Dining Room Furniture Buying Guide

Choosing the perfect dining table is a crucial decision when it comes to furnishing your dining room. It sets the tone for family gatherings, celebrations, and everyday meals. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to find the right dining table that fits your space, style, and budget. In this comprehensive buying guide, we'll walk you through the essential factors to consider when selecting the perfect dining table for your needs. From assessing your space to exploring different styles and sizes, we've got you covered.

Tips For Buying Dining Room Furniture

Assessing Your Space

Before diving into the world of dining tables, it's important to assess your space and determine the dimensions and layout that will work best for your dining room. Here are a few key considerations:

Measuring Your Dining Space

Start by measuring the length and width of your dining area. This will give you a clear idea of the available space and help you choose a dining table that fits perfectly. Make sure to leave enough room for comfortable seating and movement around the table. A general rule of thumb is to have at least 2 ½-3 feet of walking space around the table.

Room Layout Considerations

The layout of your dining room will play a significant role in choosing the shape and size of your dining table. If you have a wide space, oval and round tables work well. For more narrow spaces, rectangular tables with built-in butterfly leaves can be extended to accommodate more guests. If your dining area is part of a multi-use space or a smaller nook, consider bar or counter height tables or smaller round pedestal tables that can be pushed against the wall when not in use.

Choosing the Right Shape

The shape of your dining table not only affects the aesthetics of your dining room but also how it fits in your space. Here are the most common shapes and their characteristics:

Round Dining Tables

Round dining tables exude elegance and promote intimate conversations. They work well in square-shaped spaces and can accommodate different numbers of people based on their size. For example, a 36-inch round table is ideal for 2 people, while a 60-inch round table can comfortably seat 6-8 people. Consider the size of your dining area and the number of guests you typically entertain when choosing a round dining table.

Rectangular Dining Tables

Rectangular tables are timeless classics and can be a great choice for both narrow and wide dining rooms. They offer more surface area and can be extended with built-in leaves for larger gatherings. Rectangular tables typically come in various sizes, with widths ranging from 36 to 42 inches and lengths ranging from 48 to 78 inches. Consider the dimensions of your dining area and the number of people you usually host when selecting a rectangular dining table.

Square Dining Tables

Square dining tables are a versatile option that can work well in both square and rectangular rooms. They offer a modern and sleek look and are available in different sizes. A 48-inch square table can seat 4 people comfortably, while larger sizes can accommodate up to 8 or more guests. Square tables are a great choice if you prefer a symmetrical layout and want to maximize the available space in your dining room.

Oval Dining Tables

Oval dining tables combine the best of both round and rectangular tables. They offer a unique shape that allows for easy conversation and can be extended with built-in leaves. Oval tables are well-suited for rectangular rooms and can provide a more fluid and organic feel to your dining area. Consider the length and width of the table when choosing an oval dining table, as they can vary in size.

Exploring Styles and Aesthetics

Once you've determined the shape and size of your dining table, it's time to consider the style and aesthetics that best suit your taste and decor. Here are a few popular styles to consider:

Farmhouse Dining Tables

Farmhouse style dining tables bring a warm and rustic feel to your dining room. They are typically made of solid wood with durable construction and practical design. Farmhouse tables can fit seamlessly into various decor styles, from traditional and rustic to modern and industrial. Look for tables with solid wood tops and sturdy legs for an authentic farmhouse look.

Mid Century Dining Tables

For those who prefer a sleek and contemporary design, mid-century dining tables are a perfect choice. These tables are characterized by simple lines, tapered legs, and a light and airy feel. They are typically made of wood and can add a touch of modern elegance to your dining room. Consider mid-century dining tables if you want a stylish and minimalist look.

Classic Styles: Craftsman, Mission, and Shaker

Classic dining tables never go out of style and can be incorporated into various decor themes. Craftsman, mission, and shaker styles are known for their clean lines, solid wood construction, and timeless appeal. These tables often emphasize the natural wood grain and feature exposed mortise and tenon joinery. If you appreciate traditional craftsmanship and warm tones, consider classic dining tables.

