The dining table is the focal point of any dining room. It is one of the most important aspects and needs to be carefully considered when redecorating this room. Size, shape and materials are just as important as the style and should work well together while benefiting your families needs. The happier you are with the selection you made the more likely it will be used.

Dining Table Size

The size of the family living under one roof will usually determine table size but there are more questions to ask yourself. Do you entertain often or like having dinner parties? Are your children's friends over for dinner a couple times a week? Is your family growing or is anyone planning on moving in or out? If you occasionally have a couple friends over it would be best to find a table that either has enough room so that a couple extra chairs would fit comfortably or one that extends with a leaf. If large parties are an every week occurrence it would be best to find a large table that extends to double its length. A very common choice is a table with enough room for 6 that extends for 8-10. Most families would fit on this table without it looking cramped or oversized and most dining rooms are designed with that in mind.

Of course if the room is quite small or very large you will need to adjust the table size so that it does not look out of place. You do not want to be cramped; you should be able to pass by if someone is seated without bumping into them. Also, you do not want a large gaping room and should try and fill in the space.  

Dining Table Shape

The typical shapes available are square, rectangular, round and oval. Square tables fit really well in square rooms while rectangle tables fit perfectly in a rectangular room. Seems like the obvious choice but you could also switch those options as long as you have something to balance the extra space with like a buffet or hutch. Round or oval tables are great for small spaces and you can usually get more chairs around them.

Materials and Style

I find that these two options can go hand in hand. Some materials work better with different styles while others go well with any style. 


Can be made from any wood species but I would recommend using a harder wood so that it has a longer wear. Alternately, you could use a soft wood that scratches and gouges easily if you are looking for the character. Can be stained or painted to match surrounding décor and also has the ability to be refinished if you ever change your mind. Wood is common in all design styles from rustic to modern.


Tempered for added strength and safety. Can be made from clear or coloured glass in any texture or frost. Shapes are endless but the base must be made from a different material. The downside of glass is that fingerprints and dust are noticeable and it could get scratched or cracked. There is no way to fix a glass table top except for replacing it. Used often in contemporary or traditional design.


Many metals are available from stainless steel to copper. Some age and patina while some never change. Can dent or scratch easily but are harder to break. Depending on the metal used, they can work well in any design style. Copper for a rustic or country dining room and stainless steel for a contemporary home.

Once you know the size you need, the shape best suited for the room and the material to use you should be able to find something that you will love for years to come.

Word of the Day: Acid Etching

A process of etching glass using hydrofluoric acid. 

AuthorCamille Pacori