A Buyer's Guide To Dining Tables
Dining tables are a big investment, so don’t just shop for aesthetics, shop for quality, too.
WHAT STYLE DINING TABLE TO CHOOSE?
Your dining table shouldn’t solely be picked to match the chairs it goes with; it may need to complement your kitchen cabinetry and living room furniture as well. To help you make the right choice, start by answering these questions:
Want a contemporary look? Pale and dark woods or a combination of materials are good choices for a modern feel. Slim tabletops, sleek lines, sharp angles, and tapered style legs are all details to look out for.
What’s on-trend? Industrial style dining tables for a relaxed feel often consist of a combination of reclaimed wood and metal (check out our Brunel and District Eight ranges). Glossy designs such as the Evoque range works wonderfully for smart, streamlined rooms.
Do you prefer a traditional feel? Warm shades of wood, thicker table legs and minimal detailing will help to give your dining room a laidback look that is practical and fuss-free. When buying wood, opt for teak as it is considered the best material for durability and appeal.
Want to create a country cottage-style room? Chunky legs and chunky tabletops or reclaimed wood and distressed finishes all add up to creating a rustic-look. In darker spaces, give thought to a whitewash finish; in very bright rooms, darker woods can look dramatic.
Is your dining space on the small side? Lighter colours, tones, and shades as well as reflective materials will help to stretch a space and make it appear larger. The shape also plays an important part too. Circular dining tables, such as the Constance round dining table, can comfortably seat as many diners as a square or rectangular table could, with a much larger footprint. If you genuinely prefer to have a rectangular table, why not pair it with a bench instead of chairs to help save space?
Should my furniture co-ordinate? Buying a dining table isn’t just about a single purchase. There’s no doubt that you’ll be picking out chairs and perhaps storage items, such as a sideboard or dresser too. Your furniture pieces needn’t match but you should aim for unity, perhaps in your choice of materials or textures. Bear in mind that co-ordinating furniture will help make a small room seem more streamlined.
Is it fit for purpose? If you have children or if you’ll be using the table as an extra kitchen worktop, you’ll need a durable table. Reclaimed or distressed wood is the ideal choice since knocks and bumps will add to its character (or it can always be rubbed down and refinished).
IS THE DINING TABLE THE RIGHT SIZE FOR YOUR ROOM?
The quickest way to find out whether the dining table you want will fit into your space is to lay newspaper on the floor, ensure to allow space between the newspaper and the walls for your dining chairs or any other furniture pieces. Allow at least 60cm between the table and the wall, but ideally more - 90cm is perfect. Table heights also vary so if you're buying dining chairs separately, always check the measurements carefully to get the correct height.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN THE DINING TABLE SIT?
For a square or rectangular table, allow between 55cm and 60cm per place setting. For a circular table, allow around 75cm. If the chairs you plan on selecting have arms, it’s advised that you add another 10cm per place setting - so reckon on 70cm per seat.
HOW TO CHECK FOR QUALITY
A dining table should sit firmly on its legs without a single rock or wobble when you apply pressure. Dovetailed joints are a traditional method and will make the furniture very sturdy; dowelled joints are also used. Inexpensive furniture may be screwed together or simply stapled. Solid wood tables are heavier than those made with wood veneer, solid wood also tends to have blemishes which are part of its appeal, whereas veneers are usually more consistent in appearance.
WHAT TO ASK WHEN YOU ORDER
Check whether your furniture will be delivered fully assembled. If so, ensure that it will fit through any narrow corridors or doorways. Tables sometimes have detachable legs, making access easier.