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  • Ruth, Photography by BWRM

Dine in Style

I know that visualising a project before it's completion can often be a challenge. To help you create the perfect table for your space, I've put together a handy little list how many guests you can fit comfortably at different sizes of tables, as well as some handy tips for choosing the best size and shape table for your dining space. While it can sometimes be hard to find a complete dining set in the size and shape you want, with my help you can pick your ideal table top, table base and chairs. Follow my directions to find the perfect size and shape for your dining area.

An in depth look at what shape and size dining table you need and how many people each table accommodates.

Looking to buy a properly sized dining set? There are many factors to consider before making your selection: Do you have a small dining room? Do you entertain often? How many seats will you need? In this blog post I’ll provide useful tips for understanding table seating capacities in order to determine what shape and size dining table best meets your needs. 

Let's start with Your Room

The first thing you'll want to consider is the size of your dining space. Generally speaking, you'll want to leave about 900mm of space around the table, meaning 900mm between the edge of the table and your walls or furniture pieces. This allows for a good amount of space to move around the table, and makes it easier to pull out chairs and sit or stand without awkward contortionist moves.

If you have the space, I recommend leaving 1200mm between the edge of the table and the entrance to the room, so your guests aren't squeezing past each other on their way to the table.

For example, say you have a 3.7m by 3m dining room, with the entrance on the long wall, and you want a rectangular table. At most, you'll want a table that is about 1800mm long by 900mm wide (this allows for 1200mm between the room entrance and the table, and 900mm between the table and other three walls). Make sure to account for other furniture in the room, such as a buffet or drinks cart, and shrink your table accordingly. If you are worried about occasional events such as holidays, where you'll need to seat more people, consider a table that can expand. That way, you'll have good flow around the table most of the time, and only have to squeeze when you really need the extra space for guests.

Table Shape

The best shaped table for you will depend on your dining space, what type of entertaining you usually do, and the number of guests you plan to accommodate. Rectangular dining tables are the most traditional and popular choice, but square and round tables are having their moment, especially in open plan spaces. They are more inviting and easy for conversation and create more ambiance.

Rectangular tables are the most popular, traditional options for homes, as they tend to fit in standard dining space well and can accommodate a good number of guests. Using the rules of thumb in the "Your Room" section above, you can determine what size rectangular table you can fit in your space. Do not be afraid to go narrower on the width though, as it can actually help create a more intimate dining experience, bringing people closer together. A 28" to 30" wide table can feel very personal and cozy, while wider tables can start to feel a bit more formal. Keep in mind though, if you have a very large space, a narrow table may look undersized.

If rectangular tables are too angular for your tastes, try an oval shaped table for a softer look.

Square tables are very modern and trendy, and work great as counter height or bar height options. Square tables are great for conversation, as you can see everyone around the table easily.

Square tables have also a great amount of space in the middle, leaving you plenty of room for shared dishes and creative centre-pieces.

Bumping your square table up to counter height (900mm) or bar height (1100mm) can make it feel more unique and casual, a great addition for your outdoor area. Taller tables also work well in open-plan spaces, as their added height helps to visually separate the dining zone without shunning it to a separate room.

On the other hand, square tables take up a lot of space, much more than you would think, and can visual dominate a room, though going with a reflective like a hi-gloss/polished stone finish or transparent glass table top, can make it appear smaller . While they can be great for conversation since you can see everyone at once, extra space in the centre can also make it harder to pass dishes across the table.

Overall, if you have a large enough space, square tables are an excellent choice. They are less common, therefore more unique, and can make a dramatic statement in your dining space. A compact 900mm square table can seat 4 comfortably and fit well in space that's only 4sqm. To accommodate 8 guests without squeezing, plan on a table that is at least 1500x1500mm (but you can squeeze 8 at a 1200x1200mm square table, if you don't mind a bit of elbow bumping).

Round tables, like square options, are great for a more intimate dining experience, as you can see and converse with everyone at the table easily. Round tables also have ample room in the centre for shared dishes, or a beautiful centre-piece.

The downside to round tables is they are less space efficient, you may have to go with a smaller table or a larger space to make it work. In addition to real space, round tables can take up a good amount of visual space, and like square options, it's easy for them to look too large for your room. A good trick is going with reflective or transparent surface materials, such as polished stone or glass. Those materials will bounce light around to help the space feel less cramped.

A 900mm diameter table can accommodate 4 people, but it will be a bit of squeeze and you won't have much space for shared dishes. A Dia1200mm table can usually accommodate 5-6 people, but for larger groups, you'll want a table that is Dia1500mm in diameter or even larger.

Custom Shapes: Of course, if you want to go for something truly different and unique, you can always have a custom table made! That's the beauty of custom design, sourcing a table base separately and add a bespoke table top to fit your needs and design aesthetic, the possibilities are endless!

For help picking a base and top for your custom table, call on 0419135640

Design is my passion. Let me help you create your dream home.

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