Family table-round or rectangle?

slahgirlApril 7, 2008

I am going back and forth between a round, pedastol type table versus a farmhouse table with benches. This will be our everyday eating table, and we need to seat 8. The size of the room is 12x13, but open to the kitchen. Any opinions?

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I vote for a round table with a lazy susan in the middle. That is what we had when our kids were home and we loved it. When you only have a few people eating, a round table isn't so great because the distance between those at the table can seem pretty big. But when you have eight people, it's wonderful for conversation and looks great, too. I'd check the chairs and how much clearance you will need, but it sounds like your room would be big enough for a 60" or 72" round. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 3:54PM
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I have a rectangular table in the formal and a 54"round in the dining next to the kitchen.
I love the round one. We sit four or we can sit 10. I like it because everybody can see eachother and it makes great conversation. However you are a little far from the people across and it makes it hard to play board games (specially with younger kids). I would buy it again and would probably replace the formal one too.
Two things to think about:
1) your're going to need a very big table to comfortably seat 8 every day.At least 60". We have done it for parties but not for every day. I think that would make it hard.
2) are 8 chairs going to bother you?
I love farmhouse tables with benches. Would you put chairs at each end? I assume some are kids. If they're little, how are they going to act all sitting on a bench? I can imagine my two boys, I would have to get them their own bench.
post a pic of your room.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 4:02PM
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I have a 60" round that seats six. There would never be enough room for eight. I think you would need at 72" round. That might take up a lot of space in your area. I would thinka farmhouse type table would fit better.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 5:42PM
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Wow, if you have the room and the opportunity, get a round table!

King Arthur was a pretty smart guy.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 6:23PM
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We have a 60" square which seats 8 without the leaves (2 on each side) and 12 with 2 leaves-LOVE it!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 7:19PM
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mclarke - that was cute!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 7:56PM
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Wen my kids were at home we had (still have a 72" oval pedestal table. There were 5 of us. Like jjam we had a lazy susan in the middle. The nice thing is you can fit so many chairs around it since you don't have to worry about the legs.At one time we sat 11 comfortably. Good luck in your search and don't forget the lazy susan.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 8:17PM
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what great ideas~I never thought of a square. Do you think that seems too formal for a breakfast nook? I can tell you one thing, we had a counter height table and 6 chairs. Did not like it with small children, also you can't just
"pull up extra seating" with guests. You have to have counter height seats! It did not work for us, just sold it! That is why I am on the search!
Yes, we have 5 kids and another coming this fall. I also have an island that seats 4 on stools for extra seating when we have guests. Can't post a pic, it is being built!
I would like a table that is comfortable for eating, visiting, homework, games, etc..
Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:13AM
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I would go with the round. The square is nice, but it will have legs on the corners, which make it harder to pull up one extra seat for a visitor. A 72" round with a pedestal base will give you plenty of room for 8 and up to 10 people.

The rule of thumb is 24" of room all around the table for comfortable seating, so if your room is 12x13, you should be able to fit the round in there.

I would stick with chairs, rather than benches. As the kids get bigger, I think the benches become more limiting for comfortable seating, and they are less flexible as far as moving in and out and squeezing in extra chairs. Plus there is the inevitable "he touched me; she is sitting on my half of the bench; he won't pull the bench in/out to where I need it", etc LOL

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:59AM
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As I said, we love our square and we have a large family. 6 kids, 3 still live at home and my parents live with us. On a daily basis, we have 7 for meals and up to 14 when everyone's home. The square works beautifully since we usually have at least one of our kids' friends for dinner (that makes 8) and when everyone is here we add the leaves and seat 2 of the youngest at our island-VOILA!-14 is no problem!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 12:49PM
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My 60" round pedestal table was just delivered on Sat. I love it! My dining room is 15x16. My original plan was 8 chairs but the particular chairs I picked are a bit oversized (according to the sales person) and he didn't think 8 would fit comfortably. I might be able to get one or two more around the table but it would be a tight squeeze. I'll probably buy a couple more chairs and sit them along the wall to use as needed. The chair seats are 22" wide at the widest. Backs are 20" at the widest point. I fell in love with large round tables during our cruises. Can't wait for our next family get together :)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 1:11PM
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Pattiem93, I love your kitchen! Where is your table from? I've always wanted one like that but no place in our current breakfast area.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 2:50PM
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I love all your tables and your kitchens! This post brought back memories. We had an oval table when the kids were growing up. That way we could sit them at the far ends and they could not reach each other! (These two used to, quite literally, argue in their sleep!) We had to put some space between them and oval fit the bill.

