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Choosing a dining table

A dining table plays host to numerous activities in the home from entertaining friends and family to providing a family workspace. As a valuable piece of furniture, taking your time to choose a dining table that suits your space and lifestyle is a must.

We share our 7 top tips when choosing a dining table for your home so you can ensure it meets your needs and withstands the test of time.

1. Determine your size

Determining your desired size of dining table is your first point of call before you go shopping. Taking a guess will always backfire in the long run.

An insider’s tip is to measure your entire space, including features such as doors, windows, cupboards and power points. Measure existing chairs also, allowing 20-30cm from the chair seat to the tabletop.

Once you have your room size, tape out different dining table sizes, ensuring you accommodate your dining chairs. We recommend you allow about 60cm behind each chair. This will help you visualise different dining table options within your space.

Take your plan and ideal table size options with you to Nunawading Homemaker HQ so you can find the perfect dining table.

2. Identify your needs

How you use your dining table may inform the size and shape you need. Does your dining table need to provide space for homework, crafting or playing board games, as well as dining? Do you entertain large crowds or just a few people?

3. Consider shape options

It’s easy to default to a rectangle table, and generally speaking, there are more dining tables of this shape on the market to choose from.

However, don’t discount other shapes. A round, oval or square dining table may suit your room size and style as well as your needs. Small spaces, for example, can benefit from a round dining table. Ovals can also be a great option if you need to squeeze a lot of people around the table.

4. Judge the materiality

When choosing a dining table, be judgmental of the materials as not all materials are equal. Consider how durable the material is and how easily it is to clean. Your budget will influence the options you have, but you want to aim for the best quality your money can buy.

Hardwood dining tables such as those made of teak or oak will withstand the test of time. Engineered or composite timber dining tables are more economical and durable but are not as strong as hardwood.

Glass is another durable option for a dining tabletop and a great choice for small or dark spaces.

5. Take note of its transportability

When shopping for a dining table, it’s easy to get lost in choosing one that looks great and forgetting exactly how you are going to get it in and out of your home.

If you’re renting or plan to move within the next five years, considering a table that is easily transportable would make life easier.

A heavy hardwood or metal table may prove a challenge when moving. An engineered table or one that can be dismantled would be a much better option for apartment living or those who want to be able to easily transport it.

6. Think about your chairs

If you’re using chairs you already own, measure them using the tips above and take photos to help you visualise them alongside the new table.

If you’re struggling to choose between table designs, we recommend you take one of your chairs with you on your shopping trip. This is particularly important if you’re looking to match your timbers.

7. Check the quality

Finally, when buying a dining table assess the quality of the workmanship and componentry by taking a look underneath the table. Give the table a good wobble to test the stability and check any moving parts.

This is particularly important if you’re choosing a dining table second hand. There is nothing more annoying than realising the tread has gone in a screw fitting or the metal parts are jammed on an extendable table

If this is your first time buying a dining table or you’re making a substantial investment, take your time and seek further advice. We can help you find your ideal dining table that will suit your design tastes, lifestyle needs and interior.

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