Choosing a dining room table is more complex a task than you may have previously thought. The dining table is where you’ll share many memories, such as holiday meals and heartfelt after-dinner conversations. As a result, you’ll want to ensure your dining room furniture can meet all your hosting, logistical, and style needs.

There are many styles, shapes, and sizes to choose from, which can make the decision overwhelming. With these tips, you’ll find the perfect dining room table that exactly meets all your wants and needs.

1. Consider the Table’s Size

The size of your table can affect both its functionality and its aesthetic in your home. A table that’s too big can make a room look small. A table that’s too small may make it impossible for you to host the large parties you’ve been dreaming of.

When it comes to the dining room table’s size, consider both the size of the room and the size of your audience. Your family and guests should be able to comfortably stand and push back their chairs at the table. For this to occur, the rule of thumb is to leave 36 inches minimum between the wall and the edge of the table, although 42 to 48 inches is ideal. You’ll also want to ensure each person at the table has approximately 30 inches of elbow room.

Now, consider how many people will be sitting at your table on a regular basis. If you have a small family and don’t entertain much, you can get away with a small table with four chairs. If you have a large family or host many parties, a larger table that can seat 12 might be ideal.

If you only host a few family dinners a year, consider purchasing a dining room table with a removable leaf, so you can expand the table to fit more people when needed. This is also an excellent option if you plan to grow your family in the near future.

2. Consider the Shape

When it comes to choosing a dining room table, you have different shapes to consider, such as the classic rectangular style, oval, and round. How do you know which one is best for your home?

The rectangular look is the most popular due to its functionality and form. Its clean, straight lines offer a clean visual. Its size often makes it ideal for large holiday parties or big family dinners.

The round dining room table is best for small spaces, since it fits into more compact dining room. Circular tables with glass tops and pedestal legs, in particular, can open up small spaces and make them look less cramped.

Round tables are also ideal when it comes to setting a more intimate setting—guests sit more closely together at these tables. They’re ideal if you plan to seat six people or fewer.

Oval tables offer the best of both worlds. They give you the functionality of a rectangular table but the visual design of a round table due to its rounded corners. They’re great for both smaller and narrow rooms.

3. Consider Your Style

Once you’ve decided on a size and shape, it’s time to consider your style. Again, you’ll have many options to consider.

If you’re looking for a minimalist look, consider a metal table. Salvaged wood tables are on trend right now, especially when placed in modern spaces. A rustic table is also a great choice for the eco-conscious shoppers. Acrylic and glass tables are best for small apartments. You’ll want to consider the style of your kitchen or living area if your dining room is open concept—you’ll want the table to look like an extension of the room.

Once you better understand your needs, shopping for a new dining room table can be a breeze.

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