Decorating Basics: Dining Room Tables
The kitchen or dining room table is where timeless memories are made—it’s where families gather to talk about their days and where holiday meals are enjoyed. When trying to decide on a table that’s both functional and stylish, consider these tips.
5 Steps to the Perfect Dining Room Table
1.) Assess the space. Measure your dining area, then choose a table that allows for at least a 3’ perimeter. That’s enough room to easily scoot chairs in and out and comfortably move around the room. Be sure the table’s small enough to accommodate other furniture, like a china cabinet or buffet.
2.) Consider your needs. If you don’t do a lot of entertaining, there’s no reason you need an oversized table—a small table tucked in a corner is perfect for cozy family meals. If you host a lot of dinner parties, consider a bigger table. Or get both benefits with an expandable model.
Tip: It’s easy to expand seating options at a small dining room table! Set a large piece of medium-density fiberboard on top, then cover it with a decorative tablecloth.
3.) Think about shape. Square tables are perfect for intimate occasions and rectangular tables seat the most people. But to encourage interaction at everyday and holiday dinners, consider a round table. Or go with an oblong design that seats many and sparks conversation.
4.) Choose the material. Knotted wood picnic-style tables have a rustic feel, whereas wire tables create an outdoorsy vibe. If you want something sophisticated and classic, consider a sleek wood table or for a bold modern look, try a colorful acrylic or glass-topped table.
5.) Pick a finish. Painted or stained? Matte or high gloss? Think about how much use your table will get. A stained or au naturale wood table will stand up to constant use, whereas a painted table’s perfect for occasional dinner parties and formal meals. If you’re painting your own table, consider bright, bold colors like orange and purple. For a farmhouse feel, paint the table white, then distress with sandpaper.