as a centrepiece.


The style is without a doubt the most important element of finding an aesthetically pleasing design. For a vintage approach choose a table with elegant carvings in dark wood or mahogany. For a modern approach use something sleek with a glass top. If you would prefer the country cottage look choose a hand carved oak table with a simplistic rustic design. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure you either find a table that suits your current style or that you decorate around the style of your new table.


Placement is crucial. Try to place your dining table a good distance away from doors to ensure it doesn’t get in the way when you’re going in and out. At least four feet of space is required for comfortable movement. If you have two doorways, you may need to reassess your maximum dimensions. Don’t just think about your dining table placement, also consider the placement of your other furniture and make sure that there is enough room to keep it all functional.


Style isn’t everything. You also need to assess the practicality of your dining table. For example, a solid wood table can easily be sanded down and re-varnished if it gets scratched and blemished. A glass table, however, isn’t as easy to repair if it gets cracked. The material can also significantly impact the overall price. Oak is much more expensive than pine for example.


Your dining table wouldn’t be complete without chairs. Depending on where you purchase your dining table, chairs may or may not be included. If they aren’t, make sure you know where and what chairs you’ll be purchasing before you make your final decision. You don’t want to end up with an incomplete dining room, and if you can’t find chairs that are the same material and style, you’ll have problems.


When you find a design that you like and feel ready to take the plunge, check the quality. A table should stand firmly on the floor without wobbling. If it has an extender, it should slide in and out with a smooth motion. In addition, hinges should be strong and supportive. If you’re buying upholstered chairs, make sure they are all firm and that the fabrics pass the “rub test.” Also check under the legs to see if they have nylon glides to prevent floor scratching.

Don’t be afraid to steal ideas from other interior decorators. If you want some inspiration, browse websites like BoConcept to get a better idea of what to go for. If you combine your own personal preferences with these simple tips, you can’t go wrong.

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