How to Choose a Kitchen Table

A kitchen/dining room table is a significant addition to your home and a staple in your everyday life. With so many options out there, it could be a challenge. Check out our list of tips for choosing the perfect table for your home.

How to Choose a Kitchen Table

Like choosing a sofa or a bed, choosing a kitchen table may be one of the last things that you do when completing your home, however this definitely does not take away from its importance. As with any furniture picking you may be feeling overwhelmed as the market is flooded with so many options but we are here to help you!

A kitchen/dining room table is an incredibly important addition to the home as it is such a staple in your everyday life; it is a place where, normally, people spend a lot of time with those closest to them therefore it's important to choose wisely. Check out the following tips we have collected on how to choose the perfect table for your home.

Spatial Planning

While it may seem obvious, it is extremely important to plan ahead in terms of the space you have available for your kitchen table. We would advise first deciding upon where your table is going to be placed and start from there. Once you have an idea of the space that is available, this will then give you an indication of what size, style, and shape the table can possibly be.

Like most big pieces of furniture, kitchen tables are usually larger than meets the eye therefore you need to account for the space where you plan to place the table as well as the space around it. Breathing room is important as you and your eventual guests will need to sit comfortably in the chairs as well as have the space to move around without having to squeeze, or bend, or twist themselves to get free.

Whether you have a multi-use space, open plan, or separate dining area you will need to start by taking measurements of the room and correlating these with the measurements of the table in which you plan to place. On top of this, take into account the additional space needed for the chairs and, as mentioned, the ability to move and then make your decision. It's important to also be mindful of other elements in your home such as additional furniture, walls, doorways and things such as decor, etc, these will not only impact the position in which you may place your table but also impact the size and shape that you choose.

The Importance of Shape

After you have done all of your measurements correctly and have accepted what size of a table you may place in your space, it's now time to move on to picking the shape of the table and, as you may know, there are a lot of options!

The most common shapes for a table tend to be square and rectangle. We have all come across these in our lives, and with these two options being the most popular you will have more options to choose from in terms of design, style, size, etc. Generally, rectangular tables work well in larger rooms and tend to be the most popular option given the fact that you can seat family and friends comfortably on a larger table. Rectangular tables also work especially well in homes that have their own dedicated dining room, allowing you to choose a table that will fill the room and become a focal point of that space. These type of tables also work well in creating division if your dining space is open plan or shared with kitchen space.

When it comes to square tables it's best to keep symmetry in mind and only place these in square rooms, as these types of rooms can be a challenge when it comes to furniture placement. Square tables are quite fashionable and tend to work better in smaller spaces however in some instances they can be of bigger size and take up more space, so it's important to choose wisely. Square tables (unless extendable) do come with the downside of only being able to accommodate four people, therefore dinner parties and entertaining may be out of the question.

Round tables are classic and work very well in traditional or "rustic" settings, however, it is important to note that they can take up a lot of space in a room and can be notoriously difficult to place in smaller or strangely shaped spaces. They do have the benefit of being easier for you and your guests to navigate around and increase the all-important flow in the room, so if this is important for you then a round table may be an option! Round tables are very intimate so they may be a better option for someone who throws smaller dinners rather than big parties.

Neither square or rectangle nor technically round, oval-shaped tables are also a great option and definitely come in handy for spaces that are more narrow than usual. This practical choice for these types of rooms also allows you to sit more than four people!

Materials

Choosing the material for your kitchen table is just as important as the size and shape, and also depends on other factors such as budget, function, and the style and decor of the room in which the table will be placed. A dining table can be a lot more than just a surface in which you eat off, it can also be a home office desk, homework station, arts and craft desk, and a place to bond and enjoy with friends and family, so it important that the material you choose for the table reflects and can adjust to any activity that the table may encounter in its life.

Wood is the most common choice for kitchen tables as it is very adaptable and fits well in different environments and different atmospheres. With wood, you have various different options such as hardwood, composite, or softwood - all with their own pros and cons that you need to consider. Hardwood is sturdy and durable and offers longevity in comparison to cheaper alternatives however expect to pay more. A more affordable option is veneer or "Wooden-look" however this may not last as long as stronger and more "real" options. Another great and eco-friendly idea is to look into vintage, second hand or reclaimed options as you can see and gain durability for a fraction of the price.

Stone tables or fake stone tables are another beautiful and interesting option however these tend to be a lot more expensive, especially if you opt for something like marble. Stone is strong and will last a lot longer than a cheap table however can be porous and absorb stains and dirt easier than other tables and may therefore not be an option for some people. These types of tables do add the glamour factor and would be perfect for a home that is going for a more "up-scale" vibe but they do come with work.

Glass tables are relatively inexpensive and can create a visually larger room due to the transparent nature of glass. These types of tables do create a sense of elegance and are easy to clean, however - due to obvious reasons, require great care to prevent stains, sticky fingers, cracks, chips and (hopefully not) breaks. It is definitely a smart idea to think thoroughly and weigh up the pros and cons before making the jump and purchasing a glass table.

