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The Only Dining Table Guide You’ll Ever Need

dining room

Your dining table is one of the most crucial pieces of furniture (especially during the upcoming holiday season!) in your home. A person’s gotta eat, after all! Not only is it the place you and your family dine on the regular, but it’s also the focal point of your kitchen or dining room and the place where family and friends gather for everything from formal dinners to casual gatherings to the occasional crafts session and everything in between.

A great dining area means you have a place to enjoy bountiful meals, laughter, shared stories, and memories with family and friends. No wonder choosing a dining table can be hard! There are many factors to consider to make sure you have an attractive and practical setting that fits your space, offers adequate seating and fits in with your own personal style. If you’re ready to invest in a new table, this dining table guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make sure you furnish your dining room with functionality and style.

dining roomConsider Your Dining Table Shape

When choosing a dining table, one of the first things to consider is the shape – this helps to narrow your search a bit, too. You can choose from the whole array of selections based on your personal taste, but there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to the shape of a dining table. It usually boils down to the size and shape of your dining room.

dining roomRectangle/Square

This is the most common shape for a dining table. This is largely because these shapes work best in rectangular rooms and most dining rooms are – you guessed it – rectangular! It’s a good shape to seat more than 4 people, so keep this in mind if you have a big family or love entertaining. But keep in mind, it’s not awesome for super large gatherings because there’s not as much room on the tabletop to fit place settings on both sides and food in the middle.

oval tableRound/Oval

Round tables are great because they can accommodate the most people. It’s easy to squeeze in an extra table setting or two where there aren’t any corners! They’re better for small rooms or rooms that aren’t square, as their rounded edges help create easy flow through the room. Circular tables are perfect for small gatherings and make an intimate and cozy setting for conversation. Oval tables help fill out longer, more narrow rooms.

dining roomFind the Right Dining Table Length

The size of your dining room table will depend on the size of your room and how many people you want to accommodate.

In order to make sure each diner has enough elbow room while chatting, follow these standard seats to size ratios:

  • A 48” long table seats 4 people
  • A 60” long table seats 6 people
  • A 72” long table seats 8 people

Of course, if you don’t mind a more intimate setting or have little ones at the table with you, you might be able to squeeze in an extra seat.

Expandable dining tables are also a great option! If you don’t need as much table space on the day-to-day, but want to have the flexibility for an occasional dinner party or holiday gathering, consider a table with leaves that can be dropped or inserted at the center of the table.

tall chairsGo For The Right Dining Table Height

Dining tables generally come in 3 height variations. Most standard dining tables fall between 28-30” to allow for comfortable legroom underneath. Counter height tables are closer to 36”. And pub-style tables are the tallest, falling in the range of 40-42”.

If you’re not married to the idea of a traditional dining table, counter and pub tables are worth considering! They’re convenient because they can double as a place to serve food or extra space for food prep and work especially well in small spaces with open kitchens.

dining roomPick Your Dining Table Material

Dining tables come in a wide range of materials. So when choosing a dining table, this factor mainly boils down to your own personal aesthetics and how much wear and tear your dining table will need to withstand. Here are some of the most popular material options for dining tables.

wood table

Wood

Wood is the most common choice for dining tables because it’s super durable and stands up to everyday butchering! It’s also easy to maintain or refinish with paint or stain as needed.

Natural wood offers a beautiful color and texture in a dining space and there are plenty of different types and shades of wood to choose from. Weathered or reclaimed wood looks great in a variety of styles and can also hide nicks or scratches – great for families! Solid wood is more expensive and can be damaged more easily, so it’s more of an investment.

Veneer

Veneer or laminate options can mimic the look of wood but are usually a much more affordable alternative. It is a non-porous material so it’s easy to clean and holds up to stains better than many other materials. However, if the veneer chips, stains, or get scratched, it can’t be refinished, unlike solid wood.

glass

Glass

Glass dining tables provide a sleek look for modern or contemporary spaces. They are great for small dining area because they don’t add any clunky visual weight to a room.

Glass is also super low maintenance and easy to clean. However, these tables might not be very family-friendly as they easily show finger smudges and their sharp edges can pose a threat to rambunctious little ones!

marble

Marble

Many people consider marble to be one of the best dining table materials. It’s luxurious and sophisticated and puts the natural beauty of the stone on full display. However, marble is a porous material meaning it can stain easily and quickly. While it’s great for elegant, traditional settings, it might not be the best choice if you have a family of young kiddos or like to entertain often.

