Dining In: How to Pick the Perfect Dining Table

dining table display at La-Z-Boy Vancouver with white table settings, a cake, and green flowers
The dining table. It has always been the meeting place for the family to reconvene after a hard day’s work–the place where we share home-cooked meals, stories of our days, and hopefully share a lot more laughs than tears. Even if the dining table isn’t for eating at every day, it will still see its fair share of Christmas dinners, Thanksgiving lunches, and Birthday celebrations.

But, what makes a dining table a good one? With so much choice out there, it can be challenging to choose the right dining table for you. That’s why we asked Debbie Heal, merchandiser and product buyer for La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Vancouver.

Finding the Perfect Dining Table

When you’re looking to select a dining table, you should be aware of the critical elements of what you are looking for before you go in. That means knowing the size of table you are looking for and the shape.

If you don’t know what you are looking for and you need a table as soon as possible, here a couple of pointers to get you started:

Rectangular Tables

Rectangle tables are the most popular shape, and many of them come with a leaf to provide additional space when your significant others’ parents come over for dinner. A narrow rectangular table can add a striking impression to a long room.

Oval Tables

Another excellent option for a narrow room is the oval table. The oval table provides the same benefits of a rectangular table but seems to occupy less space because of the rounded edges. One drawback of the oval table is that it can be a little awkward for guests seated on the rounded corners.

Square Tables

As housing trends shift away from McMansions to an urban lifestyle in high rise condos, the need for a smaller table has become more prevalent. Although the square table is the least favourite table shape, it is in these smaller spaces that the square table becomes a star. The square table is best for 4 or fewer people, although many will also have a leaf, which will allow for a few more dining guests.

Round Tables

But, the square table isn’t the only option for a smaller space. The round table can enhance an intimate dining experience. An option for small groups, the round table isn’t ideal for guests larger than four as the more you increase the size of the table in diameter, the more disconnected a gathering can become. That disconnection can force guests to feel as though they need to shout across the table to communicate with the other guests.

How much space should be around a dining table?

For your guests to move comfortably around the table and not feel cramped you should allow 42-48 inches. If you’re planning to use a table with a leaf for larger gatherings, remember to measure the table with the leaf in so that you know it will comfortably fit even at its largest.

If you don’t have ample space for a table and chairs to fit comfortably, you don’t have to go without having one. Banquettes used to be something that was exclusively for restaurants, however over the past decade they have made their way into people’s homes and it’s no surprise why. Some of the benefits of a banquette are:

  • Flexibility. Whether it’s a breakfast nook or formal dining room, banquettes can transform a space for cozy morning to formal evening.
  • Transformative. They don’t have to be for the eat-in kitchen exclusively (although that’s where a majority of people use them) banquettes also can work in living rooms, formal dining rooms, or outdoor dining areas.
  • Storage Solutions. Their upholstered benches are not just a source of comfort, they also provide ample additional storage space, which is a massive bonus in a smaller kitchen.

What Style of Dining Table Should I Choose?

Now that the necessary but less exciting details have been taken care of, it is time to choose which style of dining table you want. This is where the shopping fun can begin. Dining tables come in a variety of styles including Country, Transitional, Traditional, Contemporary, Industrial, and Modern.

    • Country Style – the country style often features distressed or aged wood and are often bulkier in size. Country-style furniture usually has a handmade quality to it. Their rustic-style is flexible, suiting both downtown loft or classic family home.
    • Industrial – Founded on reclaimed and repurposed items, Industrial-style furniture has rustic elements but is machine made. A wood or metal tabletop and raw metal legs are the more common industrial-style dining tables.
    • Modern – Sleek lines, veneer or glass finishes, and the occasional sparkle of chrome are common with Modern-style dining tables. Often Modern dining tables will be rectangle because of the clean lines. A Modern dining table isn’t just furniture; it’s a living art piece.

Whichever style, shape, or size that you choose for your home, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries can help you find what you are looking for. Visit your local La-Z-Boy today and discuss your home furnishing needs with our interior design specialists at a free in-store consultation.

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