Dining Table Ideas
Your dining table plays a big role. It’s a gathering spot, a gift-wrapping station, the scene of apologies, late night teas, and connecting over food. And then there are the actual dinner parties. So how pare down the slew of dining table ideas to find the one that works for you? By identifying what size and shape you need—which is informed by your space, your style, and your life.
Balancing Size and Space
Get an idea of how a tables’ size will fit in your space before you choose. Grab a sheet and fold it to the size of table you’re considering. Can you fit between it and the doorway? Is there room for that sideboard you’ve been eyeing? A physical reference helps you get a good idea of size.
Small Spaces: If you’re working with a small space, consider a slim, elegant table like the Olea. Coming in at only 35 inches across, it’s a great choice for rooms where a large table is not an option. Rounded edges make it easier to navigate around — perfect for smaller spaces. Bonus: this table still comfortably seats six for dinner.
Large Spaces: When it comes to larger dining rooms, it’s time to bust out the big… tables. Expansive spaces are exactly where substantial tables like the Madera shine. This richly textured oak table is roomy, with clean lines and an open seam for a modern feel. To help even out the space of an expansive room, you can extend the Madera to its full 12 seat capacity.
Average sized spaces: If you’re working with an average sized dining room, you can pick anything! To an extent. If you’re falling for harvest tables, or envisioning a petite cafe style, you’ll still need to pay attention to the rest of the room. Even in an average-sized space, balance will make a difference.
Choosing a Shape
What shape is best for you? It depends. Rectangular tables mirror the shape of most dining rooms, can fit more bodies (especially with extensions) and can accommodate bench seating. Oval shapes also work well in most rectangular rooms. Deciding between the two comes down to the type of lines you prefer. Soft and curved, or angular and precise?
But what if you’re working with a small space? Then you’ll want to consider a round or a square shaped table. Round shapes are better for compact spaces. They provide seating for a group and a have a smaller footprint (no corners!). They are also a good choice for creating intimacy and coziness.
How social are you?
Your social life also factors into how big a table you need. Start with how many people are regularly using the table. If it’s three on a day to day basis, you can opt for something smaller —like the Seno Round table. The quintessential round dining table is the perfect backdrop for a young family to get face to face and spark some cozy conversation.
Or maybe you’re the host of your friend group. In that case, you’re probably looking for a table that can easily accommodate a crowd. An extendable table like the Seno is your friend. With an extendable table you aren’t locked into a single size. It can expand and contract according to the guest list. Unexpected guests? There’s a leaf for that. That pile of yet to be completed DIY projects? There’s a leaf for that too.
Leave three feet of clearance… if possible.
To make sure you have enough space to navigate dinner parties / family events / solo crafting sessions, leave yourself three feet of space between any walls or other furniture and your table. Of course, love isn’t always convenient. If the object of your affection doesn’t quite meet this rule, simply imagine yourself bringing a platter of turkey to the table. If it’s worth the inconvenience, go for it.
Style? Consider Other Rooms
While your rooms don’t need to match, it’s a good idea to consider the flow of your space. Does your dining area or kitchen open onto your scandi-style living room? Will it be an extension of a dark, moody kitchen? You don’t need to stick to the exact same style, but you probably want them to look like they’re part of the same house. By creating some threads of cohesion between rooms the resulting vignettes won’t be a total disconnect.
A dining table is an investment. And in the spirit of longevity, you’ll want to consider the materials and construction that went into it. Solid wood is not only beautiful — it’s extremely durable. Things like MDF, engineered wood, and solid wood veneer (or a mix of hardwood and veneer) also put in a strong show in terms of look and feel. And if you’ve working with budget constraints, they’re more affordable without being less hardy.
Surface area options:
Glass: A great choice for small spaces. Glass carries less ‘visual weight,’ and can open up a smaller space.
Shop glass dining tables.
Wood: Wood brings warmth and a laid-back feel to a room. There is a certain understated elegance to a wooden dining table. Combining different woods and grains will creates a nature-forward atmosphere. Does the room get any bright sunlight? This tends to enhance the rich colors of the wood. Just picture the Ventu in a swath of bright morning sunshine.
Shop wood dining tables.
Acrylic: Acrylic tables can come in a variety of trendy colours, including clear — a great option if you’re accident prone and glass stresses you out. Acrylic lends itself to bright colors, interesting shapes and a variety of sizes.
Marble: Marble tabletops can introduce a cooler feeling to a room. It’s also a bit of a style chameleon, working well across luxe, eclectic, and minimalist designs.
Shop marble dining tables.
While glass, marble and acrylic can all withstand some wear and tear, wood is the most forgiving. Over time even high-quality dining tables will bear the marks of the tea floods, the dinner parties, party parties, and holiday crafting sessions. Sandpaper: exfoliation for hardwood
Table legs make a huge design impact on your table. Interesting legs add a sculptural feel alongside crucial stability. From tripod to classic square shape, wood to metal, there’s a style of leg that can elevate your space. And don’t worry about the legs “matching” your chairs —combinations create interest and speak to your personality.
Feeling inspired? Good. Narrow down your selection by taking the time to consider both your lifestyle and your space. This allows you to really hone in on the perfect piece for your dining area (and your social life). Because after all, a dining table simply serves as a backdrop to the real star of the show — the gatherings that spark connection.