How to Select A New Dining Table
Did you know your dining furniture sets the tone for the entire feel of your space and the experience you create for your family and friends?
It does indeed – a formal setting can lend itself to use only for special occasions, or a contemporary casual setting can mean your family uses your dining set day in and day out for homework time, coffee time or general family living.
This being said, as with most furniture selection, it is best to take factors such as shape, size, material, maintenance and cost into consideration. Also, you’ll want to think about how these variables factor into your day-to-day life.
What kind of diners live in your home? Do you gather around the table every evening for a carefully prepared meal? Do you chow down in front of the TV on the sofa and reserve the formal dining room strictly for events? Is dinner an every-man-for themselves thing because family members have completely different schedules? Or do you usually break bread in the eat-in kitchen, not the dining room?
Another lifestyle factor to consider is how many guests you have over, and how often. Perhaps you usually use the table every night for your family of four but never entertain any additional guests. Or you enjoy your meals mainly at the breakfast nook but during holidays you host for ten to twelve guests.
Now that you’ve gone over how you use your dining table, are you looking for a table for a formal dining room? A great room? Or an eat-in kitchen space? Narrowing this down will also help you establish the overall style, base style, wood and fabric requirements for your purchase. Read here for more information on dining style.
Before going shopping, remember to do some preparation. A few minutes of measuring will go a long way. Read here for details on what to do before going shopping.
Shape & Size
Now that you are prepped with dimensions and photos of your space, let’s talk about the shapes available to you.
Round tables are great for smaller spaces! This shape is easy for diners to manoeuvre around, without the threat of bumping into sharp edges. Also the lack of corners usually allows for more seats to be added around the table. A pedestal base is an added bonus as it offer more legroom. The one caveat is that when you opt for a larger round dining table, reaching the dinner rolls can be a bit of a feat!
For a square room, a square table is a great option. They also offer an intimate setting. With all of the diners the same distance apart, this is a great shape for those who like to entertain for a small group of four to six guests. To seat more people you can opt for a bigger square but like the round table, the larger the square the trickier to reach the goodies in the middle.
Rectangular tables are excellent for long, narrow spaces. A table that mimics the shape of the room will allow for easier flow around it. Generally a rectangular table is ideal for large gatherings. Even at a larger table, it’s usually quite easy for all guests to access dishes at the centre of the piece. This shape tends to make for a less intimate experience, since guests at opposite ends can be quite far apart.
Boat shaped tables offer the function of a rectangle table with the softer curved lines and less pointed corners of a round table. Even the gathering table as seen below has a modification that incorporates rounded ends. It is great to have many variations of these styles all available to you!
After taking into account the types of diners you and your family are, the size of your table will ultimately be limited by what your space can allow. Luckily, many collections either come standard with a leaf or have the option of adding them in. The leaf will allow you to have a size that is suitable for your space for daily use but can be enlarged if needed.
Our product lines offer many leaf storage options. Some have hidden compartments under the table top that can hold 1-2 leaves out of sight. For the avid entertainers, our gathering table has a buffet made specifically for housing the 6 leaves that come with the table. Some tables also have a butterfly leaf style, where as you open the table, your leaf unfolds and pops into to place. Gone are the days of stuffing your leaves in the closet!
Material & Maintenance
The most flexible material and the most widely available for dining collections is wood. Being that there are hundreds upon hundreds of types of trees, which one will best suit your needs? Here again we rely on lifestyle factors.
If you want a table that serves mostly an aesthetic purpose, a softer wood like a birch will usually be easy on the pocket book and does not need much upkeep. If you have a large family or young children, a hard wood that will sustain damage less easily may be a better option.
Some types of wood will need regular conditioning when introduced into Calgary’s drier climate so be aware of what you are committing to. For more wood care details, read this article we wrote about the differences between wood and veneer products.
In store we currently offer many wood dining options for our clients. We carry lines that are made of birch, maple, cherry and oak woods. Not only this, they have a variety of finish and stain selections. Want to know how all of these tables are made? Read here for specifics.
For information on chair selection, be sure to check out our article about how to buy dining room chairs!
When you’re ready to shop
Once you’ve taken these things into account and you’re ready to get out and place your order, look no further than Birchwood Furniture Galleries. With so many stunning, handmade and custom options available, who better to guide you toward your perfect new dining collection?
With so many pieces to choose from, our knowledgable and design savvy staff are always ready to help you find just the right pieces!
New Product Line
We’ve recently brought in a new furniture line as exceptionally made as it is beautiful. This line is Handstone Furniture. It is handmade, and built to last in Ontario. They started as a one-man woodworking shop and now remain a family-owned Canadian manufacturer of custom-made, solid wood furniture.
They still hand-select the kiln-dried cherry, maple and red oak hardwoods they work with. And they never forget that the only thing equal to the precision and accuracy of modern manufacturing process is the technique and attention to detail that comes from having a reverence for old world craftsmanship.
Their product takes longer to get to you. This is because it is made to order. But we think you’ll agree…it’s lasting beauty is worth it.
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