Dining Room and Kitchen Table Design Ideas

Andy Lindus
Written by Andy Lindus
Updated April 1, 2016
eight person dining table, gray tones, hardwood floors, chandelier
When choosing a dining table, it's important to consider the number of people it needs to seat as well as the room it will occupy. (Photo by Frank Espich)

Consider these factors when choosing the perfect kitchen or dining room table for your family.

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Most of us have fond childhood memories sitting at our dining room or kitchen table. Whether it was blowing out candles on a birthday cake, drawing a picture for our grandparents or feasting on Thanksgiving dinner, this table is a staple in most homes.

Dining tables are typically a significant investment, making them a piece of furniture that’s rarely replaced. Here’s what you need to know about picking the perfect table for your kitchen or dining room.

Table size

Consider the number of occupants the table will most often have and select a table that accommodates this number. If you occasionally hold larger group gatherings, opt for a drop-leaf table that you can adjust when necessary.

Placement of your table

Never purchase a table without verifying that it will clear the doorway of the room it's going to occupy. It’s also crucial to leave a gap of at least 36 inches on all sides so that occupants of the table have room to push their chairs in and out when sitting.

glass table, white chairs
A glass dining table has a reflective quality to it. (Photo by Getty Images)

Selecting the table material

Picking a material that already exists within your home will encourage an ambiance of unity. However, you'll probably move at some point, so keep that in mind when determining whether or not this table will be moving with you.

Glass tabletops are trendy and offer an element of reflectivity, which can make a room feel more illuminated. Their transparency can also make a room look larger, which is always good if you're dealing with a smaller space. A drawback to a glass tabletop is that they rarely have the ability to expand.

If you prefer a wooden table, do take into consideration that the darker the wood, the more formal the room will appear. Genuine wood tables have a longer shelf life than synthetic materials.

Also keep in mind the smoothness of the table's surface. Textured surfaces are gaining popularity, but they make writing or doing homework at the table difficult.

If it’s a conversation piece you seek, marble will garner the result you desire. It’s worth noting that marble is extremely heavy and is prone to cracking and staining. 

homework, kitchen
If the kids will use the table for homework, make sure the surface is smooth and not textured. (Photo by Doug McSchooler)

Consider the table's shape

If space is of a concern, opt for round table. This shape is perceived to be warm and inviting. It works well for families with young children because there's no sharp corners. A drawback of this style is that reaching across it can prove challenging.

If your home’s décor skews towards modern, the selection of a square table can convey this vibe.

If you’re continuously hosting group gatherings, choose a rectangular table, as they oftentimes come with leaves that you can use to expand the amount of people it can seat. Rectangular shaped tables work well in narrow spaces.

Opting for bench seating instead of chairs can also save you space.

Choosing the right color

Although shades of brown dominate the marketplace, you do have options when it comes to the table’s color.

Black exudes elegance. However, if the table has a veneered finish, it will be nearly impossible to camouflage any scratching.

Red, a color that restaurants frequently use because it can stimulate your appetite, works well for a dining room table. This is true of all primary colors.

Take care to stay away from overly trendy hues that will make a table feel dated in just a handful of years.

Do you love your dining room or kitchen table? Tell us what your ideal table looks like in the comments section below.  

As of April 1, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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