10 golden rules of picking out your perfect dining table

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Chalet Gstaad Ardesia Design Rustic style dining room
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Picking the ideal dining table is much more than simply choosing a piece that “looks nice”. The options are pretty much endless, and if you’re not sure what you want, you could end up with a table deemed perfect by the salesman, yet which is a complete misfit for your home’s style. 

So then, how do you go about choosing the perfect piece that will not only fit in splendidly with your personal taste and style, but will also enhance the quickest of meals into a stylish affair? 

Let’s see which options to consider…

1. The classic rectangular choice

Much simpler than choosing the style of your dining table is picking out its shape, which should be completed first. And the universally loved option is undoubtedly the rectangular shape: it offers the visual of clean and well-defined straight lines while also being practical in terms of seating and socialising.

2. A round delight

Rectangular-shaped dining tables might be the most popular, but when it comes to saving space, round- and oval shapes are king. In addition, round tables also help create a more intimate setting, standing out most prominently in a world dominated by linear designs. 

homify hint: Opt for a round dining table only when you need to seat six people or less; larger models can make both conversation and serving a bit difficult.

3. Some square shapes

Chalet Gstaad Ardesia Design Rustic style dining room
Ardesia Design

Chalet Gstaad

Ardesia Design

Similar to round dining tables, their square siblings are also more practical and aesthetically pleasing in their smaller forms. As the larger models tend to make serving a hassle, we advise that you pick one of these only when you are hosting four to eight people at most. 

Square dining tables can look quite striking in long, narrow rooms, as they can offer a sense of proper proportion.

4. What is your style?

Luxurious family living homify Modern dining room

Luxurious family living


The type of table you pick sets the tone for the entire dining area. When it comes to an open plan layout, opt for a table that seems like a natural extension of the living area. 

If you want to contrast your styles, then consider placing a rustic table in a modern space, or a minimalist metal model in a room filled with warm timber tones. This can make for a striking focal point if combined with the right lighting. 

homify hint: Living in a small studio flat? Glass and acrylic tables help to add visual space, while an extending table can instantly conjure up seating spots for a few more guests.

5. Let’s talk about size

Church Mews, Hartland, Devon The Bazeley Partnership Modern dining room
The Bazeley Partnership

Church Mews, Hartland, Devon

The Bazeley Partnership

Once you have your shape and style down, it’s time to tackle the spacing and sizing issues. It is crucial to ensure that there is at least one metre of space between the table and adjacent walls/furniture. This will give you (and your guests) adequate space to move around, and will save your dining room from a cramped and cluttered look.

6. Consider its usage

Formal Dining Room, The Wilderness, Wiltshire, Concept Interior Concept Interior Design & Decoration Ltd Eclectic style dining room
Concept Interior Design & Decoration Ltd

Formal Dining Room, The Wilderness, Wiltshire, Concept Interior

Concept Interior Design & Decoration Ltd

Will you be moving that dining table outside for some garden gatherings? In that case, you should opt for something that is light, movable, and made out of a durable material. 

But a dining room that is used exclusively for wining and dining guests will require something a bit more sturdy and timeless in its appeal.

7. Seating and lighting

Dining Room homify Modern dining room

Dining Room


Don’t consider additional elements like chairs, lighting, and perhaps an area rug after that dining table has been paid for and moved into your home. Test out the table along with your desired chairs.  

Think of your dining area as one combined setting where each piece plays an equally important part – the table just happens to be in the centre. You do not want to be in a position where you bring home a dull light or drab-looking dining chairs just because they go along with that table you already bought. 

Light your home the stylish way with our: Creative Lighting Solutions.

8. The element of cleaning

If you’re not one for daily cleaning rituals, then steer clear of glass tables – the slightest hint of a smudge or fingerprint will seem magnified on that clear surface. And although you could cover it up with a stunning table cloth, glass tables were meant to be displayed, which defeats the purpose of acquiring one in the first place.

9. Save some space

Free up a little more legroom by opting for two long benches instead of a collection of chairs. The benches can easily be pushed underneath the table when not in use, adding a bit more visual space to your dining area. 

And if you want to use that table for activities other than dining (like laying out your party platters), this will make it easier to push it against the wall.

10. Test it out

Chandeliers / Manola Herstal A/S Modern dining room
Herstal A/S

Chandeliers / Manola

Herstal A/S

If at all possible, avoid ordering online. Visit the store and sit at that table you’ve been eyeing. 

Can you comfortably cross your legs? Do the table legs interfere with the chairs? Can you picture yourself and your family/friends enjoying themselves at the table? 

And don’t allow that smooth-talking salesman to bully you into buying a piece that's bigger than what you really need.

What style of dining table is ideal for your space? We'd love to know so leave a comment and share with us...

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