Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Choosing the right dining table

Being the focal point of any dining area, the dining table serves as the most important element, décor-wise, in the room. Aside from the aesthetics, you should also consider your specific dining needs, and the functionality and durability of the table. 

Your table should not only fit the space, but also the doorway.

Shopping for a dining table can become quite a balancing act between function and aesthetics. By following this simple guide to different table options, be informed and ready to find the right dining table for your needs. 

Room size

Start with what you have - your dining space. This is the only other limitation you have, aside from your budget, of course. Consider the room’s size and proportions. Your table should not only fit the space, but also the doorway. There should also be enough room for one person’s passage all around the table. 

Size and shape

Decide on the size and shape of the table. This will depend largely on your dining and entertaining needs.

Decide on the size and shape of the table. This will depend largely on your dining and entertaining needs. How many people will be dining at the table regularly? Do you host dinner parties, and if you do, do you like it small and intimate or big and festive? 

Squares and circles are more intimate options, with people seated equal distances away from each other. This encourages a smooth flow of conversation going all around the table. On the other hand, in long tables in a rectangular or oval shape, conversations take place in smaller clusters. Long tables have an air of formality and have provisions for host dining chairs at either ends of the table. This is great for toasts and speeches for family gatherings. For a quick transition from everyday dining to a full-fledged party, you may also opt for flexible tables with extending leaves. 

Assess your home interiors and pick out a dining table style that best goes with it. Take note of dining table bases or legs, since this is where the style of the table usually comes through.

Style and finish

Assess your home interiors and pick out a dining table style that best goes with it. Take note of dining table bases or legs, since this is where the style of the table usually comes through. 

For a country style, a trestle table in a rustic finish is a good option. Pair it with mismatched chairs for an eclectic vibe, or with benches for a laidback style. If your look is traditional, consider a formal rectangular table with carved legs in a dark wood finish. Elements such as glass and stainless steel are the hallmarks of modern design, but be mindful of how you style your tabletop if you’re going for a glass-top table, since your legs and feet can probably be seen from the top. Use chargers and centerpieces to keep your table looking full, especially for a party. 

The finish of your table will also set the tone for your dining room. If you’re not happy with the existing finish of a table you’ve seen at a store, ask if they can redo the finish before you walk away. Most furniture stores in Manila offer these services. 

Other considerations

Another decision you might have to make as you’re shopping for your dining table is whether to go for a solid wood or a veneer table. Solid wood tables are very durable, but their disadvantages include the price and the wood’s tendency to split. Veneer is a thin layer of wood glued on top of another material, usually plywood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Veneer tables are considerably cheaper, but they are prone to chipping. 

Consider your dining chair’s height and whether they can fit your dining table choice. There should be enough knee space from the seat to the table apron, even if you cross your legs. If your dining chairs have arms, make sure the table is high enough for the arms to fit under the table. 

Lastly, inquire about delivery options, especially if you’re purchasing a big table. Getting your dining table right to your doorstep in tiptop condition with a small fee may well be worth it. Other shops may also offer free delivery. - Aislinn Kee 


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