9 Tips to Consider When Shopping for a Dining Room Table

With so many different types of dining room tables and dining room sets to choose from, it can be difficult to pinpoint the perfect table for you. Great news! I put together these nine handy tips to help focus your search and lead you to the dining room table that’s ideal for your home.

 1. Size of Your Room

To start with, you want to consider the size of your room. This will help guide your table choice. Just remember to match the shape of your table to the shape of your room.

For example, if you have a rectangular room, you’ll want to go with a table in the shape of a rectangle. If you have a long room or an open floor plan, a rectangular table is a great way to divide the space.

Try a round table if you have a smaller room. And if you really want to maximize a small space, select a drop leaf table so you can push one side snug against the wall. I like drop leaf tables because they give you the option to collapse the leaves when you have one guest or utilize both leaves for more guests. For more fun ideas regarding apartment living, check out 7 Space-Saving Tips to Maximize Your Small Dining Room.

2. Style of Your Room

Next, think about the style of your dining room. Are you going for the trendy farmhouse look, something elegant, trusty traditional or cool contemporary? Deciding on a specific dining room style will help narrow down your dining table search.

If you’re just starting to think about updating your dining room and trying to envision how a specific style will look, try my 3D Room Designer. This virtual room designer allows you to design a room online for free by building out any space exactly the way you want it. I’m talking about creating a layout that includes windows, doors, flooring, ceiling and paint colors. Plus, you can choose from a wide variety of products and place them in your space. Did I mention it’s super easy and fun to use?

Give it a try today!

3. Size of the Dining Room Table

We all dream of those big family holiday dinners at a large dining room table, but sometimes that’s just not a reality when you’re starting out in a small apartment or live in a small space. That’s why it’s important to think about the function of your table. If those large holiday parties aren’t in your near future, go with a smaller table. The last thing you want is to purchase a table that’s too big and that takes up valuable floor space.

I’ve broken down table sizes based on how many people will be using the table:

 2 to 4 People

Blake 5 Piece Drop Leaf Set | Bob’s Discount Furniture
My Blake 5-Piece Drop Leaf Set is perfect for serving dinner to a small group

If you only need seating for a small group of people, I suggest a round table that seats a maximum of four. You can also look at a smaller square table and if you have a little space to work with, check out a smaller rectangular table.

4 to 6 People

Plaza 5 Piece Dining Set | Bob’s Discount Furniture

A rectangular table like the Plaza 5 Piece Dining Set is well-suited for a mid-sized group of four to six people

I suggest a rectangular table for plenty of space to seat four to six people. You should also look for tables that have removable leaves. This is a great option for when you occasionally have extra guests and need to expand your dining area.

6 to 10 People

Enormous 11 Piece Counter Set | Bob’s Discount Furniture

My Enormous 11 Piece Counter Set is a great option for those classic big family dinners

If you have a big family or enjoy those aforementioned holiday dinners, you’ll need a large dining room table. Look for options that have multiple leaves so you can easily expand your tablespace. The great advantage of having a table with multiple leaves is that you can maximize your floor space when you’re not hosting a large gathering.

4. Table Height

Selecting your dining room table height is part preference and part functionality. If you have young children who are still using a highchair or anticipate having children in the near future, then a dining height is a good choice. The dining height table aligns well with the height of most trays on highchairs, which makes feeding during mealtime a little more manageable.

Here are the heights for the three standard table sizes:

  • Dining Table Height – 30”
  • Counter Table Height – 36”
  • Bar Table Height – 42”

5. Style of the Dining Room Table

Think back to the overall style of your room, and this will guide you to what type of look you should select for your dining room table. The farmhouse look is really popular right now, and I also really like the industrial farmhouse vibe. Contemporary is always a cool style,  and I also enjoy the relaxed feel of a cottage-inspired dining room. And there’s always the trusty traditional look too. 

I’ve got plenty of dining room sets for every style. Here’s just a sample of different styles:

Farmhouse

Sonoma 6 Piece Counter Set with Storage Bench | Bob’s Discount Furniture

Farmhouse-style tables like the Sonoma 6 Piece Counter Set bring a relaxed rustic feel to your home

The farmhouse look puts the spotlight on rustic and relaxed. Think wood with distressing such as wire brushing.

Contemporary

Cosmopolitan 7 Piece Dining Set | Bob’s Discount Furniture

Make a statement in your dining room with a contemporary-style table such as the Cosmopolitan 7 Piece Dining Set

Cool: that’s the word that immediately pops in my head when I think about contemporary dining tables. The clean lines make a real statement!

