Consider the Size
The old advice to “measure twice, cut once” applies when you are looking at dining tables. Don’t leave home to look at tables without first measuring the size of your dining area and the size of the door the table will need to fit through. You don’t want to fall in love with a table only to find that it is way too large for your space, or on the flip side, way too small. Ideally, for ease of access to the table and around the room, you want to leave at least 42 inches of space between the sides of the table and the walls, according to Shoshana Gosselin at Houzz.
Think of how many people will sit at the table. If you want to have space for your entire family, plus grandparents, aunts and uncles, you will need a big table. Gosselin notes that most people need about two feet of space to eat comfortably. If you want to use the table for large parties during the holidays and for a family of four regularly, look for one that has leaves that allow it to expand. Dining room sets from VisionDecor.com range from small wooden sets to contemporary chrome retro tops, many which offer expandable leaves.
Where to Sit
Don’t forget the chairs. People will need somewhere to sit when they gather at your table. Either choose perfectly matching chairs or spice things up by mixing and matching a bit. For example, try using fully upholstered chairs on the ends of the table and wood frame chairs on the longer sides. Remember that you will need to account for the size of the chairs when measuring for the table. The bigger the chairs, the more room you need on the sides of the table. A long bench can blend with most decor and save space but might not be ideal for older adults.
To save yourself money and time, choose a table that coordinates with your existing dining room decor. If your dining room has a contemporary look, try a glass top table with metal legs. A country dining room calls for a trestle table made of a solid wood. If you don’t want to fork out a lot of money on a new design, consider transforming an old table into a new piece of work by painting or covering it.
There’s more to the shape of a dining table than aesthetics. A long, rectangular table makes it easy for people to reach across the table to retrieve dishes. Round tables work well in smaller rooms, as they seat more people in less space. The drawback of a round table is that as the table gets wider, it becomes more unwieldy to reach for and pass items to others.
Think of the use of the table. If you plan on only using the table for special meals, you might not care that it smudges easily or needs to be polished. But if you want to use the table for nightly meals, homework and other activities, choose one that is durable. A rustic wood finish won’t be as fussy as a shiny, polished finish. If you have children, dirty fingers will smudge a glass table and there’s the risk of it breaking.
Take your time when selecting a dining table. It is an investment piece that you will have in your home for years. The right table can be a piece of furniture you pass down to future generations.
Are you looking for a new kitchen table? What is your favorite style?
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