A dining table that is too small makes meal times cluttered, disorderly, and uncomfortable. A dining table that is too large may strain conversations and make people feel awkward or alienated. If the table is way too large for the floor space, everyone might end up with their chairs against the wall, which makes going to and from their seats a struggle every meal time.
For sure, you want mealtimes to be a relaxed and comfortable time where everyone on the table enjoys great food and good company. For this to happen, you have to invest time and effort in finding a dining table that's just the right size and form.
What are your needs now and in the near future?
The key to a successful purchase lies in the accurate estimation of your needs. Before you shop for a new dining table, evaluate the current situation at home. How many people dine there regularly? Do you receive guests often? Do you entertain frequently so that guests figure importantly in the estimation? To determine the number of places, include every person who eats at the house regularly and then add two more places. These are for guests who arrive unbidden and accept your impromptu invitation to dine. To avoid overcrowding, it is advisable to allot extra space for other people.
What are the important measurements to take?
To avoid bumping elbows with the next person, everyone must have a comfortable "personal space" on the table, which is at least 24 inches in width. This space allows you to add a place or two when company arrives and stays in for dinner and you can be confident there won't be overcrowding. If you don't want chairs to bump against the wall every time somebody stands up and sits back down, there ought to be a 32-inch space between the walls of the room and the dining table.
What is the ideal table shape for a small dining area?
While you may have a certain preference in terms of the shape of the table, you must base the final decision on other considerations, such as the number of seats, and the dimensions of the room. For instance, if the space is rather limited, it is best to avoid shapes with sharp corners. That rules out square and rectangular tables. Round tables allow for more people to sit down to dinner if the floor space is already confining. To promote the illusion of space and airiness, choose a table with a light color and fine lines. The chairs must not be bulky as well. Curves are also more inviting, so much so that round tables give the dining area a sense of informality that immediately puts people at ease.
You can always go for the classic rectangular table, especially if the room you have is narrow and long. This is the preferred choice for large families that require more than five seats. The most important thing to remember is to choose based on your needs instead of trends and styles that other people are choosing for their own families.
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