Whether you're scouring estate sales, hitting up IKEA's "as-is" room or commissioning your own custom design, it's likely that a big chunk of your dining room decorating budget will be allocated towards the centerpiece of the room - the table. Dining room tables are big purchases. They're often meant to last for a lifetime, so getting it right is especially important.
Before you start shopping, there are a few questions to consider:
1. Where will the table go?
2. How long will I keep the table (is this a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, or will it only last for a few years)?
3. How will I use the table? Everyday eating? Fancy dinner parties only? Mostly as a spot for the laptop?
With the answers to these questions, and your budget, in mind, narrow down your options. Dining room tables come in all shapes, sizes and types. While shopping, consider these attributes:
Tables should allow at least 24 inches for each person sitting down, and 36 inches between the table and the wall on all sides. The width of the table should be between 36 and 42 inches for ease of food placement and passing.
Circular and square tables make for great meals, but they sometimes look off in rectangular rooms. Rectangular tables are a standard option, though oval tables also look great in traditional settings (though buying tablecloths for oval tables can be difficult).
Tables range from the very traditional to the very modern. While the table style usually matches the look of the room, mixing styles can look great in an unexpected way.
Consider four legs, two pedastals or a single base. When making this decision, think about how you'll use the table - if you think you might occasionally overload the table with guests, avoid legs that could get in the way.
Do you need a table that can expand? Or do you prefer the look of one solid top?
Great-looking tables come in all types of materials, from wood to glass to marble. Room style, ease of care and cost are all considerations to weigh with respect to style.
And once you've found that perfect table, all you need are the chairs!
Add your own tips in the comments, or take the discussion over to the buzz board – each month, the best design tip or story (related to this or any other home design project) will win a $50 gift card to a one of several home design stores (check out the details here
). July's contest runs until the 31st. Good luck!