Modern Dining Tables
Characterized by attractive yet functional simplicity, mid-century modern dining tables can set the stage for accommodating and well-designed dining rooms. Both mid-century and contemporary modern dining tables forego traditional carvings and embellishments in favor of sleek lines, gentle curves, and striking silhouettes that would fit perfectly in both minimalist and maximalist spaces alike. The simplicity of modern dining tables also makes pairing with dining chairs – especially modern dining chairs, – a breeze.
Beautifully designed and constructed to last a lifetime, the modern dining tables available at Design Within Reach are testaments to the core characteristics of a good dining table. Here, learn how to choose a modern dining table that will serve your household for years.
Dining Table Shapes
Four simple dining table shapes are suitable for almost every dining room: round dining tables, square dining tables, rectangular dining tables, and oval dining tables. Proportions are key to identifying the right dining table shape for your home. To maintain a sense of balance, you should choose a dining room table that is proportional to your dining room. Simply put, square and round dining tables are good for square rooms, while long, oval and rectangular dining tables are good for long, rectangular rooms.
Don’t overlook dining table base shape – your dining table’s legs can make a huge impact on your space. Standard dining table legs maximize the footprint of your dining table and are best in larger rooms that can spare the floor space. Pedestal dining tables minimize your dining table’s silhouette and afford diners a little more leg room. Plus, at the end of a meal, you can push dining chairs or benches under the table without resistance, giving your dining table a neat look when it’s not in use.
Dining Table Sizes
A functional dining table should be large enough to seat your household and some guests, but not so big that it inhibits easy movement throughout your dining room.
To choose the right dining table size to seat your household and guests, make note of how many place settings you think you’ll need. A standard place setting is 18”–24” wide (or wider, if you choose wide dining chairs) and 15”–18” deep. The minimum recommended dining table dimensions for four people (one on each side of a square or round dining table) are 30” by 30”. If you’d like more room for serving platters and centerpieces, choose a table that is 36” deep or deeper. Small dining tables for small spaces are typically round or square tables with neat pedestal bases, while long oval or rectangular dining tables are perfect for grander dining rooms. 42” round dining tables make ideal small dining tables for four people.
When choosing a dining table size, you must also think about how it will fit into your space. To allow comfortable movement at or around the table, you should leave at least 36” between the table’s edges and surrounding walls or furniture.
Dining table height matters, too. Standard dining tabletops are between 28” and 32” high, ideal for pairing with 18”–24” dining chairs. However, keep an eye out for dining table aprons, which will further limit your dining chair options. Dining chairs with arms may not fit under a dining table apron. Ideally, you should leave at least six inches of space between your dining table apron and your dining chair seats.
Dining Table Materials
Solid wood dining tables are timeless, mid-century modern favorites for their durability and versatility of design. Though wood can scratch or dent, wood dining tables can be repaired or refinished to look like new. For a light, versatile option, consider a white oak dining table; for a darker option that still carries warmth, consider a maple dining table.
Contemporary modern dining tables often feature more experimental material combinations that suit their more unique, monolithic silhouettes. In the contemporary modern category, discover sculptural stone and marble dining tables, unique choices that can visually pay off in a modern dining room. They can establish stunning contrast with wood or metal dining chairs and instantly create a tone of sophistication in a space.
Durable and easy to manufacture, metal is a common material for dining table legs or bases. A dining table with a solid wood or stone top and a plain or painted metal base can be an affordable alternative to a solid wood or stone table. Glass is also a very common tabletop material for modern dining tables, due to its unparalleled shine and transparency. A glass tabletop can display sculptural dining table legs and prevent a large dining room table from weighing down a space.
White dining tables and black dining tables are also popular in contemporary modern or minimalist dining rooms for their ability to serve as neutral backdrops.
A hub of dining and entertaining, the dining room is central to so much festive activity. As such, it’s essential to furnish your dining room to accommodate all the holiday meals and family gatherings you’d like to host there. Add finishing touches: fall dining table decor and holiday centerpieces from Design Within Reach. For the confidence that your modern dining table will stand the test of time, no matter its material, shop dining tables at Design Within Reach.
At Design Within Reach, we’re here to answer questions and more, with complementary design services to support you at every step of your interior design journey. Our staff of in-store design professionals can give advice and recommendations via chat, photos, and live video. They can also do 3-D renderings of your rooms so you can see how an arrangement might work. Look for the black chat icon at the lower right of webpages.