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The Dining Table Buying Guide

How to choose the right dining table for your home?

Great dining tables can transform the look, feel and character of your dining space, but choosing the right one can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Here are our top tips on how to chose the shape, size and style of dining table to best suits your home.

1.Think about the purpose your dining table will serve.

Knoll Saarinen Tulip Tables available now, starting at £1900

In most homes, dining tables commonly serve more functions than to simply host a dinner party or family meal from time to time. Deciding on your table’s size and style might depend on whether it will act as the principle table for all your meals as well as a place to work and study, or whether it will act as a special event location. For everyday practicality, the Saarinen Tulip Tables from Knoll is a good all-rounder. With the choice of laminate or marble top, it's practical for family use whilst befitting more formal occasions such as dinner parties.  It is important to choose a table that is not only comfortable and in line with your tastes but that also fits in with your lifestyle. Think laminate for practicality or wood which can be sanded and oiled such as the E15 range.

HAY Palissade Dining Table available now, from £685

For Al Fresco dining, stick to tables that have been specifically designed for outdoor use, such as the Palissade Table from Hay. Constructed from Electro-galvanized powder-coated steel, the collection is highly weather-resistant as wind and water easily pass through the slatted frame.

2. Consider your room size when deciding on table shape. 

Fritz Hansen FH125 Table available now, from £885

Furniture looks at its best when it fits comfortably in a space so make sure to take into account room size when picking the shape of your dining table. Opting for a round table with a pedestal base is ideal if you are furnishing a smaller space as they make tend to make the perimeter of a room appear larger while the lack of legs will make more room for additional chairs. Circular tables are great for creating an intimate setting when accommodating small parties and can add a warm, cosy and romantic atmosphere to a room, especially if positioned under a light and surrounded by plush chairs. When accommodating six people or more it is advisable to consider a rectangular table as a round table can make it difficult for people at opposite ends of the table to engage with each other.

HAY CPH25 Dining Table Round available now, from £1299

Larger rooms allow for greater flexibility when deciding on the shape and size of furniture but they tend to go better with rectangular tables than small rooms. A rectangular table, with a clean appearance and well-defined lines, can act as a piece of statement furniture in your dining area whilst serving the needs for everyday use and accommodating large dinner parties. Rectangular tables such as our Linear Wood table from Muuto stand out in both form and functionality – pair with a piece of  storage furniture to hold tableware accessories and complete your dining room look.

Muuto Linear Wood Dining Table available now, from £895

3. Make Measurements

Measuring your space before choosing a dining table will help you pick one that suits your space and guests comfortably. The standard rule when determining the best table size for a space is to ensure there is at least 36 inches between your wall/other furniture and table to allow diners to move around and get up comfortably (however 42-48 is better and creates a more spacious feel). Many dining tables don’t come with matching chairs so measuring the height between chair and table-top is important in order to guarantee comfort too. A general rule of thumb is to allow 12 inches between the seat of your chair and table-top.

How many people can comfortably fit at a table?

To dine comfortably it's best to allow each guest to enjoy at least 24 inches of table surface (30 is even better for extra elbow room). If you aren’t sure what size table fits how many people comfortably here are some measurements to help you:

  • A 72 inch long rectangular table will comfortably seat six.
  • A 96 inch long rectangular table will comfortably seat eight.
  • A 120 inch long rectangular table will comfortably seat ten.
  • A 36-48 inch round (diameter) table will comfortably seat four.
  • A 60 inch round (diameter) table will comfortably seat six
  • A 72 inch round (diameter) table will comfortably seat eight.

&Tradition SK12 Dining Table available now, from (Photo by @Tsunyuen)

4. Choose your Style

Deciding on a style that best complements your décor and existing furniture can give you more direction on what to look for.  Wooden tables look at home in a traditional style room with furniture that has brown, mahogany and dark-toned finishes whilst lighter-toned tables are better in rooms that have a more modern, pared-down feel.  Different styles of furniture can look great blended together, but having an idea of what you like before you start looking can make finding the perfect table a much easier and quicker process.

For the low down on some of our favourite interior styles along with great product choices, make sure to view our "Shop By Room - Dining Room" feature here.

Frama Sintra Dining Table available now, from £8050

Have you got any tips of your own? We'd love to hear them. In the meantime, you can shop our entire selection of dining tables collection here today. Remember, we offer FREE UK Mainland delivery as standard on all dining tables & chairs.

Time for more? Around The Home : 10 Best Dining Tables | Fritz Hansen : A Sense Of Colour | Japandi : Exploring 2020's Biggest Hybrid Trend

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