It is hard to believe that summer is almost over, and soon we will be entering into the holiday season. You may have already started thinking about hosting a gathering for your friends and family. If this is true, you might want to take a look at your dining room, and ask yourself these questions, “Do you like your dining room table? Do you even like your dining room?” If you answered “no” to either question it’s time to start looking for a dining room table that is perfect for not only you and your family, but also your space.

As the focal point of the room you need to consider things like the size, shape and material of the dining room table, and also the size of the dining room. There are a plethora of dining room tables to coordinate with every design theme, so before you start shopping think about the style of your home, and make sure you pick a table that coincides with the overall look you are trying to achieve. Is your house modern, traditional, urban, etc.? With these questions in mind, let’s break it down to help you in your selection process. 

Shape: Square, Rectangular, Circular and Oval

  • The most common types of dining room tables are square and rectangular. They usually range from accommodating 6-12 people. If you have doubts about how many people you will need to fit at your table consider purchasing an extendable table or one with leaves. A square dining table will go best in a square room, but a rectangular table, depending on its width, needs a more open space. When doing your room measurements to see what size dining room table will work in your space make sure you account for the space you will need behind each chair for guests to be able to navigate the room comfortably. Either of these table shapes will work in a formal, modern, casual or traditional styled home.
  • Circular and oval tables are less traditional, but very popular in today’s modern homes. Circular tables can feel more intimate especially in smaller, square-shaped rooms. They invite conversation from guests and leave you with a less traditional feel because there is not a head of the table seat. They can usually accommodate a minimum of 6 guests, but the shape makes it easy to slide in an extra place setting. 

An oval table is a good option if you have a large family and a narrow dining room. They go well in rectangular shaped rooms, and usually can seat 8 guests minimum. Both of these shapes are good options if your home leans on the side of modern, urban, farmhouse or industrial. 

Materials and appearance: wood, veneer/wood-look, metal and glass 

  • Wood and solid-wood dining room tables are by far the most classic and traditional styles of tables, but they are often the most expensive. They are usually well constructed from timber like oak, acacia, teak and pine, and are sturdy, durable tables.  One con is that they can be prone to scuffs, warping and everyday wear and tear. 
  • A less expensive option is a table with a wood-veneer finish. You can achieve the same aesthetic as a wood table for a lot less money and many veneer dining room tables are just as durable as solid wood tables. Veneer tables can actually outlast many solid-wood tables because they are not subject to wood’s organic aging process.
  • Metal tables fit better in a more urban or industrial styled home. With many different options and material combinations, there are many table styles to choose from. Metal dining tables are easy to clean, highly durable and can be matched with many different room color combinations. They are, however, very heavy and often expensive, which are two things you may want to consider.
  • Glass dining room table tops are elegant and modern looking and can really enlarge the look of your dining room space. Glass table tops are usually paired with metal or wood bases which render many style options, and give you a blank palette to work with when picking chairs. Make sure you look for tables that are topped with tempered glass, which is more durable than regular glass. Keep in mind that you will have to clean a glass dining room table regularly. 

Now you have the basic information you need to help you select the best dining room table for your modern home. Remember, on average you will have this table for 5-10 years minimum, so choose wisely. Need suggestions? If you are trying to achieve a formal or modern look opt for a rectangular wood-veneer table that seats 6. Or, if you air on the urban or farmhouse side, pick a circular table that combines wood and metal for a unique, less traditional flare. If it is for a traditional home, a large solid-wood rectangular table will be your best bet. Whatever style of dining room table you choose, make sure you enjoy it, and hopefully it will be the place of memories you will never forget.