Size of Dining Room Table

sdlacrowFebruary 1, 2008

We are in the process of designing our new house (yeah, but scary) and I am having some concerns about the dining room. I like to have dinner parties (usually 8 to 10 people at most) and need to find out what the best size and shape of dining room table would work best and then how big to plan the dining room for so there is enough room. The dining room table we have now is too small (and old) and will not be joining us on our journey so I would appreciate your input.

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I do a lot of custom tables for customers, and generally here's what I tell someone who is building a new house and starting from scratch.

First is the dining room size itself. A dining room table should not look crammed into the room but allow for adequate pull-out of the chairs with a minimum of 24" from the table edges for each person to get up from the table.

The table itself should allow 24" linear space for each guest. If you want to seat four people along each side of the table for example (10 seater including the ends) then you need a 96" length table to accommodate that many guests.

As far as width, maximum should be kept at 48", as any more than that guests have to stand up from their chairs to pass food dishes across the table.

If you're on hardwood floors and planning on putting a rug down, plan your table dimensions FIRST and then buy the rug so that it has at least 2' in each direction from the table top size when all the leaves are in.

For a typical 12' x 16' dining room, I usually recommend a 108" x 44" table.

I don't sell contemporary furniture, and stay old school into traditional American designs and in that category nothing beats the flexibility of a classic double pedestal table. It has the least protrusions of any table, and most configuration options. If you do something like this table, the max size on a double is 120" in length as they tend to sag in the middle any larger.

Duane Collie

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 9:03AM
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but allow for adequate pull-out of the chairs with a minimum of 24" from the table edges for each person to get up from the table.

24" is for skinny people only. Don't go any less on a long table.

A 48" wide table can seat 2 at each end (2nd chair may be a folding chair.) Not everyone's preference, but doable.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 12:38AM
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I have a 48 inch table, and while I don't find it too wide to pass dishes across, it takes a 70 inch wide cloth...not easy to find.
But It is nice to be able to seat 2 on the ends at Christmas when all 7 grand kids are present.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 2:08PM
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What else, if anything, do you plan on having in the room? You need to take that into consideration too. I didn't with my current place.

In our existing home we have a "formal" dining room that measures a tiny 10.5 x 10.5, adjacent to a small kitchen. It didn't take long after moving in to realize I also needed a buffet to store some of the kitchen items.

I've tried over the years to find a small scale dining table that seats 6-8 people & a buffet but to no avail (the very few I found I either didn't like or they were out of my budget) To make matters worse, The ceiling height is only 88", (so it feels even smaller) and the room drops into a sunken formal living room, making it difficult to use the end of the longer tables for the fear of tumbling off the edge.

Luckily, we didn't have the need for a bigger dining table very often, we had a kitchen nook for our daily meals so it usually wasn't a big deal. However, on the occassions we did need the space, it was a big bummer!

We're now getting ready to put this home on the market as we've found a home we love. I didn't notice it as I walked through the model, but on closer exam it's dining room is also small, measuring 11 x 12.9. It does have 10ft ceilings though,and a large window for lots of light, wood floors that are level to the ajacent spaces, and a large entry so the table could protrude out, if needed. It has a whole different feel but in the end, it's still small. However, given this house has the kitchen space for all my things I think I would be ok with JUST a table, and wall decor, as is displayed in the model.

As to what size is appropriate for my space, I guess I would have to refer to Duane for the answer, but I would think a 42" wide is the widest I would feel comfortable with, in that space.

Just keep in mind all furniture!

I can't wait to have a table large enough for a dinner party! Good Luck with your house plans!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 7:47PM
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My new dining room is 13.5 x 13.5. I hoped to purchase an Antique type harvest table. (I know a round table would fit well) What size rectangular table should I search for?
I will have a sideboard on one side and maybe a china cabinet on the other.
Thank you for your advice.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:47PM
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