The right dining set for your home depends on two factors: the size and shape of your dining area. Once you determine the right size and shape, you can look at fun things like different styles, colors and materials for your dining set.

 

Size

Before selecting a table, you must take measurements of your dining area. If you neglect to measure before you shop, you could end up with a table that’s too large for the room because furniture tends to appear smaller at the store.

When measuring the room or dining area, remember these two tips:

  1. Measuring a room with furniture: If your dining area contains other furniture, begin measuring the space for your table about 45 inches from the edge of the furniture.
  2. Measuring the room: Measure the dimensions of the entire dining room from wall to wall. To ensure there is plenty of space to move around the table, leave about 45 inches of empty space between the wall and the table.

If you don’t need a large table but anticipate hosting occasional guests, an expandable table with a removable leaf is a great choice. This way, you can simply add the leaf whenever you need more space for guests.

Shape

The shape and size of your dining room dictates the table shape you should choose. Here are a few guidelines to consider:

 

  • Rectangular or Oblong table: If the room is narrow or long, a rectangular-shaped table works best because it leaves more room for foot traffic.
  • Round table: If the room is small, a round table is often the best choice. If you desire a round table in a large dining area, keep in mind the larger your table, the harder it is to reach items in the middle.
  • Square table: If the room is square-shaped, a square table is an appealing choice because the table mimics the shape of the room. Square tables are best-suited for small groups of eight or fewer people because, as with a round table, it is difficult to reach across a large, square table.

No matter what size or shape you choose, a good rule of thumb is to allow 24 inches of space at the table for each person. This ensures everyone has plenty of elbow room to dine and relax.

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