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Dining Table Shapes: Finding The Right One for You

Castlery   |   Nov 2, 2023

Choosing the right dining table shape is crucial, as it not only impacts the aesthetics of your dining area but also plays a significant role in how well it functions for your needs.

With a plethora of options available, from round to rectangular and everything in between, it can be a daunting task to find the perfect fit for your space. In this guide, we will explore different dining table shapes and help you find the one that suits your style, space, and lifestyle.

Types of dining table shapes

Round dining tables

Round dining tables are known for their cosy and inclusive feel. They encourage conversation and make it easy for everyone at the table to engage with one another.

A round dining table atop a round rug in the dining room. @hyggelinedesign creates visual harmony in the dining space with the Theo Round Dining Table and a round rug.

If you’re a believer in Feng Shui, you’d know that round tables are preferred over rectangular or square tables as the rounded edges help to soften the energy in the room. This creates a welcoming atmosphere and promotes good energy flow. The absence of sharp corners also makes them a safe option in homes with young children.

Recommended read: 12 Feng Shui Tips for Your Dining Room You Can't Ignore

Round tables are ideal for smaller dining areas as they can fit into compact spaces more efficiently, making the most of the available room. This is particularly beneficial for apartments or homes with limited dining space, as it ensures that every inch of the dining area is put to good use.

An oak round dining table with four dining chairs. The Sawyer Round Dining Table features a black base and a rounded oak tabletop. Also pictured: The Edith Cane Chair in Black.

Rectangular dining tables

Rectangular dining tables are the most traditional and common choice. They are a great fit for long, narrow spaces and can accommodate more people. The elongated shape provides a substantial surface area, making it an excellent choice for larger families or those who frequently host.

A black rectangular dining table with matching dining chairs and a bench. @358socialclub centres the Sloane Dining Set on a rug.

In homes with open floor plans, a rectangular dining table can help define the dining area. Placing a rectangular table strategically can create a visual separation between the dining space and adjacent living or kitchen areas, making it clear where one area ends and the other begins.

Square dining tables

Square dining tables are a balanced choice, offering the best of both round and rectangular tables.

They provide a sense of intimacy and promote conversation. The equal distance between diners and the absence of a head of the table foster interaction, making them an excellent choice for family meals and social gatherings.

Square tables are well-suited for both small and larger dining rooms. In smaller spaces, they make efficient use of the available area, and in larger rooms, they can be paired with additional seating to accommodate more guests.

Oval dining tables

Oval dining tables are an elegant option that combines the benefits of both round and rectangular shapes.

A wooden oval dining table with complementing chairs in a narrow space. @hannahshappyhome opts for the Brighton Oval Dining Table in a long, narrow dining space. Also pictured: The Austen Chair in Walnut.

They provide a softer, more fluid look compared to rectangular tables, making them a great choice for spaces where you want to maintain a sense of flow and movement. The elliptical shape also combines the formality of a rectangular table with the inclusiveness of a round table, making it a versatile option for various decor styles.

When it comes to room sizes, oval tables can fit comfortably in both small and large dining rooms. This provides an intimate dining experience while allowing for efficient use of space.

Summary of dining table shapes

Dining table shapes Pros Cons
Round - Ideal for small dining spaces
- Encourages conversation
- Rounded edges are ideal for families with children and pets
- Versatile in terms of seating arrangements
- May not fit well in larger rooms
- Might be too small for larger families or gatherings
Rectangular - Able to accommodate more people
- Ideal for long and narrow spaces
- Defines dining areas in open layouts
- Perfect for formal dining and entertaining
- May not be as intimate as round tables
- Sharp corners might not be safe for families with children and pets
Square - Promotes conversation
- Versatile seating arrangement
- Fits well in various room sizes
- Ideal for square-shaped rooms
- May not be as spacious as rectangular tables
- Sharp corners might not be safe for families with children and pets
Oval - Soft, elegant look
- Able to accommodate more people
- Ideal for flowing spaces
- Works well in various room sizes
- May not fit well in very small rooms

How to find the right dining table shape

Room size

The size of your dining area is a critical factor in choosing the right dining table. Measure the available space to ensure that the table you select fits comfortably. Leave enough room for diners to pull out chairs, move around, and access the table easily without feeling cramped.

Knowing the amount of space you have determines not only the size of the dining table but also the ideal shape that fits into the space.

Recommended read: 8 Key Dining Table Measurements You Should Know About

Seating needs

Think about whether you often host large gatherings or prefer more intimate meals, as this will influence the size and shape of the dining table.

If you often host large groups, it's beneficial to have extra seating available. This might involve adding temporary seating like folding chairs or having an extendable dining table - and extendable dining tables are usually rectangular.

A person is sitting at a wooden dining table with their laptop. @yeecharmaine opts for the Hayden Extendable Dining Table and Lily Chairs.

Furthermore, if you want to include a dining bench to allow for more seating space, the bench would fit better with rectangular or square dining tables as opposed to round tables.

Function

Think about the primary function of the dining table. Will it be used for everyday family meals, formal dinners, or both? Consider whether you need a table that can adapt to different occasions and if it should have any special features, like extension leaves.

For families with young children, tables with rounded edges can be a more practical choice as safety is paramount. That said, round tables or oval tables are the ideal choice.

A wooden round dining table with two matching chairs. The Tribeca Round Dining Table is perfect for small spaces. Also pictured: The Austen Chairs in Walnut.

Layout

The layout of your dining room is another factor to consider as it should allow for easy and unobstructed traffic flow around the table.

It's essential that people can enter and exit the dining area without causing disruptions to those already seated. Round and oval tables often work well for open and flowing layouts because of the absence of sharp corners.

Don’t forget about lighting in the dining area too. Your dining table should ideally be centred under the main light source, like chandeliers or pendant lights, to ensure adequate illumination. The shape and size of your table should complement the lighting fixture and create a harmonious look.

A wooden extendable dining table centred below a hanging lamp with a cane lampshade. @thistlebehome centres the Seb Extendable Dining Table under a pendant light.

What dining table shape should you get?

The answer is: It depends on how your home looks like, personal preferences, and the social activities surrounding your dinner table!

Consider your unique needs and personal style to make the perfect choice that enhances your home and dining experiences. With the right table, you'll be well on your way to creating cherished moments around delicious meals and great company.

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