Size Selection

Choosing the right size dining table is crucial to ensure comfortable seating and optimal functionality. Here's a handy seating capacity guide based on table sizes:

Table Size (Length) Seating Capacity
48 inches 4 people
60 inches 6 people
78 inches 8 people
92 inches 10 people
120 inches 12 people

Consider the number of people you typically host and the available space in your dining area when selecting a table size. Keep in mind that you can always opt for tables with removable or built-in leaves to accommodate larger gatherings.

Finding the Perfect Chairs

Choosing the right chairs to accompany your dining table is essential for both comfort and aesthetics. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting dining chairs:

Chair Styles and Compatibility

While matching chairs and tables create a cohesive look, you can also mix and match different chair styles to add interest to your dining room. Look for chairs that share a common design element with your table, such as tapered legs or similar materials. Consider incorporating a bench as a versatile seating option, especially if you have limited space or want to add a more casual touch to your dining area.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Comfortable seating enhances the dining experience, so it's important to choose chairs that provide adequate support. The height of the chair should be around 18 inches for a standard table and 24-30 inches for a counter or bar height table. Leave about 12 inches of space between the tabletop and chair seat to allow for leg and armroom. If you opt for chairs with arms, ensure there's at least 7 inches of space between the armrests and the table top.

Budget Considerations

Setting a budget for your dining table and chairs is essential to guide your purchasing decisions. While solid wood furniture tends to be more expensive, it offers durability and long-term value. Consider how often you use your dining table and whether it serves multiple purposes, such as working or studying. Investing in a high-quality dining table that suits your needs and withstands daily use can be a worthwhile long-term investment.

Balancing Budget and Quality

If you're on a tight budget, there are ways to save without compromising on quality. Consider choosing types of wood that are more affordable, such as red oak or plain sawn oak, instead of more expensive options like mahogany or walnut. Keep in mind that tables with legs typically cost less than those with central pedestals. You can also opt for side chairs instead of armchairs to save on costs. Balancing your budget and quality will ensure you make a wise investment in your dining table.

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance and care are essential to keep your dining table looking its best for years to come. Here are a few tips to preserve the beauty and longevity of your solid wood dining table:

  • Regularly clean the table with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust and spills.
  • Avoid placing hot or wet items directly on the table surface to prevent damage.
  • Use coasters or placemats to protect the table from scratches and stains.
  • Apply a wood polish or conditioner periodically to nourish and protect the wood.
  • Avoid exposing the table to direct sunlight, as it can fade and dry out the wood.

By following these simple maintenance practices, you can ensure that your dining table remains a focal point of your dining room for many years.


  1. Which type of dining table is best?                                                            Look for a dining table that suits your style and space, such as a versatile extendable design for flexibility in seating.

  2. What is the most commonly used material in dining room furniture? Wood, particularly oak and mahogany, is the most popular material for dining room furniture due to its durability and timeless appeal.

  3. What to look for when buying a table?                                                    Consider size, shape, and material compatibility with your lifestyle, ensuring it complements your dining area and meets your functional needs.

  4. What is the most durable material for a dining table?              Hardwoods like oak and maple are known for their durability, making them excellent choices for a sturdy and long-lasting dining table.

  5. How can you tell if a table is good quality?                                            Check for solid construction, smooth finishes, and attention to detail in joints and seams; a reputable brand and positive reviews can also indicate good quality.


Choosing the perfect dining table is a combination of practicality, style, and personal preference. By assessing your space, considering the shape and style that best suits your needs, and selecting chairs that complement your table, you can create a dining room that reflects your unique taste. Remember to consider your budget and invest in quality furniture that will stand the test of time. With proper maintenance and care, your dining table will continue to be the heart of your home, creating lasting memories for years to come. So, take your time, explore your options, and find the perfect dining table that will bring joy to your dining experience.

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