The dining room is the heart of your home, where you serve up food and laughter with family and friends. Choose a dining table shape that fits your needs and makes the room an even more comfortable place to spend time. This dining table shape guide will help you think about how to express your flair for interior design while you furnish your dining room with functionality and style.
The shape of a dining table helps to define its look and style, but it’s also a consideration relating to space. Choosing a table that matches the shape of your room enhances balance and harmony. Most dining rooms are rectangular, so a rectangular dining table is a traditional option. A round dining table is ideal for smaller rooms; there are no corners to bump against. If you choose a pedestal table, it’s usually possible to sit more people than other shaped tables of similar sizes.
Think about the primary use for your table. Round or square tables help to create a beautiful ambiance for candlelit meals or intimate gatherings where everyone is the same distance apart. If the table is larger, you may need a lazy Susan to help everyone reach serving platters. A long, rectangular table is an ideal solution when you want to host a large dinner party. Also, consider the many ways you use your table: Do you work at the table and need room for your laptop and files? If your kids gather to do homework, space is a necessity. Although you may only need seating for four at mealtimes, the table is likely used in many other ways that require additional space. The most common table shapes include:
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Dining table shape: Rectangular Dining Tables
Rectangular: Fits well in long, narrow spaces, but is also good for dividing open-plan spaces to define areas for different uses.
A rectangular dining table shape is perhaps the most common, and there is a pretty good reason for it. Most dining rooms are also rectangular. A rectangular dining table is also a good shape to seat more than four people, especially if it comes with an extra leaf for extending the length, should you need to seat additional guests.
Ideally, a rectangular table should be between 36 inches to 42 inches wide. Narrower rectangles can work well in a narrow room, but if the table is any narrower than 36 inches, you may find it difficult to fit place settings on both sides and enough room for food on the table. If you do prefer to have a narrow table, you might want to consider placing the food on a sideboard or buffet table, so guests can help themselves before sitting down.
Dining table shape: Square Dining Tables
Square: A fashionable choice for smaller rooms, especially square rooms, where it enhances an intimate setting.
Square-shaped rooms look best with a square dining table. Square dining tables are also a good solution if you do not have a large group to seat most of the time. A square table that can be expanded with leaves is good for those times you will need to seat more guests. Two square tables can even be grouped together to create a larger rectangular seating arrangement for special occasions.
A benefit to having square tables is that they provide intimacy and a satisfying solution to seating a small number of people. It can be off-putting to have large a rectangular table if there are only two or three people present for most of your meals—a larger table can make the space seem cold.
Dining table shape: Round Dining Tables
Round: Cozy, intimate, and a good space-saving option.
The square table is not the only solution for a smaller or square-shaped room. A round dining table is another possibility, and it is one of the best shapes for small gatherings since everyone can see everyone else, conversations are easier to carry on, and the setting feels cozier and more intimate.
Keep in mind that a round table is not ideal for larger gatherings. A large round table means that, while you can still see others, they seem far away, and you may have to shout across the table to be heard. Besides, most dining rooms are not large enough to accommodate large round dining tables.
If you do prefer a round table over a rectangular one and you think you may need to seat a larger number of people from time to time, consider getting a round table with an extension leaf. That way, you can use your round table most of the time but extend it when you have company over.
Dining table shape: Oval Dining Tables
Oval: A more space-efficient alternative to a rectangular table, with a more traditional look.
An oval dining table is very similar to a rectangular one in almost all its attributes. Visually, it seems to occupy less space than a rectangle because of the rounded corners, but this also means that it has less surface area. You might want to consider an oval table if you have a narrower or smaller room and might occasionally need to seat more people.
The practical ideas in this dining table shape guide will help you make a decision, but it’s your home and your rules, so buy what’s right for you. Take some notes and measure the space, and remember that your dining table probably serves as more than just an eating space. Consider the full range of needs you’d like your table to meet while thinking about the options that work with your room’s size. When you discover a dining table that speaks to your personal style, gathering for meals, conversations and laughter is even more enjoyable.