Metal is another great option if you want sturdiness and durability. Metal also offers a stain-resistant surface that creates a visually sleek vibe and definitely fits more in modern or industrial homes but, again, metal has its downsides. As it's usually shiny it shows every fingerprint and may need extra care when cleaning, however, metal tables are usually more popular for utility tables and not so much dining, so this may not even be a choice you wish to consider.

If price is your biggest concern then the above options may be out of your reach however you still have the option of having a beautiful table that can fit any interior style if you opt for options such as laminates or plastics. The only downside to these options is that they may not last as long due to the cost factor and can look cheap and sometimes be considered bad quality. Depending on what is important to you, these are all things to keep in mind.

Style

After choosing the size, shape and material, you can now move on to style. Regarding style, this all depends on the vibe you are going for. There are endless options to choose from so you need to consider your own personal style as well as the decor in your home, this will help make sure that the table actually fits with the interior's aesthetic.

If you're into simplicity just keep functionality in mind when it comes to style. Shaker styles do just that and are often found in rectangular shapes and can be used in minimalist environments or, depending on the material, will fit well in any dining room.

If your home is more industrial you could go for the unfinished look that provides sturdiness and durability. Woods, metals, and recycled materials will work well here and if your home is more contemporary then these styles will complement it perfectly, however its safe to say that these types of tables would not be the right fit for a home that is going for a more elegant and classy vibe.

Depending on how rustic and traditional you feel, farmhouse styles can always work towards adding a nice country charm. Usually, these styles of tables are sturdy and made from natural wood grain to add a nice depth to your home. Alternatively, you could opt for a pedestal style to move away from the classic four-legged table. These pedestal style tables are usually supported by a central column - just some ideas to bear in mind!

Small Spaces

When it comes to smaller spaces or interiors in which a traditional dining table is out of the question, you do still have options as there are designs out there specifically aimed at those who are struggling with square footage.

Oval shaped tables are made with small spaces in mind as they lack the sharp edges of their rectangular counterparts and therefore appear to take up less room space but do offer the ability to have more than two or three guests. as these are shaped in a way that incorporates the option to have more space - some models are even extendable!

While not everyone may have the privilege of having a dedicated dining room, some people also lack the square footage to even have a space to place an actual kitchen table but don´t panic, there are still table options available. City dwellers or people in smaller homes may have to take advantage of multipurpose furniture such as extendable coffee tables or even breakfast bars to incorporate a table into their homes but as long as you have the space to eat, that's important thing!

Seating

Once you have found the perfect table for you and your home, the work is not done - you still have to choose the chairs! A lot of the time if you are purchasing a set the table will come with chairs and if that is the case then that's one less issue to deal with, however sometimes the table and chairs are sold separately and therefore you have options available to you.

When it comes to chair decisions, make sure you are choosing the correct height. This includes height appropriate to the height of your table for the chairs to move in and out perfectly as well as guests sitting comfortably, as well as the height of the back of the chair. Usually ten or twelve inches works best between the seat and the table and if the chairs have armrests they should be able to smoothly go under the table and out again without the risk of damage to the chair or table - here is where measurements are very important! When it comes to the chair backs, this is entirely dependent on style and your own decor decisions so choose wisely.

As many know, tables and chairs are more commonly matched however if you have purchased a table separately this may be your chance to break free from tradition and experiment as you have the freedom to do so. Mix and match chairs are becoming increasingly popular and if you opt for this it provides you with the freedom to get creative with colours, materials and even textures. We will point out though that this is entirely dependent on the interior and the vibe throughout the entire home because this type of aesthetic would not work in a more elegant setting or in an interior that currently is and aims to be more cohesive in nature.

One increasingly popular option that, again, depends on the entire aesthetic of the home is the addition of a bench in lieu of chairs. Benches provide a somewhat informal atmosphere and allow for you and your guests to get more comfortable and really share your time at the table - it also provides more freedom with numbers! Benches can even work alongside chairs to provide the best of both worlds and are also a visual trick in creating a feeling of more space in the area as the eyes are not drawn to each individual chair and chairback. However, as previously pointed out, this would not be an option in a home that is going for a more "up-scale" aesthetic and would not necessarily be the most practical option should you intend on throwing long dinners or formal parties.

Extra Tip

A good idea, in general, to bear in mind is to go bigger than you think you need but do always consider the room size. Even if you aren't a huge user of the dining room or even a kitchen table, it is a great investment and in many cases makes a house feel like a home.

Measure the length and width of the space in question, create a three-foot clearance on all sides so that people can sit and move around comfortably, and here you will have created the perfect situation to place a table, but do remember to always base your decisions on what is available to your in terms of space, budget and what you need in terms of functionality. Keeping all of this in mind will save you headaches and frustration down the line!

Whether you go more traditional, give into a trend, or opt for a more creative style, shape, and color, kitchen tables are an important factor when it comes to creating a home. Oftentimes we spend many intimate moments here so it is important that the table you choose is chosen with care and with functionality and practicality in mind.

While the perfect table may not exist, the perfect table for you may be out there but it will not fall into your lap, you need to put the work in. You will need to make decisions based on thought and research, however, with our collection of tips we hope we have helped in making this decision a little bit easier and you end up a step closer to finding that dream table for your dream home!