 Industrial Farmhouse

Lennox 6 Piece Dining Set with Bench | Bob’s Discount Furniture
Get the trendy industrial farmhouse look with my Lennox 6 Piece Dining Set

Industrial farmhouse incorporates the use of more refined metal accents and pieces and not so much the aged rustic look.

Traditional

Riverdale 7 Piece Dining Set | Bob’s Discount Furniture

Traditional tables like my Riverdale 7 Piece Dining Set will always be in style

If you’re having a tough time deciding which style to choose, just remember this–you can never go wrong with traditional. This timeless look allows you the versatility to style your space the way you want to.

Cottage

Blake 7 Piece Dining Set | Bob’s Discount Furniture
Make your space calm and cozy with a cottage-style table like my Blake 7 Piece Dining Set

Finally, create a serene setting with a cottage-style dining table. Simple yet functional, the cottage style creates a welcoming and relaxing feel to your space.

6. What Type of Material You Prefer

Do you like the feel of natural stone or the rustic charm of wood? The material you select for your dining room table top should tie in with the overall style of your room and table.

Montibello Black Marble 7 Piece Dining Set | Bob’s Discount Furniture
The marble table top of my Montibello 7 Piece Dining Set adds an air of sophistication to any room

I just love the impact that a marble table top has on a room. It really creates a statement! 

My Montibello Black Marble 7 Piece Dining Set with a black marble top, black table legs and chair legs combined with white chairs is simply stunning! The vinyl chairs with Bob-O-Pedic Memory Foam provide a beautiful contrast to the all-black table. 

If you have a smaller space, try a glass table top to give your room a lighter feel.

7. It’s All About the Table Base

Your style and design options aren’t only limited to the table top and above. Check out these different types of table bases:

Trestle Table

Lennox Trestle Table | Bob’s Discount Furniture

My Lennox Trestle Table features a sturdy metal base and wooden top

The Trestle table is simple, yet very impactful. Plus, you have plenty of legroom underneath the table.

Pedestal Table

Majestic Dining Table | Bob’s Discount Furniture
My Majestic table features two removable leaves and hidden storage drawers

The Pedestal table has an elegant look to it.

Four-Leg Construction

Summit 54” x 54” Dining Table | Bob’s Discount Furniture

Four-legged tables like my Summit Dining Table will never go out of style

The four-legged table gives you a classic and clean look.

Storage Table

Sonoma Complete Counter Table | Bob’s Discount Furniture
My Sonoma Complete Counter Table is suitable for those in need of extra storage

Because who doesn’t need extra storage space! Store all your tablecloths and cloth napkins in the handy storage space under the table.

8. Storage Needs

Elevations 6 Piece Counter Set with Storage Bench | Bob’s Discount Furniture
Save room by considering a table with extra storage like my Elevations 6 Piece Counter Set

I’m sure we can all agree on this point: the more storage space the better! And it’s even better to have storage space that is convenient.

It doesn’t get any more convenient than storage space under the table. There’s plenty of space here for your table settings and maybe a few cookbooks.

Montana 7 Piece Dining Set | Bob’s Discount Furniture
The built-in drawers on tables like my Montana 7 Piece Dining Set provide extra storage

Another fun option to look for while shopping for dining room tables are built-in drawers. My Montana Dining Room Table includes a total of six drawers–3 on each side. These drawers are perfect for storing place settings and decorative placemats.

Majestic Dining Table | Bob’s Discount Furniture
In addition to looking refined, my Majestic Dining Table also features a silverware drawer

And if that wasn’t cool enough, how about a silverware drawer that’s included in the table? That’s right, my Majestic Dining Room Table has a built-in silverware drawer. Now that’s convenient storage!

9. Be Prepared For the Favorite Uncle that Always Shows Up Uninvited

You can chalk it up to your amazing cooking skills that every time you host a dinner party, there always seems to be an extra guest or two who just “happens” to stop by at the time of your party. So be prepared with a table that can easily expand by adding in a removable leaf or two.

Share Your Dining Room Table

I’d love to see what dining room table you’ve selected! Snap a pic, post it on social and tag me @mybobs for a chance to be featured on my feed.

About the author / Bob

I consider myself the luckiest spokespuppet ever because I get to talk about the thing I love the most everyday – furniture! Tufted headboards, rustic finishes, the difference between a sofa and a couch (yes, there is a difference)… I could go on and on. Oh, I just love furniture and I’m SO excited that I have this blog to share my passion with you! It may take me a little longer to create posts – have you ever tried typing with clay hands – but I look forward to talking furniture with you!

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