Have you been eating from the same dining table for years now? Have the knicks and dents become too much to bear? Maybe it’s time to update the look and style and refresh this timeless furniture piece. Perhaps it’s just time to bring your Calgary dining table into this century.
Whatever your reasons for purchasing a new dining table, it needs to fit your personal style, but also the space that it will fit into.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to dining room tables, from style, to size, to shape and material. So where do you even start to find the right one for your home and family?
Consider these key tips before you find the dining table you love and are ready to invest in.
Ensuring the dining room table is the right size for the room is critical. A table that is too large may overwhelm the space, and you risk not having adequate space to walk around. And if you choose a dining room table that’s too small, the room can feel empty and off-balance.
First, take measurements of the room, and using graph paper or a computer program, draw a scale diagram. From this, you can play around with dining table sizes to see what will look best given the room’s size.
Don’t forget to include both the dining table and chairs when you’re measuring! You need to keep at least three feet of space between your chairs and the wall (or other pieces of furniture), so you and your guests have enough space to move around the table.
As you’re figuring out the right size, keep in mind that you should allow 24″ for each place setting so people can comfortably eat without hitting elbows. It’s often suggested to base the size of the table on the number of people who would usually be seated at every meal, plus two. Of course, if your family is large already, this may not be possible.
When you’re in the Home Evolution showroom, sit at the dining room table and visualize your family eating meals around the table, as well as entertaining guests. Do you like the way the material feels? Can you comfortably fit the number of people you want?? Is there enough leg-room without hitting the table supports? When you tuck yourself in, as you would to eat, do your knees knock against anything? Are you able to cross your legs?
When it comes to dining room tables, there are so many different shapes and sizes that you will undoubtedly be able to find one you love, but the choice can be overwhelming. Which style is right for you?
This style of dining table can offer less flexibility to squeeze in an extra chair or two if the occasion calls for it. A table with thinner legs, or where the legs are at the corners like the Infinite dining table will make it easier to add chairs. However, in general, if you’re looking for a dining room table that will extend so that more people can comfortably fit around it, a pedestal dining table or trestle table provides more flexibility.
The Infinite Dining Room Table
Trestle tables have supports at either end of the table, leaving room along the sides to add additional people. Depending on how the table is constructed, seating at the ends of the table can be limited. When shopping, check out the space between the edge of the table and where the trestle supports are attached and see if there is room to add an additional chairs.
A pedestal dining table has a centre base, making it easier to add additional seating. On the downside, large round pedestal dining room tables can be a little less sturdy than those with four legs.
If you’ll be using your dining table for entertaining guests and want to avoid “squeezing people in”, consider an extendable dining table. You can choose tables that have a removable middle section or those that extend with a few quick maneuvers. Extendable dining tables are an ideal style choice for people needing flexibility of size.
You might have a preference of dining table shape that you would like, however, the shape of the room itself can play a big factor in what’s the best style for the space. For example, a rectangular dining table in a square room might look lopsided.
Square and rectangular dining tables are the most common, so you’ll find a great variety of styles, designs and sizes in these shapes. However, a round or oval dining table can give you a little more space to move around since it cuts off the corners but still has a good surface area.
A rectangular table is the most common shape and are often more flexible since many come with leaves that extend the length. A rectangular table works well in a long, narrow room as it leaves more space for traffic flow.
Rectangular dining tables also work well with bench seating instead of individual chairs on one or both sides. This is a good option if the number of people eating changes regularly. If you have kids who often bring friends over, bench seating can easily accommodate more people as needed. A bench can also be stashed under the table when not in use providing extra space in the room. In general, you need just less than 1-foot of length for each person. For example, a 4-foot-long table seats four, a 5-to 6-foot-long table seats six and a 10- to 11-foot-long table seats 12.
The Matera rectangular dining table has an extendable leaf to increase the table when needed.
A square dining table fits best in a square room and can also be a perfect dining table for a couple, or in a small apartment/condo. With a square dining room table, everyone is seated an equal distance apart which allows for great conversation flow. If you love to entertain, find a square dining tables with leaves so it can extend into a rectangular table.
Round dining tables are ideally suited to smaller square shaped rooms and can create a cozy setting.
Round dining tables are versatile and can often be converted into a larger oval shape with a leaf. Round tables are great for a kitchen-dining combined space, in breakfast nooks or casual dining areas. Round dining tables are popular in the pedestal style, offering plenty of legroom when more guests are added to the table.
One of the most important considerations is how and where your table will be used. Will it also be used as a kitchen table? Will it double up as a craft table for the kids or a homework table for your teens? If this is the case, durability and a surface that won’t damage easily is your best bet.
On the other hand, if it’s going to be a formal dining table used only on special occasions, you aren’t restricted to a material or finish that must face daily wear and tear.
Common dining table materials include:
Solid wood is a popular choice of material for a traditional or rustic dining table because it is sturdy, durable, and can easily be repaired. That said, tables made of these woods can be found at a higher price point. Pine, maple and oak are favourites in solid wood dining tables. Be aware, however, that wood expands and contracts with heat and humidity and can show scratches and wear.
Wood veneer (a very thin layer of solid wood glued to a plywood or other wood) can be a more affordable alternative to solid wood. However there is good veneer, and less inexpensive veneer. One way to spot cheaper veneers is to look underneath the table at the store and if the underneath looks like a different material, it’s going to be a lesser quality veneer. A good veneer table can still set you back a pretty penny, so it’s not always a cost-effective alternative to solid wood.
Glass tabletops are usually less expensive than solid wood dining tables, and can help create a feeling of space, light, and airiness. Glass is easy to get clean, but not as easy to keep clean since it can show fingerprints and smudges! However, a good glass table top can last decades if you take proper care of it.
If you’re looking for a more modern dining table, consider one that incorporates metals—stainless steel, copper, zinc etc—or metallics like gold, silver and brass. Metal is more common in table bases than in table tops. Metal, like glass, can show up fingerprints easily and may require specific cleaning tools and solutions. While metal tables can be less expensive than wood tables, you’ll likely find a table that combines metal with other materials. For example, this Element dining room table is available in a variety of powder coated finishes, brass and brushed steel.
Plastic and Laminates: While plastics and laminates can last a long time, they’re often perceived as in-expensive and made of poor quality. If budget is an issue, it’s probably better to go with a higher quality, well-designed plastic table than an inexpensive wood one, as it will last much longer.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match the materials used! The Soul Glass Dining Table pictured below combines a wooden base with a glass tabletop.
The Soul Glass Dining Table
If you’re buying a new Calgary dining table, consider a style that not only works in your home, but also your own personal tastes whether you have a modern, country or traditional aesthetic. The size and shape of the room will determine the table size and shape, while also taking into account the number of people who will be using the table on a regular basis.
When it comes to a piece of furniture as well-used and focal as the dining table, opting for the highest quality and stability within your budget is going to serve you best in the long run. A dining table that is well-constructed using quality materials that can withstand heavy use can potentially last decades and even become a hand-me-down to family members.
Visit the Home Evolution showroom for a large variety of Calgary dining room tables. Our design staff will be happy to help you find the best option and style to suit your home.
Searching for the right dining room table for your home, lifestyle and budget? Check out our exclusive tips on shopping for a dining room table.