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Measure table-to-wall clearance. Measure the space around the room. To allow diners to sit down and get up easily from their seats, try to leave 42-48" between your table and the walls.
My crazy way of measuring. To test out a table size in a room I grab a bed sheet or two, place it where the table will go, and fold it into the shape of the table. This allows me to visualize the space it will take up. Then I can measure the wall/furniture-to-table clearance. If your table has leaves, include them in your calculations.
Seating size for a round table. I usually stick to this calculation to begin looking for round tables. Manufacturers may offer different recommendations, and you might be able to add more seating for a tighter fit. Also keep in mind that using a pedastal base allows more seating because it eliminates the legs that can get in the way of a chair.
A rectangular table works well in a long, narrow room. It leaves more room for traffic flow. For most tables, as the table length increases the width increases as well.
Go big on the table and small on the seating. When looking to take up less room in a space, try a bench instead of chairs on all or one side of your table. Make sure you can push the bench under the table so you can stash it away when not in use.
Go square. If your room is square, a square table, like a round one, makes for a more intimate dining experience because everyone is an equal distance apart. Also it will look great mimicking the room shape around it.
Like the round table, the bigger a square table is, the harder it will be to reach for food. If you are looking to seat more than eight people comfortably, try out your table in person. You might be better off with a square table that comes with leaves that you can turn into a rectangular shape for a dinner party.
Here are a few more ideas for seating:
Cozy Up to a Loveseat at the Table
Unconventional Dining Room Seating
Designs for Living – 20 Inspiring Banquettes
Consider a Host and Hostess Chair