There are so many shapes and sizes of dining tables. Which one is right for you? The look of your table is important, of course, but making sure it fits your space and gives enough seating is even more critical.
Your table needs to allow for the number of diners you want to seat comfortably and still leave enough room for to walk around it. The width of your table should be at least 36 inches wide so there is ample space for place settings as well as food. Typically, as the table length increases, so does the width of the table top. Read on for sizes and shapes to consider when shopping for a dining room table.
Measure table-to-wall clearance. Measure the space around the room. To allow diners to sit down and get up easily from their seats, try to leave 42-48″ between your table and the walls.
Measure table-to-furniture clearance. If there is furniture in the dining space, begin your 42-48″ measurement from the edge of the furniture instead of the wall.
My crazy way of measuring. To test out a table size in a room I grab a bed sheet or two, place it where the table will go, and fold it into the shape of the table. This allows me to visualize the space it will take up. Then I can measure the wall/furniture-to-table clearance. If your table has leaves, include them in your calculations.
Don’t overcrowd your table. The table manufacturer should recommend the number of people that can comfortably be seated without touching elbows while eating.
Each person needs about 2 feet of eating space. Of course, if your table allows for it, you might be able to squeeze in another seat or for those occasional larger gatherings.
Round tables are great for small spaces. They fit in tight spaces and have no sharp corners to bump into. You can usually fit more people around it because it has no corners. Pedestal tables are even better, as they offer more legroom.
Add transparent acrylic chairs to show of a beautiful table and make a small room feel more spacious.
Seating size for a round table. I usually stick to this calculation to begin looking for round tables. Manufacturers may offer different recommendations, and you might be able to add more seating for a tighter fit. Also keep in mind that using a pedastal base allows more seating because it eliminates the legs that can get in the way of a chair.
3′ with a pedestal base seats 4
4′ with legs seats 4
5′ with a pedestal base seats 6
5′ with legs seats 4
6′ with pedestal base or legs seats 8
7′ with pedestal base or legs seats 9
Note: Large round tables can make it difficult to reach for food. Rectangular shapes seem to work better for seating very large crowds.
Seating size for a rectangular table. These are the sizes I stick to when looking for rectangular tables. Again, manufacturers may offer different recommendations, and you might be able to add more seating for a tighter fit.
4′ long seats 4
5-6′ long seats 6
7′ long seats 8
8-9′ long seats 10
10-11′ seats 12
Go big on the table and small on the seating. When looking to take up less room in a space, try a bench instead of chairs on all or one side of your table. Make sure you can push the bench under the table so you can stash it away when not in use.
Go square. If your room is square, a square table, like a round one, makes for a more intimate dining experience because everyone is an equal distance apart. Also it will look great mimicking the room shape around it.
Like the round table, the bigger a square table is, the harder it will be to reach for food. If you are looking to seat more than eight people comfortably, try out your table in person. You might be better off with a square table that comes with leaves that you can turn into a rectangular shape for a dinner party.
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