Choosing the right dining table seems simple enough, until you start measuring your space, taking into account all of the little details, and daydreaming about hosting dinner parties. We get it. It can feel a bit overwhelming to figure out exactly what size of dining table you should get, or what style would look best in your dining area or eat-in kitchen.
You’ll want to choose a dining table that complements your space and feels functional. And of course, you should opt for a piece of furniture that is built-to-last and sturdy.
How many people are you seating?
The size of the table you should get depends on how many people you will be seating. This can vary depending on the table type or shape. We’ve put together a dining table seating capacity guide to help you figure out what size and measurements are best based on how many people will typically be seated at your table!
There are also a few options to accommodate extra seating as needed:
Banquettes are rising in popularity. We see this especially in eat-in kitchens. These days people are driven to fit a higher occupancy into downtown homes, leading to more people living in smaller spaces. This had led to outside-the-box approaches to solving common problems with kitchen layouts – and a real uptick in demand for banquettes!
We frequently design and build custom tables to fit into banquettes. When we’re looking at building for banquettes, leg position and table overhand are important considerations.
Consider a pedestal table. We created the angular pedestal table, born from the same challenges that led to the banquette. An angular pedestal allows more people to be seated around a smaller table for those odd occasions where you may have guests, adding minimum impact to that valuable leg space real estate. We tell clients this everyday: there needs to be a balance between design and functionality. The angular pedestal is definitely the best option in this case as it looks quite stunning and is very functional.
Benches are also becoming very desirable. They allow more people to fit together around a smaller table. You’d think cozying up on a bench would mean your guests would be squished together and uncomfortable, right? But when all your needs are properly considered, a bench can offer comfortable seating with ample leg room for all. Another perk? You save on the cost of chairs! So, a bench can actually be a very cost effective option. We usually build benches 6" shorter than the table top as we think this looks proportionately balanced and this is an aesthetically pleasing and functional height.
How often will you have guests?
When considering what size of table to go for, consider how often you will be sitting at full capacity. Often, it is only once or twice a year, so going with a smaller table that fits your space better, is okay and is likely the best option.
The Best Options by Room Type
For Eat-in Kitchens
If you’re a condo dweller, chances are you don’t have a dining room. We see many condos and apartments with eat-in kitchens, especially as you get closer to downtown.
You’re typically working with a smaller square-footage when it comes to eat-in kitchens and so you’ll want to choose something that doesn’t feel overwhelming in the space. Often, we see bistro tables as the first choice for eat-in kitchens because they are compact and versatile. Not into the circular bistro table? Other shapes like ovals, racetracks or square can be excellent alternatives. Or, if the room allows it, consider a table with a banquette instead and give yourself a nice breakfast nook!
For open concept dining rooms
You have a lot more open space to play with when mapping out an open concept dining space. Make sure to leave ample room around the table and ensure that there is a flow between the rooms. Ideally, your table should be about 36 inches away from walls and other furniture. But, if you’re working with a bit of a tighter space you can get away with a little less.
You also have to consider how the elements from the attached rooms (like the kitchen or living room) might come into play, design-wise. That being said, in these cases it's important to find a balance in the design so that the furniture is not competing, but is instead complimentary.
Have an open concept kitchen/dining area? We can match your table to other wood elements in your space, like your wood counters, cabinets or ceiling beams. Alternatively, consider going high-contrast. For example, white kitchen cabinets can look incredible in a shared space with a dark stained wood table (think black walnut).
For closed off dining rooms
For your typical rectangular dining room, a standard rectangular dining table should look great. Because you don’t have the same openness or breathing room as an open concept dining space, you’ll want to make sure to leave extra ample room around the table for getting around. You don’t want your closed-off dining area to feel overcrowded.
Dining tables are pretty large pieces of furniture, so it’s important to choose a size that doesn’t overwhelm your dining area. Just like in an open-concept dining room, you’ll want to keep your table about 36 inches away from the walls.
A circular table can sometimes look a bit strange in a rectangular room. However, if you’re working with a square-shaped dining room, this can be an excellent choice as it helps to create a visual balance.
Find a Dining Table You Love
With careful consideration, and a little planning, you can choose a dining table that you’ll love for years to come. Contact us to learn more about building a custom dining table specifically for your space. We can work with you to meet your specifications and build your dream dining table.