A Guide to Buying Dining Tables
Choosing a dining table is an important decision for any home. Not only a place for gathering friends and family, the dining table is a focal point of any living space and can set the tone for the rest of your home’s furniture and decor.
A dining table should not only reflect your style but also be accommodating to your space and lifestyle needs. Let’s look at some of the considerations when buying a dining table.
Are you a growing family, or enjoy entertaining at home? Extension tables might be the solution. An extension table can make the most of limited space day-to-day but more importantly, provide the flexibility to extend to larger sizes. Perfect for accommodating family and friends for those special occasions.
Whether it be sharing food or stories, round dining tables are great for being social and provide a close, intimate setting for guests. Suitable for high traffic areas, the flow of the round table makes it easier to move around the room. A round table can look wonderful in compact spaces and square dining areas. Smooth, round edges also tend to give parents piece of mind, with children running about the house.
Square tables allow for a relaxed setting and easy conversation, typically seating four to eight guests. A square shape tends to work well in narrow dining areas, and have the most impact in rooms that are symmetrical to help maintain balance.
Rectangle tables tend to be the most popular dining table, as they work well in long and narrow dining areas, common to most homes. For small spaces, a rectangle table can be pushed up against a wall, to help maximise traffic areas. For larger homes, rectangle tables can come in sizes up to 3 metres in width, easily accommodating as many as 12 guests.
Choosing the right size
When considering the size of dining table, allow a minimum of 60-90cm space between the table and walls, or other furniture in the room. This buffer will ensure you have enough space to pull out chairs and move around the table. Having the wrong size table for a dining area, can not only be uncomfortable for guests, but also make the room appear much smaller and overcrowded.
How many people can you fit around a table
The number of people you can seat around a table, is not only dependent on table top size, but also the design of the table legs, chair seat width, and personal preference on space. With that in mind, a general guide to our dining tables:
|Round dining table|
|100-200cm diameter||Seats 4-6 people|
|150-160cm diameter||Seats 6-8 people|
|Rectangle dining table|
|150cm wide||Seats 4-6 people|
|180cm – 190cm wide||Seats 6-8 people|
|220cm-240cm wide||Seats 8-10 people|
|260cm-280cm wide||Seats 10-12 people|
|300cm wide||Seats 10-14 people|
|Square dining table|
|90cm wide||Seats 4 people|
|160cm wide||Seats 8 people|
|Extension dining table|
(extending to 190cm to 230cm)
|Seats 4-8 people|
(extending to 230cm to 280cm)
|Seats 6-12 people|
(extending to 260cm to 310cm)
|Seats 8-14 people|
Finding the right chair to match
Are you keeping existing chairs or upgrading with your new table? Most people tend to forget how important it is to check the dining chairs are the right size for the table. While table heights can vary between 71-78cm high, so can seat heights from 45-48cm. Measure the table to chair height to ensure you can comfortably sit without cutting off the circulation in your legs. If you already have chairs, take their measurements with you when you go shopping. Every seat height is different which can impact how low or high you will sit at the table. We suggest to our customers to try all our chairs at each table, so they can find the most accommodating and comfortable fit.
Find the right style to suit your tastes but also the rest of your décor and furniture.
Coastal homes may relish in creating a sophisticated Hamptons style. Bright and light dining tables with white washed legs and oak tops for a bright, relaxed beach style. Or go for a glorious solid wood pedestal dining table paired with comfortable, white upholstered chairs.
French Provincial style, while embracing the neutral palettes seen in the Hamptons look, will find tables with greater intrigue. Think more rustic, with rich wood colours, and ornate detailing seen in carved legs and parquetry tops.
The country home or farmhouse style, will reflect a more rustic look with solid wood tables in rich honey hues to create a warm and inviting ambience. Designs will be more traditional and will give off a strong, hardy look. A grand fixed or extension table with parquetry top can make a bold statement for entertaining and display.
For the modern home, find a balance with natural materials and keep the aesthetic quite minimal. Less is more with this style, tables should be simplistic in detailing, shapes will be symmetrical and edges straight. Lighter oak stains or rich, dark stains can create a dramatic effect needed for a contemporary home.
Some handy tips from SHACK
1. Measure your space
- Dig up the floor plans of your home as a guide to working out room dimensions
- Use grid paper to map out a plan
- Use masking tape or newspaper to mark out where the table would sit, and make sure you have enough room to walk around and allow 60cm behind chairs to allow for ease of pulling out
2. Ask for a sample of the colour stain if it is available. Furniture is generally displayed in stores under artificial lighting, so for a more accurate representation of the stain, it is best to compare the colour against your room’s lighting and floors.
3. Bring in your chair from home, or try out all the chairs in the store to find your perfect fit.
4. Find style inspiration on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram and bring in photos to share with our friendly SHACK team.