At first, it might seem simple enough to purchase a dining table. Go into your favourite furniture store, find a dining table you like, buy it! But you and I both know it’s not as straightforward as that. Similar to buying a sofa, there are many considerations that come into play when you’re thinking of furnishing your dining room. A dining table is the centerpiece of any dining room. It sets the tone and influences the mood of the dining room to a huge extent, and therefore becomes a very important piece of furniture for any homeowner.
To streamline the buying process, we’ve come up with 6 key considerations every homeowner has to make before deciding on a dining table. To be sure, there are more considerations, such as cost, which we didn’t include in this list, but the suggestions we make are absolutely fundamental points, and they will help you come to a satisfying decision faster! Let’s hop right into it!
1. Dining Table Size & Space
The first and most important consideration on this list is: SPACE, the amount of space you have to work with in your dining room. It’s critically important that a dining room, or any room for that matter, doesn’t become too cluttered or compacted with furniture. Empty space in a room is as important as the spaces that are filled up with furniture or other objects! It’s wonderful on the eyes, gives some breathing room, and allows for a flow of traffic. A dining room that is too compacted would not be comfortable on your guests. The table might seem bigger than it actually is, and the overall mood would be stuffy.
As a rule of thumb, each person should be given a 2-feet berth to be able to sit and eat comfortably without knocking elbows with the neighbors. There should be 3 to 4 feet between the table and any wall. This allows sufficient room for chairs to be pulled out for seating! You don’t want to buy an oversized dining table for your dining room only to discover the chairs can’t be pulled out before knocking on the walls!
Additionally, a small space isn’t necessarily a bad space. It just depends on how efficiently you make use of it. An overly large dining table can make even a large space feel small and cramped! Remember, find a size that fits snugly, with just enough room for traffic to flow!
Most dining tables are manufactured at a standard height. Commonly this is between 710 to 760 centimetres or 28 to 30 inches. Ordinarily, this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle if you aren’t too picky about dining table height. However, this can be a critical point of consideration if you’re particular. Say if you have a family member at home who is confined to a wheelchair, it becomes important then that there is enough height for the arms of the wheelchair to slide under the table.
Outside of special considerations like that, the height of a dining table should be sufficiently low to provide an ergonomic resting place for the arms. At the same time, it should be sufficiently high that it prevent knocking of the knees, or allows activities like eating a meal or working on a laptop comfortably without having to bend too far over.
Now comes the fun part, what shape would you like your dining table to be? Round tables tend to seat more people than rectangular or square tables. It also allows more of a connection between people, because you wouldn’t have to talk across the table if you want to converse with someone sitting a few spaces away from you. On the other hand, rectangular or square dining tables are more space-intelligent, allowing you to fill up corners or rooms efficiently. Alternatively, a round table, just like a round sofa, requires a lot of space to justify it’s shape.
As a general rule of thumb, round tables work better in a household that has family meals together often. Square or rectangular videos, on the other hand, work better with smaller homes. Of course, these are only general guidelines. A square table works just as well for a family, and a round table works just as well in a smaller space. It depends on your seating preferences and your dining room space in the end!
4. Dining Table Style & Material
Wood? Steel? Glass? Stone? Marble? Let’s say you choose wood. What kind of wood? There are hundreds, if not thousands of different kinds! From soft to hardwood, local and imported timbers, the choices that you have when picking materials are nearly endless! The materials you choose greatly affect the longevity of your dining table as well as it’s style. If you’re going for a long life on your dining table, go for hardwoods, tempered glass, metals, or even some kinds of mould-injected plastics. Lightweight or flat-pack designs composed of manufactured wood like plywood, veneer, or fibreboard will make for a much faster dining table life cycle.
If you prefer a more rustic, natural and airy dining room go for something like a weathered wood dining table. All the old nicks and scratches in it can be very aesthetically pleasing, and should bring out an excellent farmhouse feel. If you’re going for something sleek and swanky, don’t discount glass or marble! Glass or marble tops can be elegant, giving your dining room a very modern atmosphere.
Finally, like all products, dining tables have gimmicks. Certain features can elevate a dining table or help it fulfill a specific purpose. The most popular dining table features are table leaves which are extendable or collapsible folding tables! Table leaves allow you to create a larger table to host more guests for the occasional party. Think of a folding leaf, which hinges and folds down into the side of the table. A butterfly leaf feature allows the table to fold down the center, which remains hidden underneath when not in use. This way, you can keep your dining table a 6-seater set until you host a party. Then, you can unfold your table and turn it into an 8-seater! Dining tables with storage can help you store placemats, napkins, tablecloth and other dining accessories. This helps you declutter and organize your dining room better!
These are Fella Design’s 5 buying considerations when looking for a dining table! We hope the listing of these key points help you make your decision when buying your dining table. It’s a big decision and it takes out a chunk of your furnishing budget, so you should spend a good amount of time deliberating. Do check out Fella Design’s range of dining tables!