One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a dining room is to use the wrong shape of table. There’s nothing worse than having to squeeze against the wall in a dining room just to seat yourself at the table. The choice of which shape is right is driven by the size and shape of your dining room, how many guests you plan to host, and how often you entertain. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular dining table shapes and where they work best.
A round dining table works best in square spaces or a rectangular room that isn’t terribly long. I like this shape because it facilitates conversation between everyone seated, as opposed to just those at your end of the table. You can also always squeeze an extra chair or two around them, so unexpected guests are easily welcomed. It can feel intimate rather than cramped.
A rectangular table is perfect for larger rooms and for people who often entertain on a lavish scale. This is the classic dining table shape, unchanged over centuries, so it also feels more formal. And with extra table leaves, you can seat a lot of people around this shape. The only limit to the number of guests and seats is the length of the room. I’ve seen rectangular tables that seat as many as 20. The general rule of thumb is you should be able to have at least 36 inches of space between the table and the wall, so keep that in mind.
An oval table like the one above gives you the best of both worlds between a round table and a rectangle. Oval table shapes have a contemporary look and are great in transitional or modern spaces. They are very versatile, too, giving you plenty of space to squeeze in one more chair when needed.
A square table works best where space is limited. You see them in restaurants frequently for that very reason – they make efficient use of space to seat two or four. That’s also the square table’s drawback, the largest one only seats 8. That makes this a great shape for a breakfast nook or small dining room.
5. The Rounded Rectangle
Another interesting hybrid shape includes the rounded rectangle – basically a rectangular shape without the sharp corners. This has the same pros and cons as a rectangular table, but the rounded edges make it easy to move around if you’re going to have a tight fit with a lot of guests. It also removes a bit of formality from the design of the table.
Use these ideas to select the perfect table for your dining room. And to see more table designs and dining room ideas, click here.