When it comes to interior design, few individual purchases will affect the look of your entire home as much as a dinner table will. Not only is it a huge piece that draws attention to itself, but it’s also the place where you’ll be hosting people who come visit your home. This means that your dinner table will literally be front and center when it comes to the design language of your home – after all, your guests will be sitting at it. A dinner table can’t be selected by “feel” – it needs careful research and measurements if you want to make the most out of the purchase. Here’s everything you need to know.
Because of its size and the need for ergonomics, a dinner table’s dimensions must fit correctly into the spaces within your home. First, you need to make sure that there are 3 to 4 feet between the table and the walls where you’ll be placing it. This allows people to comfortably get in and out of their chairs and provides the maximum possible size limit of your table. Then, you need to look at how much space you want to be available for guests. Each person at the table will require about 2 feet of length and 1 foot of width for comfortable dining. So if you want to seat 6 people at your table, you’ll need to choose a table that’s 6 feet by 4 feet, which will accommodate two people on either lengthwise side and one person on either widthwise side.
Your style of dining table should be informed by your interior design language, and a big part of that is the material you use.
Glass adds plenty of light and doesn’t seem to consume a lot of space, so glass is an excellent material for smaller dining rooms or areas that don’t get a lot of light. A reliable example of a glass table is the Iceberg Dining Table by Timothy Oulton, which has a unique two-sided design on its glass planks that can be changed from a smooth texture to a wave-like texture.
A great choice for minimalist or industrial-style interiors, metal tables are easy to clean and are very thin, making them easy to move around.
A classic material that would work perfectly in nearly any home, wood has been used for hundreds of years for good reason. It would look particularly good in a home with plenty of stone, or one whose inspiration has a vintage look to it. One good example is this 4 Beam Dining Table, which contains wood reclaimed from the 18th century railways of Indonesia. That’s definitely a conversation starter.
Many table designs feature various combinations of the above materials to produce a unique effect. The combination you choose will depend on your home. ThisScorched Dining Table combines metal and charred wood for an amazing, cross-cultural appearance that will turn many an eye.
The standard rectangular shape is an easy, safe choice, but you can also pick among other table choices available depending on your needs.
A circular table is well-suited to smaller dining rooms, as there are no corners to bump into. It’s also great for intimate conversations and small gatherings. This magnificent Rex Dining Table is one glamorous example of a circular table.
Oval tables have the same general appearance as rectangular tables, but fit into smaller spaces – though they also have less room for people to dine. Oval tables also lack a “head” so they’re pretty good for intimate gatherings as well.
A square-shaped room is best filled with a square-shaped table, as it maximizes the area and adds symmetry. You also have the advantage of combining multiple square tables together to create a rectangle table on the spot, for when more people arrive.
Chandeliers are a luxurious option for many dining halls, but they have to be paired with your table. First, you need to center your chandelier directly over the table, not in the middle of the room. Second, your chandelier, as a rule, should be about a third the width of the table, so as not to dominate it. Finally, so you don’t have any pieces dangling awkwardly in front of you and your companions, ensure that there are 30 inches of clearance between the bottom of the chandelier and the tabletop.
One beautiful chandelier style that combines the best of both modern and vintage worlds is this Odeon Rectangular Pendant chandelier, which features hundreds of glass drops that spread light throughout a room, as well as a rectangular design that’s well-suited to a rectangular dining table.
Every home’s needs will be different, and you need to understand how dining tables interact with these needs in order to pick the best one. It’s both art and science to determine what works best, so keep these in mind for the best possible table choice.