• When you want to make sure that people enjoy eating and socializing in your home, one of the most important choices that you can make is how large your dining room table should be. Your dining room table takes up a great deal of space, and it is essential that it both functional and attractive. To make sure that your dining room serves you well, determine how large your dining room table needs to be through careful consideration of form and function.

    Measure Your Dining Room

    Start by figuring out how much space you have in your dining room. You do not want your dining table to look cramped or to trap people against the walls or in corners, so visualize where you want the dining table to go and what configuration you want it to take. If you have an open plan dining room, where it is not bordered by walls, you can have a dining table that is bigger than what you could put in a dining room with a closed plan.

    Number of Guests

    How many people will be dining at your home on a regular basis? If you are simply dealing with three to four people every night with one or two more for special occasions, a relatively small table that is round or square will be sufficient. However, if you regularly entertain five or six people, your table needs to be expandable or it simply needs to seat more people in its original form.

    Space Per Guest

    When you are determining how large your table needs to be, think about the fact that each person will need about 2 feet of space to eat comfortably and without feeling squeezed too tightly. Allow 32 inches between the table and the wall to ensure that people can get in and out without feeling cramped. If people need to walk behind the chairs, make sure that there is at least 38 inches of clearance between the table and the wall.


    Many people think that a wider table allows for more space and allows more items to be stored upon it, but remember that it might not make your guests more comfortable. A table that is wider than 48 inches is going to force your guests to stand in order to pass food across it.


    The shape of dining room table will also determine how large it can be. For example, round tables are the least space efficient, but they do allow for more intimate conversation, whereas ovals are quite elegant and space conservative but do less well in square rooms. Rectangular tables often are considered to give you the most seating for the size of the table and as an added bonus can double as a buffet or be pushed against the wall when not in use.


    The Garden Web website: Size of Dining Room Table

    My Design Secrets website: Choosing the Right Size Dining Table

    Unique Home Decor Ideas website: Tips and Advice on Selecting the Right Dining Table Shape

  • I have one of the collapsible tables and it's great. When we don't have people over, it collapses by about a third.

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