Buying Guide - Dining Tables

How to choose the perfect dining room table

The dining room table is the beating heart of the home. It’s a place for friends and family to come together, for parents to huddle over a piece of homework, for you to sit with a laptop, and much more.

If you’ve already started browsing the huge variety of dining tables available on the market, you’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed. However, have no fear! You have come to the right place to seek clarity.

We’ve put together this guide to help you discover your dining room table needs. From choosing the right size and shape to picking the best finish, gather round and pull up a chair - we’ve got you covered. 

Understand the role it will play

The first thing to understand at the beginning of your search is how your dining room table will be used. For example, 

  • Everyday dining: you’ll want a table that is spacious enough to bring people together on a regular basis. If you have children, make sure it’s robust and durable to wear and tear (such as the BROOKLYN). 
  • Special occasions only: consider a premium-looking table with the wow factor to impress your guests. A table which can be extended will come in handy too (we love the PANDEY’s ultra-cool legs). 
  • Doubling up: if you’ll be using your table as a workstation during the day, look for something with enough tabletop space (just like the CANOVA).

Accommodate the many, not just the few

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is either going too big or too small. For example, a table which is too big can make a room feel crowded, awkward and doesn't offer a comfortable dining experience. A table which is too small for a large room can look peculiar and cheap. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a stand-alone dining room, it’s better to treat the table as a statement piece and fill the space. Not only will this give the room a sense of purpose, but it will also make the room feel more together stylistically (and give it the WOW factor!). 

Don’t play the guessing game, make sure you understand how many people you realistically foresee sitting at your dining room table. That way you can determine which size will work best for your lifestyle. If in doubt, remember that multi-functional spaces make the best use of an extendable table.

For example, 

  • 2-3: ideal if you’re short on space or need something compact. 
  • 4-6: even if you’re a family of four, a six-seater dining room table is a great option as you’ll have space for guests. 
  • 6-8: an investment piece which could be a real staple item in your dining room. Expect this size of table to be BIG, so ensure you have enough room for it to fit.

Don’t forget to leave enough space for chairs both tucked under and with guests seated. We would recommend allowing one metre from the dining table to the wall (or at least enough space for the depth of the chair). 

Top tip: grab an old bed sheet or a large piece of fabric, fold it into the shape/size of your desired table and place it on the floor. By doing so, you can see how much room you have to play with and you can adjust the measurements to the correct dimensions accordingly. If you don’t have any material to hand, masking tape will do the job just as well.


Shape is important

The shape of a dining room table is often most overlooked by homeowners but it has a big impact on how the table will work and look in the space available. 

As a rule of thumb, rectangular tables (like the VITORIA) work well in larger rooms and if you’re lucky enough to have a formal dining space, rectangle tables can make an impact as a focal point in the room. 

Circular tables on the other hand are great for tighter spaces and offer a much more intimate dining experience, whereas square tables can give rooms a sense of balance in symmetry. With both these shapes, you can always squeeze extra people in if necessary.



Crowd control

If entertaining is your jam, or you just want something which offers a versatile seating arrangement, consider a table with leaves (the LIVINGSTON extendable, for example). A butterfly leaf is the most space-efficient extension that folds and self-stores under the table. A drop leaf is commonly associated with round tables where both ends of the table can be folded down via hinges to be tucked away. Either way, your table can grow (and shrink) with you.


It’s all about the finish

Choosing the right material for your dining table is vital to ensure your new investment piece remains in tip-top condition. Not only do you have to consider the price, but you also need to think about ease of care (do you have children who will use the table? If so, you need a table which is easy to clean and robust to everyday accidents), suitability for your home life (do you have any pets that like to chew on table legs?), and your personal style. 

A glossy or matte finish will instantly create a clean, crisp look, while durable timber or wood will add warmth and texture to your dining space. Wood is also super easy to repair and protects against life’s accidents. You can also get tables made from veneer which is a more affordable alternative to solid wood. However, make sure you purchase good veneer such as kiln-dried hardwood. 

Glass, whether that is clear, frosted or tinted, is great if you want to emulate a bright and open dining room in a smaller space. Glass is relatively inexpensive but it can chip around the edges, scratch and crack from heat exposure.

Stone tabletops, including marble, add a highly luxurious, polished feel. Stone is durable but can be porous and absorb stains easily. Stone can also chip or crack which can be difficult (and expensive) to repair.  


Overwhelmed? Don’t be. We’re committed to making the furniture purchasing experience as easy as possible! Drop us a line with any requirements or style inspiration you have and we’ll find your perfect dining table.

Enjoy 10% off your first order with the code CROME10 at the checkout.

Follow us on Instagram for more tips and inspiration: @cromeinteriors

Posted by Sian Dennis
2nd July 2022

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