Finding the right dining table

Long tables are great for family gatherings — sometimes separating our loved ones is a smart way to create a peaceful dinner party.
istock

A dining table is much more than just a surface that holds your dishes while you eat. And where you place your table will help determine the style and material you choose.

In kitchens, a durable and easy-to-clean surface is crucial, while in a large, formal dining room you’ll require a table with an elegant look. If you dine in your living room area then you’ll want a table that blends in with the living furniture.

Start with size
Keep in mind that the table must fit comfortably into the space with at least 30 to 36 inches on all sides of the table.

For example, if you had a 10-x-10-foot square space for dining, then the maximum sized table would be about 54 to 60 inches.

Keep in mind that the clearance space around a table isn’t always from the walls  — if a china cabinet or hutch is in the room then you require the clearance from that item.  A 36- to 48-inch round table will seat four people comfortably; a 54- to 60-inch table will seat six to eight people.

If dealing with a long table then allow 24 inches for each person. Dining tables are always a standard height of 30 inches.

Some antique tables are a few inches lower and there has been a trend lately to buy dining tables that are bistro height (42-inches tall).

The bistro height tables are better in more casual dining environments like kitchens, lofts and open-concept spaces with high ceilings.

Decide on shape
A good design form follows function so follow the shape of the space allotted to dining. Is it a long, slim area between kitchen and living area or a squared off space in an L-shaped living/dining room?

If you have a long room or space for dining then choose a rectangular or long oval-shaped table. If you  have a square space then usually a round table works best.

Square or round tables are great for creating intimate dining settings as everyone is equal distance from one another.

Choose a style
Whether you like modern or traditional decor, the recommended style of table is pedestal — the centre legs allow more flexible seating as you won’t have to contend with corner legs at the table.

Glass topped tables offer an open, airier look to a dining space — perfect for small spaces.

Fine finished wood tables seem to be the most popular as a long-term investment, but now there’s a trend for casual, rough-hewn wood and metal looks for an industrial and vintage feeling. This works great in loft-like spaces and the new farmhouse-style kitchen.

With dining table finishes, consider how you’ll use the table and the look you’re trying to achieve.

You can choose from wood, veneer, acrylic and glass table tops — and remember to consider durability and colour.

If you have inherited or invested in a fine wood table protect its top with a sheet of glass.

Accent with chairs
Chairs do not have to match the style of table —the big trend is to play off the style of the table and choosing chairs that are quite different.

For instance, a Queen Anne dining table gets surrounded by modern plastic chairs or a modern glass-topped table gets paired with art deco chairs.

Go low with cabinets
Storage in the dining area is often crucial for finer dishware, napkins, table clothes and bar accessories.

Everyone thinks of dining storage as being a tall china cabinet or armoire but these days things are getting long and low.

The low credenza allows for storage without filling up a dining space with oversized cabinetry.

Ground with a rug
Area rugs are great for helping to define a dining area within a large or open-concept home.

  • A rug should be 18 to 24 inches larger on all sides of the table.
  • The chairs need to be fully sitting on the rug when they are pushed into the table, not always when people are dining.
  • Modern-style condos and apartments can experiment with trendy floor choices. Smaller spaces are less expensive to replace when the trend looks dated.
  • Choose a plain rug that has a decorative edge or border — a rug with a centre design will simply get lost in the  table and chairs sitting in the middle.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…