Metal

A metal dining table can add a cool, industrial feel to any room. It’s also super durable and easy to clean up. Some metals can be prone to corrosion, however, so make sure to choose a cleaning product that won’t damage it.

dining chairsExplore Dining Table Styles

Finally, choosing the best dining table means finding the right style for your space. There are so many styles to consider, from modern to rustic, contemporary to traditional, and each style has plenty of variation within it! In addition to being functional, you want your dining table to reflect your personal style and complement the decor in the rest of your home.

Take our style quiz or check out our dining table style guide to learn all about the pros and cons of different dining tables!

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The Ultimate Guide to Dining Table Styles

dining table

Hosting season is upon us and, if you love entertaining as much as we do, you’re probably thinking ahead to all the fun gatherings in store. It’s no secret that your dining table is central to all the celebrations the season will bring! The largest piece of furniture and sets the mood, style, and is the heartbeat of the entire dining experience.

If you’re undertaking a dining room upgrade this year or just swapping out an old dining table for something new, you might have noticed that there are quite a few options when it comes to dining table styles. So how do you know which one is right for you?

What table shape do you prefer? Which option will seat the most people? What table design will fit best with the style of my dining room?

There are so many dining table styles to choose from, you’re probably wondering where to begin. A dining table can be a big investment, so you want to make sure you pick one that fits your style and meets all your hosting needs. To help, we’re breaking down the different dining table styles here so you can find the one that works best for you.

dining tableFarmhouse Dining Table Style

A farmhouse dining table design is generally super wide-open, warm, and welcoming option. This style is great for complementing a super rustic style and makes for an extra cozy vibe. It adds a vintage-inspired touch that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an old country farmhouse, even if you live in a high-rise apartment. Farmhouse tables are usually made of rough, solid wood and are larger in size and very sturdy.

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The Perks: You can pair a farmhouse table with a dining bench for a more family-friendly style or turn up the sophistication with upholstered chairs.

The Vibe: Solid, sturdy and timeless – this is the workhouse of dining tables.

dining tablePedestal Dining Table Style

Pedestal dining tables are generally composed of a wide, usually round table top sitting on a single solid leg in the middle. They are stylish, architecturally savvy, and just plain useful in a dining room. Some more contemporary options sit on two legs instead of one supporting column. They come in a variety of styles and can blend in with an assortment of dining room designs.

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The Perks: Pedestal tables hold plenty of platters and can seat more people than a square or rectangular table. That way you can squeeze more chairs around the table in a pinch!

The Vibe: Smart, symmetrical, and stylish. These tables can put the fun in functional in any dining room design.

dining tableParsons Dining Table Style

The Parsons Dining table is the perfect table for a super streamlined and contemporary style. There is a myriad of incarnations of its simple, balanced form, but it is always distinguished by clean angles and straight lines with absolutely no frills or ornamentation. The neat silhouette makes them well-suited for modern or contemporary interiors.

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The Perks: The pared-down aesthetic makes this table incredibly versatile and timeless.

The Vibe: Dress it up for an elegant and dramatic look. Dress it down for a simple, laid-back style.

dining tableTrestle Dining Table Style

Trestle dining tables have a tabletop that sits upon two trestle supports. They were very popular in the Middle Ages and offer a timeless style, and the simple look is a natural fit in many dining rooms. They were built to be portable and flexible – back then people didn’t have dedicated dining rooms so dining tables had to be easy to take apart, transport, and reassemble. These tables remain popular today because they’re sturdy, attractive, and great for hosting large groups.

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The Perks: Trestle tables come in so many styles that you can find one that will work with your aesthetic no matter what.

The Vibe: This is the kind of table that makes you think of gathering friends and family for a jovial night of eating, drinking, and merrymaking.

dining roomMid-Century Modern Dining Table Style

Mid-Century Modern is everyone’s new old favorite aesthetic – and the trend is still going strong! It’s a complete style of furniture and you can usually spot a mid-century modern dining table by its warm natural wood construction and slender, tapered legs. The sleek silhouette and light woods of the era feel both polished and fresh and bridge the gap between comfortable living and aesthetic delight.

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The Perks: A style of furniture designed during an era when American families were moving into more urban, smaller spaces, mid-century modern furniture is great for smaller dining rooms.

The Vibe: Clean lines, geometric shapes, and sleek simplicity give these tables a timeless appeal.

dining roomTraditional Dining Table Style

A traditional dining table is usually consists of sturdy wood with a high-shine varnish. You’ll often find these tables with more ornamentation and carved features on the legs. You can keep with the traditional vibe by pairing it with traditional dining chairs, go more farmhouse with upholstered options, or even play up an eclectic vibe by mixing in chairs of different styles.

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The Perks: These tables are large and in charge, with plenty of room for guests. They make a lovely centerpiece and are substantial enough to call for a big, beautiful chandelier to illuminate the dining area.

The Vibe: Traditional dining tables are elegant, super-versatile and never go out of style.

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