There are some purchases that take a lot of time to consider. When you’re buying a large piece of furniture for your home, it could be the piece that you base an entire room around or it could have to work with all of your existing decor – either way, it’s a big decision. One such purchase is a dining table. This is the main place in your home where your family all come together, for meal times and special occasions, so it’s important that you get it right. Whether you’re doing up your dining room from scratch or you’re looking for a new table for a kitchen-diner, here are our top tips.
Think about the room it is going into
Before you even start to look at tables, think about the room that you will be dining in. Do you have a formal dining room, an open-plan kitchen-diner or a large kitchen that you’re looking to fit a table into? How much space do you have for a table? Will this be your main dining table or a place to eat breakfast and informal meals? Does the table also need to function as a place where you and your family can sit and work?
Decide on a shape
Now you know what is the purpose of the table and the room it will be sitting in, it’s time to think about the shape. Do you want a rectangular or a round table? Both shapes have their benefits and work best in different scenarios. A rectangular table fills up the space in a large room and a large table looks great in a formal dining room. A circular table is better for conversation if you want everyone seated around the table to be able to chat together. Round tables are also perfect for smaller spaces and work well placed in bay windows or in kitchens.
Consider how many people will be sitting around it
Think about how many people will be sitting around your table on a day-to-day basis, but also consider how often you host dinner parties or have guests. What is the everyday number of people and the maximum number of people that you will need to seat? If there is a large difference between these two numbers, perhaps an extending table would work best? It’s worth considering where the legs are on the table to see if they would get in the way of extra seats – the round table pictured above is perfect for four people but any extra guests would have to straddle the legs. The table below, on the other hand, could comfortably seat four people on a daily basis but the position of the legs would easily allow for an extra four guests.
Decide if you prefer a classic or contemporary design
This depends on your own personal style and the look of the room that the table will be sitting in, but it’s important to have an idea in your head of what you want your dining table to look like before you start shopping. Are you looking for a classic farmhouse-style table, a contemporary industrial design, a Scandinavian-inspired streamlined oak table, or perhaps something a little bit more eclectic?
Pick your material
Finally, choose the materials that you would like the table to be made from. If you know you’d like a wood table, decide whether you’d prefer a rustic wood, a smooth oak, or perhaps an elegant dark wood finish. What about looking for a wood top with different legs to create interest in the room – perhaps brass or black legs? Or do you prefer glass table tops? Once you’ve decided on the materials that you like, you’ll find it easier to narrow down your search.