Top Tips For Choosing a Dining Table


You can transform the look and feel of your dining room with the right table – but choosing isn’t easy; there are so many options and no hard and fast rules.

So, we thought we’d ask our interiors’ experts and provide you with a run-down of top tips to help you select a table that will work for your home and lifestyle.

What’s its purpose?

Dining tables commonly serve a variety of functions. Perhaps your table is to play the host for all mealtimes as well as a place to work or is it only for special events and dinner parties.

How you choose to use your table will impact the type of table you choose – does it need to be hardy and practical, ready to stand up to everyday family abuse or are you looking for something a little more befitting for formal occasions – know what you will use your table for and you will begin to narrow down the options immediately.

Size matters

Buying a table you love and then finding out when it arrives it doesn’t fit is a sin. There are a few considerations to help you understand what size table your home can accommodate comfortably:

  • Ideally you need a minimum of 90cm between table edges and the wall or the next piece of furniture. If space is tight then 60cm is doable and will be enough for someone to sit, but not for someone to walk behind the chair.
  • As a general rule of thumb, rectangular and oval tables work best in rectangular spaces. Round or square tables work best in square spaces.
  • 90cm is a good minimum width/diameter to accommodate plates and serving dishes in the middle, but obviously is dependent on space available.

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And don’t forget if the room is snug you always have the option of an extending table – if you go down this route consider tables that have extension leaves at the end, rather than in the centre, because the table looks better as a whole when unextended and joins in the middle of tables are crumb traps.

Avoid knocked knees

Most tables need a frame to support the top (called the Apron/Skirt) – you need to ensure that there is an adequate amount of space under the top. A minimum recommendation is 60cm which would be suitable for most people.

If you’re particularly tall or those regularly sitting at your table are, you may want to measure legs (of the human variety) from the top of the knee to the floor, wearing a shoe and seated – this will ensure you choose a table that is comfortable to sit at.

The style choice

Choosing a style that compliments your décor and existing furniture can give you a better idea of what to look for.

Wooden tables look at home in traditional styled or rustic rooms; working well with furniture that has brown, mahogany and dark toned finishes. Lighter toned or painted tables work well in rooms that have a more modern, pared down feel.


Remember you don’t have to be predictable when it comes to dining furniture and don’t be afraid to mix things up; looking for different chairs can really take your dining table and the space it occupies to another level – some ideas include bringing in a settee or bench on one side of the table or mix and matching chairs around the table.

And let’s not forget comfort – you may want to avoid hard, tiny chairs – otherwise dinner guests won’t be staying long – consider cushions or upholstered seats for a relaxed and warm chair.

Getting through the door

There’s one thing considering the size of your room, but also make sure you purchase a table you can get through your front door and into the room of choice. If access is a squeeze into your home, look at whether your chosen table can be delivered with its top off or legless!

If you’d like to browse a selection of great dining tables visit our website.

  1. We are very pleased with our bookcase but please no more adverts, we are both 85 and are not looking for any more furniture,we recommended you to our son who has made apurches from you, many thanks for your service, Michael Fileman

    1. Hi Michael – I have removed you from our email list so you should no longer get any emails from us. Many thanks for your custom and recommendation.

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