Dining Tables

Dining Tables
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How to Choose a Dining Table

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 kitchen 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 dinner tables also makes pairing with 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 table. Here, learn how to choose one that will serve your household for years.

Dining Table Shapes

Four simple dining table shapes are suitable for almost every dining room: round, square, rectangular, and oval. Proportions are key to identifying the right table shape for your home. To maintain a sense of balance, you should choose a dinner table that is a similar shape 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 base shape – your dinner table’s legs can make a huge impact on your space. Standard table legs maximize the table's footprint and are best in larger rooms that can spare the floor space. Pedestal dining tables minimize the 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 set 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 space. To choose the right 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 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 kitchen tables for small spaces are typically round or square with neat pedestal bases, while long oval or rectangular options are perfect for grander dining rooms. 42” round tabletops 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.

Height matters, too. Standard dining tabletops are between 28” and 32” high, ideal for pairing with 18”–24” chairs. However, keep an eye out for table aprons, which will further limit your dining chair options. Dining chairs with arms may not fit under a table apron. Ideally, you should leave at least six inches of space between your table's apron and your kitchen chair seats.