The central piece in any dining room is the table. It takes up a prominent space and sets the tone for the entire room. Before you buy think not only about the style and size but also about what kind of mood and environment you want to create. Dining room tables are usually a pretty big purchase so you want to be sure to get the right one.
Dining room tables come in many different materials. Every type of wood, glass, marble, slate; the list goes on. There are also different variations within each material. For instance, once you've decided on a wood table you need to decide what type, color, finish, and more. The best thing to do is to figure out what style you like and then decide whether or not it suits your lifestyle. If you have young kids and things get spilled a lot, a classic French polished mahogany table may not be the best choice. Instead choose something that won't show watermarks such as a polished marble or glass. If you really want wood go for a more rustic piece that gets better with age as it develops a patina.
Dining Room Table Sizes
Round tables are conducive to conversation but you can't fit as many people as you can at a rectangular table. Round tables usually have a diameter of 48" (seats four), 54" (seats six) and 60" (seats eight). You can always squeeze more people in but seating a lot of people at a round table takes up more visual space than seating the same number at a rectangular table. A standard size for a rectangular table that seats eight people is about 36" x 72".
Dining room tables are usually 30" high, however it's very important that you check this before buying because there are some that are lower. If you purchase a lower table you'll need to make sure you get the right size chairs as well. Otherwise eating a meal at the table could be very uncomfortable.
Dining Room Table Styles
Traditional Oval – Traditional oval dining room tables are classic and beautiful. Often made of mahogany or cherry they're the kind of thing that gets handed down through families. Antique versions can usually be found at auctions and estate sales and new versions are sold in many furniture stores. They often come with removable leaves making them practical as the size can change depending on the number of people you need to seat.
Round Pedestal – These types of tables are easy to sit at because there are no legs getting in the way – just a single pedestal in the middle. Traditional wood and marble versions date back hundreds of years but they've come a long way. There are now many modern (or mid-century) versions available on the market that have a more fluid look to them and suit more contemporary settings.
Rustic Modern – This style has become really popular over the last few years. The style is streamlined and modern (usually rectangular) but the material is rough-hewn. Worn woods are popular, as are rough natural materials such as slate. Another very popular look right now is the mix of wood and metal.
Trestle – Trestle tables are made of two or three trestles that make up the table base and support a long piece that makes up the table surface. This is a really old style of table and it look best in casual settings.
Farmhouse – Farmhouse style dining room tables are just as they sound. They're relaxed and rustic and could often be found in farmhouse kitchens and dining rooms. They're typically made of pine and have a very laid-back feeling to them.
These styles are just the beginning. Dining room tables come in many different styles, sizes and materials so be sure to look around and see what's out there before you make a decision.