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How to find the perfect dining table for your space

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If we’ve learnt anything over the past couple of years, it’s that a dining table is rarely just a place for eating. It often doubles as a home office, family conversation pit or a spot to keep an eye on the kids’ homework. And with dinner parties firmly back on the social agenda, it’s an entertainment hub to boot.

A dining table is rarely just a place for eating.Credit:iStock

As a big-ticket item, a dining table can set the style for a room. However, the options can be daunting. If you’re looking for some dining-table direction there’s one thing to keep top of mind – choosing the right one should be a case of form following function, advises interior designer Crystal Bailey. “Do you want a space where you just eat your meals and go, or do you want to sit there for a long time?”

A timber finish, such as the Aspen Dining Table from King, adds warmth and comfort, creating a space that’s conducive to lingering over a meal. A glossy, glass-topped table, on the other hand, acts as a showpiece, allowing any table settings or decorations to pop and bringing an element of drama to a room – as long as you’re prepared to regularly wipe away fingerprints.

Also consider different table shapes, says Alinta Lim, senior designer at King. “While rectangular tables are the traditional and most popular choice, don’t overlook round tables either. Without a head of the table, round tables make for a more relaxed and intimate dining experience.”

Measuring up

Another big thing to consider is exactly how much room you have for your dining table, and it can be easy to misjudge.

It’s important to work from actual measurements and not just a head count, says Lim. “Sometimes, customers can make the mistake of buying a table to suit their seating capacity needs without measuring their space, considering their chairs, or considering the room’s layout. If your table is too big or too small, it can disrupt the balance and flow of the space.”

As a rule, Lim recommends allowing at least 90 centimetres between the table and the walls or any other furniture around it.

To get a feel for how a dining table will fit in a space, nothing beats having a visual reference for the dimensions you’re considering. Bailey suggests marking out the area using masking tape, or even making a model from newspaper or cardboard. “Cut it out to size, place it on the ground and see how it feels to move around it.”



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