Shape of Things to Come
Let’s talk dining tables, shall we? There are basically 4 basic dining table shapes: Round, Rectangle, Oval, and Square. And the choice of these shapes is driven by the size and shape of your dining room. How many guests you plan to host or how often you entertain also come into play. But it’s really the architecture of the room that’s key to which table you should choose. Let’s break it down:
I have to admit, I am very partial to a round dining table, particularly with a pedestal base. They work best in square spaces or a rectangular room that isn’t terribly long. I like them because they facilitate conversation between everyone seated, as opposed to just those at your end of the table. You can also always squeeze an extra chair or two around them, so unexpected guests are easily welcomed. Think about catered events you’ve been to, and the ridiculously tiny chairs squeezed around a round table. Rather than feeling cramped, it’s actually intimate and everyone always has a good time!
My second preferred shape, the rectangle, is perfect for larger rooms and for people who often entertain on a lavish scale. This is the classic dining table shape, unchanged over centuries, so it also feels a little more formal. For my Telluride project, I chose a long narrow table with large comfortable baronial chairs for eight. With extra table leaves, you can seat a large number of people around this shape.
An oval table is sort of the best of both worlds, sort of like you’re combining a round table and a rectangle. Kelly Wearstler has 14 chairs squeezed around her mammoth oval table, but it could easily accommodate a smaller group of 8. Oval tables are modern and versatile, but can be a teensy bit awkward for those seated at the rounded ends. Still, the oval table’s advantages outweigh the slight awkwardness, and there is no denying that they always look decidedly glamorous!
A square table works best where space is limited. You see them in restaurants frequently for that very reason - they make efficient use of space to seat two or four. That’s also the square table’s drawback, they can only seat two or four. I’m not a fan of the squares that seat eight with two on a side. If you have that much room, use a round or rectangle. An exception to the square rule is when used at a sweet little nook like this. With the round edges so no one is injured as they slide in and out, I can picture my entire family snuggled in here for breakfast.
Which style table do you prefer? And for more dining inspiration, please visit my Dine Divinely Pinterest board.