Dining tables: a buyer’s guide

Oval, round, square, hexagon, metal, wood, glass, acrylic, plastic, fixed, extendable or folding! Even a combination of some of those features, dining tables come in many different styles, shapes and materials. Whether you are looking for traditional farmhouse or lazy susan style, there is definitely something out in the shops (virtual or real) for your taste, needs and budget.

Don’t be fooled!

You’ll notice that in many of the larger furniture stores, the dining tables have very little surrounding them. You aren’t supposed to think just how much of your dining room it will take up, barely able to squeeze past it once in place. Take a tape measure if needs be, you may feel a little silly measuring the gap that would be left around the table, but imagine how silly you’d feel wedging everyone in around the table and getting stuck!

Advantages of different materials

There really isn’t that much advantage of differing materials (assuming normal use for a dining table), some are easier to keep clean, some are slightly lighter, but how many times are you planning on moving your table? Glass gives you a clear advantage (forgive the pun) when it comes to minimalist style, wood gives the feeling of warmth; the chosen material can definitely help ‘set’ the room.

Buying set or separate chairs?

It is les trouble if you can find a set of dining chairs that go together with the table. But nowadays it is nothing more than normal to combine contemporary table with old fashioned or vintage chairs. So dare and make extraordinary choice by choosing different styles, materials and colours.

Extending, fixed or folding?

Whilst there are virtually unlimited options for sizes, it is still possible to get stylish folding tables and solid extending tables. Gone are the days of wonky legs and flimsy build, many different well-known furniture companies have put a great deal of thought into their latest designs and products, generally resulting in a product that is as sturdy as a traditional fixed table.

High Street or Designer Avenue?

What was once a special journey to a furniture store has now become a wander along your local High Street or city centre. Gone are the days of traditional brown wooden furniture, traditional wooden salesmen and being thankful for their interest. You can drop into a well-known catalogue retail store (aaaaaarghgoss!) and walk out with a dining table within minutes.

And let us not forget our old favourite: the Internet!

Quite literally, a whole world of dining tables at your fingertips, all instantly viewable with real world reviews. And you don’t even have to leave the house. This can save an enormous amount of time, leg work and dare I say it? Arguing. Even if you only use the Internet for price comparison, it still removes much of the headache associated with trawling around various shops, working out what deals are what and who gives the best customer service. Wow, all that about dining tables and we didn’t mention our Scandinavian brothers and sisters once!

You may also want to read about: dining chairs