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A dining table is one of the most important pieces of furniture you’ll buy for your home. Not only does it function as a place to eat, it’s also a place for family gatherings, newspaper sprawl, and homework sessions. It can be the centre piece of a room where friends and loved ones hang out, talking and enjoy each other’s company.
If you choose a well-crafted dining table made of quality materials, it’ll age with you and most likely outlive you for many years to come. That said it’s not a furniture piece you want to purchase on impulse, it’s worth your time and consideration. A dining table is an investment.
Before you hit the furniture and homewares stores to find a table for your upcoming dinner party, here’s some things to consider.
So you’re picturing regular dinner parties of 8 guests or more? While you want to consider how many people you would like to fit comfortably around the table, choosing your table size should first be based on the size of your room. Leave space for guests to circulate around the table without having to breathe in and measure for the chairs to be pulled out.
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As a general rule, allow a minimum of 90cm space between the walls or other furniture in the room and the table.
It’s also important to measure the table to chair height to ensure you can comfortably sit without cutting of the circulation in your legs. Leave about 20cm from the seat to the table top, although 30cm would be more generous. If you already have chairs, take their measurements with you when you go shopping.
As with the size, the shape will be greatly dictated by the room it’s going to be placed in. Most spaces will suit a rectangular dining table and you’re most likely to have greater choice when it comes time to choosing styles. That’s because rectangular dining tables are classic and very functional. They can also be easily added to when you have the once a year celebration with a large guest list.
Round or oval tables are often favourable because there’s no head of the table and they can work well in smaller rooms. They also can create intimacy, especially if you have 6 or less diners.
A square table will suit a large room as they generally take up more space. If you are selecting a large square table, keep in mind the number of people regularly dining. And for those going for a smaller square, just remember you won’t be able to push all the chairs in, so you’ll need to allow for a little extra room for them to sit out.
If you want a dining table to last a lifetime, choosing hardwood over materials like MDF or engineered timber is best. It may be a little cheaper to buy, but they won’t be as strong and durable as a solid timber table.
Solid timber also ages well and over time the table will develop character and tell stories of rowdy dinner parties, growing children, and many delightful home cooked meals.
Glass can work well in modern spaces and those lacking in room because it allows light to filter through and visually, it isn’t too heavy. Unfortunately, glass will incur some scratches and doesn’t pair well with little fingers.
Marble is another option for a strong dining table that will last and work well in both a contemporary and traditional setting. Pay close attention to the table sealant, as a nasty red wine stain will ruin the entire top. Also consider how often you might move, marble is not only extremely heavy, it’s also costly. So you wouldn’t want to take the risk of dropping or knocking the top very often.
The last thing to consider when shopping for a dining table is the style of table that will suit your space. Looking for a table to complete your scandi look? Then a table like our Lotus may work well. For country chic, a timber table with crossed legs is sure to impress.
Metallico dining table in Messmate with Maison dining chairs and carver chair
In a modern interior, look for a timber table that has a contemporary base like our Metalico dining table. A table like this can also work well in an industrial space too.
There is a dining table to suit any interior style from traditional and country, to industrial and scandi. Explore the various styles right for your space before you make a decision.