Funny. They're in their late 20's and great friends now!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 3:20PM
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Monica, that's a very pretty room! what is the color on the walls?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 4:46PM
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Thank you, Saharag!! Actually, that table is our one and only piece from Pottery Barn! I never thought that PB was my style, but it was the only place I could find a 60" non formal square at the time I was searching-and I wanted leaves. It's a very heavy table and was more pricey than I had wanted, but it really works well for my family. Great for conversation, dinners (LOTS of room on the table for bowls and platters), arts and crafts, cookie baking marathons, name it!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 6:10PM
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Pattie-Love the kitchen. And the square table does not look too formal at all, kind of rustic, which is what I am going for. Guess I just need to look for that style.
Monica-My hubby has that same set in his office, he gets so many compliments. It looks fantastic in your dining room with the floor and wall color. Love the view out your window!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 6:23PM
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mclarke, thank you :) The dining room wall paint is SW's Hopsack

slahgirl, the chairs this table was shown with were wooden ladder back chairs. I didn't care for them. These chairs are from the same line and give the table a whole new look...not quite as rustic and a little more formal. I'm very happy with the set. I'm glad to hear your husband gets lots of compliments on it :)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 8:55PM
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monicakm - who makes your round table? I'm considering buying one, but am having a hard time finding 60" rounds. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 5:33PM
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I haven't been on the Decorating forum in a few weeks. Glad I just happened to pop in :) malhgold, I too found it hard to find a 60" round without having to go to the nearest large city (Dallas) and I did NOT want to have to do that. There were two tables in Tyler from which to choose. One from Haverty's for over $3500 and the one I bought from Ashley's Furniture for under $2000 (6 chairs). We're very happy with it and get tons of compliments. I've since purchased a seventh chair. The sales person said because of the large chairs, I wouldn't be able to sit 8. He's right (when the chairs aren't being used). When they're pulled out with people sitting at them, I can easily sit seven. I'm pleased with the quality of the table. At first I wasn't sure, coming from Ashley's, but it appears to well built.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 5:47PM
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I have a 60" round I bought at Arhaus Furniture. It seats 6 comfortably.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 8:06AM
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The round table does sound nice to seat 8 if there is enough clearance on all sides, plus I would asume the OP will also have need to put a high chair in the room.

We have a rectangular table that seats 6 on a regular basis, though it has a butterfly leaf that when it comes out will seat 8 in a large square similar to pattieem's table. We have used it for parties and when my BIL's family came to stay with us for a few weeks over Christmas. Similar to the round table, I also like how it faciliates conversation. As I had only 6 chairs, I ended up using a bench ottoman I already had for one of the sides. That ended up being the most popular place to sit with the younger kids; but I know it would definitely depend on the chemistry between the children whether or not a bench seat would work or not. One thing I find annoying about my setup is that my kids seldom push in their chairs and I have to go around pushing them in all the time. That would be one advantage of the farm table and bench seating.

I usually don't share personal pics, but here are a couple of pics of all the kids over Christmas when we had the leaf out:

All eating:

Making Xmas goodies:

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:38PM
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Just wanted to add that in my pic when it's a square it's only a 54" square. Without the leaf it is 54"x36". Em's sounds a bit larger than ours though and may be more suitable to seat 8 on a regular basis with room to expand for more as needed. As our space was really compact this was the best size for us and still get maximum seating. It also helps that the chairs are on the smaller side as well.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:48PM
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Another vote for a square table. We have one that is 60" with a leaf. We usually keep it out just for the extra space.

Do any of you have low cost tablecloth sources for a 60" square table? I find that part challenging.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Mine is a rectangle, and if i had it to do over again, i'd get round.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 4:50PM
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This question is so perfect for me. I am in the same process of deciding what kind of table to get. We had been using a 40" x 60" rectangular table to seat 6 - it was fine, but a bit of an awkward fit in our space. For a party at the beginning of May, I brought in a second similarly sized table, which sort of ended up making a big square. It fit, which got me thinking about a bigger table.

I saw a 54" round one at an antiques store yesterday but it has 4 legs - I'm concerned that I could only sit 4 (unless I make people straddle the legs), which would be a downgrade from my current 6-seater. I've been looking for a square one that would seat 2 on each side (how big do you think - 54" or so?) for a while with no luck. Where are you guys finding your square tables? I'd prefer something that looks old/antique/farmhousey - the one at Pottery Barn (not sure if it's the same one posted above) looks a bit formal for me. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 4:50PM
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A few years ago I took a workshop on how to successfully welcome families from unfamiliar (to the community) cultures into a community, and the first thing the speaker had each group do, as a way to get acquainted, was go around the table and tell what shape of dining room table we'd grown up with, and where the "seat of power" was, and where the "worker" sat. It was very interesting!

We learned that often the "seat of power" is the farthest from the kitchen, facing the entrance of the space.

Just an interesting tidbit

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 5:00PM
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We recently went through this same dilemma for our breakfast room. Our formal dining table is rectangular, and it always seems crowded. We are a family of five, and once you add guests...Anyway, we ended up with a 66" round table and 6 chairs made by Hekman. We could easily add 2 more chairs if we wanted. Even though we live in Austin and have a number of nice furniture stores here, we ended up finding the set in San Antonio. We were very happy to get the set for around $4k. The ones in Austin were double that.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 5:15PM
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Here is my round table in our dining room. I think the room is 14x16. The table seats 6 comfortably but I do have 8 full sized chairs if needed. We love it-

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:53PM
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