Choosing a new dining room set can feel intimidating—after all, you’re making a major purchase on a large piece of furniture that you’ll likely have for decades. Do you go with your practical side and pick something traditional? Step out on the wild side and choose something contemporary? And, how do you balance form and function?
Feeling anxious yet?
Fear not! We’ve come up with four things to consider to ensure the set you select will provide you with the dining room of your dreams!
This may be the single most important tip we can offer—you MUST measure the area where your table will sit. You may assume you will be able to remember the dimensions of your current set one you arrive at the furniture. You will be wrong, however, and odds are high you’ll end up with something we call the “Goldilocks effect”—a table that’s far too small or far too big.
Make sure you end up with a set that is just right by measuring the dimensions of your room, then figuring out what size table will fit in the space while allowing 42 – 48 inches of maneuvering room between the table and walls. Consider existing furniture like buffets or hutches that will encroach on your table space.
2. Consider the shape
While some people get stuck on a particular table shape they spotted in a Pinterest post of the MOST PERFECT DINING ROOM TABLE OF ALL TIME, it is important to take into consideration the space available in your dining area. No matter how beautiful that expansive, rectangular farmhouse table looks on social media, it may not work in your charming, square dining room nook. Knowing the available space in your dining room will point you toward the best shape for your table.
You should also consider what you’ll use the table for. Do you host large gatherings requiring plenty of seating? Will it just be your immediate family using the table? Will it double as office space when you are working from home?
When it comes to table shapes, there are four main styles:
Rectangular – This style is the most popular because traditional dining rooms are often rectangular in shape. Rectangular tables are wonderful for seating a crowd. Consider swapping out a bench for chairs along one side for a modern look.
Square – Square tables are perfect for smaller dining areas and offer a more intimate feel to mealtimes. While they typically seat four, you may want to purchase a table with extensions, allowing you to seat more guests when entertaining.
Round – Round tables are great in small areas and are quite versatile. Their lack of corners allows you to pull up extra seats without adding extensions (though you can certainly find round tables with extensions if you think you’ll need the extra space). Conversation when sitting at a round table is quite easy since everyone can see one another.
Oval – There is just something so visually appealing about an oval dining table! Perhaps it is because they are slightly less conventional, but they tend to add a current and modern aesthetic to a dining room. Like their round counterparts, oval tables allow flexible seating and easy conversation with guests.
When it comes to material, there are endless options for dining room tables. What your table is made of will depend, in large part, on your personal taste and your budget.
Solid Wood – This is the Anna Wintour of material options—classy, timeless, and high-end. You really can’t go wrong with a wood table, and you’re guaranteed a unique design thanks to the grain of the wood.
Reclaimed Wood – Think of this option as Anna’s bougie, hippy cousin who’s all about recycling. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, look no further. Reclaimed wood provides a unique, worn appearance and lots of character.
Glass – Glass tables tend to give off a modern vibe and are great for making smaller dining rooms appear larger.
Laminate – If you’re looking for a cost-effective option, consider a laminate table. Pressed wood is topped with a laminate coating, making it easy to clean. Another perk—these tables are much lighter than the competition.
it comes to seating, choose what works in your space. Benches allow you to seat more people down the side of a table than armed chairs. Clear acrylic chairs work much like a glass table, making your space appear larger. Arm chairs are more traditional and may be used around the entire table or only at each end (if you have a rectangular or oval table). Whatever you choose, take time to sit in the chairs and make sure they’re comfortable enough to spend an hour or two in at a time.
At the end of the day, there is no such thing as the THE MOST PERFECT DINING ROOM TABLE SET OF ALL TIME…regardless of what Pinterest might tell you. The perfect set will be the one that fits in your space and budget and reflects your aesthetic.
Not too big. Not too small. Just right.
Thanks for reading,
Have a Seat
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