9 Great Tips On How to Choose the Perfect Dining Table.

Choose a dining room table

Choosing the right dining table for your space can be a daunting task. Not only does it have to fit your dining area, but it also needs to allow for comfortable seating and movement around the room. In this guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when selecting a dining table that suits your needs and complements your space.

Measure Your Dining Area

Before you start shopping for a dining table, it’s essential to measure your dining area accurately. This will help you determine the ideal size for your table. Lucy Harris, an interior designer in New York, advises leaving three feet of breathing room on all sides of the table for comfortable seating and movement. However, she also suggests that more space is always better.

To calculate the target length and width for your dining table, start by measuring the length and width of the area you can dedicate to it. Then, subtract about six feet from those measurements. This will give you a rough estimate of the ideal dimensions for your table.

Consider the Table’s Functionality

Next, think about how you plan to use the dining table. Max Dyer, a furniture industry veteran, suggests considering the amount of table space each person needs. On average, each place at the table requires 22 to 24 inches of space. However, if you have larger-scale chairs, you might need to account for more space.

Additionally, consider how often you entertain guests or host family gatherings. If you frequently have people over, you may want to opt for a larger table that can accommodate more guests comfortably. On the other hand, if you have limited space or rarely entertain, a smaller table might be more suitable.

asses the visual weight of the dining room table

Assess the Visual Weight

The visual weight of a dining table can significantly impact how it feels in a room. Even if a table technically fits in your space, it may appear overwhelming if it’s a dark or bulky piece or if it’s placed too close to other furniture. To create a balanced and visually appealing dining area, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose the Right Shape: The shape of the table can affect how it integrates into the room. Rectangular or oval tables often work well in larger spaces, while round or square tables can be ideal for smaller areas.
  2. Consider the Material: The material of the table can also impact its visual weight. Lighter materials, such as glass or lighter woods, can create a more open and airy feel, while darker woods or heavier materials may make the table feel more substantial.
  3. Pay Attention to Leg Design: The design of the table legs can also influence its visual weight. Tables with thinner legs or a pedestal base can create a more open and less bulky appearance.

Determine Your Style

Once you’ve considered the practical aspects, it’s time to think about the style of the dining table. Your table should complement the overall aesthetic of your space and align with your personal preferences. Here are a few popular styles to consider:

1. Classic and Traditional

If you prefer a timeless and elegant look, a classic or traditional dining table might be the perfect choice. These tables often feature intricate details, such as carved legs or ornate designs. They can be made from rich woods like mahogany or cherry and are perfect for formal dining rooms.

modern dining room table

2. Modern and Contemporary

For a sleek and minimalist look, opt for a modern or contemporary dining table. These tables typically feature clean lines and a minimalist design. They often incorporate materials like glass, metal, or lacquered wood. Modern dining tables are suitable for both formal and casual dining areas.

3. Rustic and Farmhouse

If you prefer a cozy and inviting atmosphere, a rustic or farmhouse-style dining table might be ideal. These tables often feature distressed finishes, natural wood grains, and sturdy construction. They can create a warm and welcoming ambiance in any dining space.

4. Industrial and Urban

For an edgy and urban vibe, consider an industrial-style dining table. These tables often incorporate materials like reclaimed wood and metal, creating a unique and rugged look. Industrial tables are perfect for modern lofts or urban-inspired dining areas.

5. Transitional and Versatile

If you can’t decide on a specific style, a transitional dining table offers a versatile option. These tables blend elements from different styles, creating a balanced and timeless look. They can seamlessly fit into various interior design aesthetics.

Explore Different Table Materials

The material of the dining table not only affects its visual weight but also influences its durability and maintenance. Here are some popular dining table materials to consider:

dining room table materials

1. Wood

Wooden dining tables are a classic choice that offers warmth and durability. Different types of wood, such as oak, walnut, or maple, provide varying aesthetics and levels of sturdiness. Wood tables can be easily maintained with regular dusting and occasional polishing.

2. Glass

Glass dining tables offer a modern and elegant look. They create a sense of openness and can make a small space appear larger. However, they require more frequent cleaning to avoid smudges and fingerprints.

3. Metal

Metal dining tables, such as those made of stainless steel or wrought iron, add an industrial or contemporary touch to a space. They are highly durable and easy to clean. However, metal tables may feel colder and less inviting than wooden ones.

4. Laminate

Laminate dining tables are a budget-friendly option that can mimic the appearance of wood or other materials. They are resistant to stains and scratches, making them suitable for households with children or pets. However, laminate tables may not offer the same level of durability as solid wood or metal.

find the right shape dining room table

Find the Right Size and Shape

In addition to considering the size of your dining area, the shape and size of the table itself can impact the functionality and aesthetics of your space. Here are some popular table shapes and their characteristics:

  1. Rectangular: Rectangular tables are versatile and can accommodate a larger number of people. They are ideal for formal dining rooms or spaces with ample room.
  2. Oval: Oval tables offer a softer and more organic shape compared to rectangular ones. They can be a good choice for narrower dining areas, as they allow for easy movement around the table.
  3. Round: Round tables create an intimate dining experience and promote conversation among guests. They work well in smaller spaces and can visually soften the room.
  4. Square: Square tables are ideal for compact dining areas or square-shaped rooms. They can create a cozy and intimate setting.

Consider Additional Features

When choosing a dining table, consider any additional features that may enhance its functionality or convenience. Here are a few features to keep in mind:

1. Extensions: If you occasionally host larger gatherings, an extendable dining table can be a practical solution. These tables come with additional leaves that can be added or removed as needed, allowing for more seating space.

2. Storage: Some dining tables come with built-in storage options, such as drawers or shelves. These can be useful for storing extra table linens, serving ware, or other dining essentials.

3. Height: Standard dining tables are around 30 inches high, but you may opt for counter-height or bar-height tables for a more casual or unique look. Keep in mind that the height of the table should be proportionate to the chairs or stools you plan to pair with it.

Set a Budget

Before you start shopping for a dining table, it’s important to establish a budget. Dining tables come in a wide range of price points, so determining your budget will help narrow down your options. Consider the material, size, and features you desire within your budget constraints.

test the dining room table for comfort

Test for Comfort

Lastly, don’t forget to test the comfort of the dining table. Sit at the table and ensure that there is enough legroom for everyone. Check that the table height is suitable for the chairs or stools you plan to use. Comfort is crucial, as it will enhance the overall dining experience for you and your guests.


Choosing the perfect dining table for your space involves careful consideration of its size, functionality, visual weight, style, material, shape, additional features, and budget. By taking the time to measure your dining area, think about your needs and preferences, and explore different options, you can find a dining table that not only fits your space but also enhances your dining experience. Remember, a well-chosen dining table can become the centerpiece of your dining area, bringing both functionality and style to your home.

Jane Whitford
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