The dining debate: table shape
When choosing a dining table you first need to consider the shape of the room and then how many guests you could have on a given occasion. A few other things to ask yourself:
Do you entertain a lot or very little?
Will you need extra seats in the event of extra guests?
Do you plan to include a buffet, hutch or sideboard in the room for china, silver, stemware and linens, or to use for extra serving space?
First, round dining tables look and function best in square rooms. And, for some reason, most dining rooms are square—probably because they’re situated in the middle of most homes. A round shape will give you more space around the table for seating and make it possible for a storage or serving piece. Typically, it’s best to allow for anywhere from 42″ to 48″ from the table to the wall or other pieces of furniture.
And, while we love the look of a round dining table with armchairs, side chairs allow extra guests to squeeze in, especially if the table has a pedestal-style base—legs won’t get in the way. And, as everyone knows, round is a small space solution and gives everyone at the table an equal opportunity to chat.
Rectangle-shaped dining rooms are more suited for similarly shaped tables—it just fills the space better and, let’s be honest, some people are just more linear when it comes to design than others. Plus, you have the option to get a little more seating around a rectangle table and a little more creative with your options; like with larger, maybe more dramatic armchairs at the head of the table and smaller but (of course!) still stylish seats on the side or a trendy bench.
Let’s say you have a rectangular room and you’re absolutely set on a round table. You can make it work, but you’ll have to fill the extra space on either side of the room with extra seating or a buffet…something has to go to there to balance out the space.
An oval dining table would be better than a round in this scenario—you get that circular shape you want without sacrificing needed seating and tabletop space.
Square tables somewhat fall into the same category as round dining tables: great for small spaces and square rooms. The only issue with square tables is their overall width. On the larger end of the scale, it can be difficult to reach for and pass dishes, which you wouldn’t want to deal with on a daily basis.
Consider a smaller rectangle dining table and one with leaves to expand for a larger dinner party and remove for everyday.