dining room size and table

scrynAugust 28, 2006

Hi, I posted this in the decorating forum before however since there is a "small house" forum I think everyone's responses would be much more useful to me here.

I am coverting a room to a dining room and would like to know

what size dining rooms (or areas) everyone has and what size tables you have in there.

I am not sure if I should go for a round table that expands or get a rectangle one that expands. I do like the rounds one more.

I would like to have seating for 4-6 normally and then be able to have maybe 8-10 people at the table for holidays, however I am not sure if that would work or not and am interested in everyone else's arrangments and if there is enough room for people to move around and sit down.



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I don't have advice on size, but as for the table shape, I would use a round if the room is square and a rectangle if the room is rectangle. I look forward to hearing others' advice. :-)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 5:45PM
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I have a DR/FR combo with only an 8x11' space available for the DR AND it's a MAJOR walk-through area. My space has a hutch, a small antique wash basin and a 48"x42" oval table with captains chairs that fit under the table fairly well and 4 people fit very comfortably. When I am having big dinners I have 2 leaves that extend my table to 72" and that's definitely a very tight fit but I can get 8 people around the table not overly comfortably but it's not bad.
Now I'm wishing I had a room I could convert into a DR....LOL.
Marilyn in NM

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 6:54PM
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We have a farmhouse style kitchen and eat all our meals there, even when entertaining. All our parties end up in the kitchen anyway. I sometimes thing of converting our never-used dining room to a an entry hall and closet, and expanding the living room. We haven't because my husband thinks that when we sell the house, a separate dining room will be a selling point. Ah well.

In any case, our table is a narrow rectangle, chosen specially to fit the space. It normally seats 6, and with leaves can fit 8 comfortably.

We used to have a round table in this space, which I liked well enough at the time. However it didn't have leaves and could not be made larger. We moved it to the family room for game and puzzles when we remodeled five years ago.

I am very pleased with the rectangular table.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 7:40PM
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Renee, my choice would be a round table with leaves. I just think the shape is more conducive to conversation. It seems everyone joins in talking to everyone else instead of just those next to them. I also think they're easier to clean under if they have a pedestal base, although realize that may not be everyone's style. And no sharp edges to bump a leg or hip on. : )


    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 8:10PM
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I have a round table that came with 2 leaves for my small rectangular eating area. Without the leaves, it's 45" and just right for 4. One leaf expands it to a 52" oval and it's almost 72" with 2 leaves. It works much better than the rectangular table I had there before.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 8:35PM
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My room is a rectangle. However there are three doors in the space! luckily two are on one end and make a direct walk-though by the wall.

I LOVE the round pedistal tables. That is what I would like however I am not sure if I can find one that will expand with leaves.

Supercat, your table sounds really nice! Do you have a picture? Also do you place people on the end of the table? If you do, does the curved end make it difficult for them to get comfortable. I grew up where we had a rectangle table and I always sat on the end and because a rectangle table has straight edges it never was a problem to sit there.

I am pretty excited because I placed my old kitchen table (we have a new corner unit now) into the room I want to be a dining room and I think there is room for my china cabinet and it doesn't look too crowded. We have no place for my family to all sit when they visit and we have never had a holiday at our house :( I am really hoping that we can finally have one at our place. We have been in our house for 5 years!


    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 8:44AM
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My dining area is part of the living room, but chose to use the entire space for living. The kitchen is not big enough for a full table, but is large enough for something compact and have a full wall with nothing used on it. I am still being creative to make this work.

For now I took my china cabinet base off, hung the upper glass section on the kitchen wall at a height to slide the table under. My table is 48" square, but it has drop leaves on both sides.....with the leaves dropped it is 22" deep and 48" long. I slid the table under the china cabinet. For 2 - 4 people I just lift the front leaf. For more it can moved out and both leaves used. Have always loved a table I saw years ago and know they still have them around, the leaves slide in and out on both sides rather than drop down. There are also round ones with drop leaves...do a search for drop leaf tables, use images for the search to get a better idea. Lots of options and prices from low to high depending upon your life style.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 9:55AM
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Sorry, scryn, I don't have a pic of the table at the moment. I can tell you that people do sit at the ends of the table and nobody has complained of being uncomfortable there. BTW, my table is not a pedastal, so you do have to deal with the 4 legs, but it's not been a hassle. I got the table from Pottery Barn. It was a present to myself after doing my "extreme budget makeover" of the kitchen and other parts of the house.
I hope you're able to find a table that meets your needs.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 9:01PM
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I've got a similar table to supercat's, although mine has one self-storing leaf. It is so useful that even though it was supposed to be a temporary fix until we remodelled, it's still here. It came from IKEA but, unfortunately, isn't in this year's catalog. In case the stores still have it, I think it was the round Nygaard (sp?).

The curve of the table is no problem. I can even use rectangular placemats without it looking bad. The 45 1/2" diameter table is quite comfortable for four, and with the leaf is spacious for six. In a pinch -- as long as we use relatively narrow but comfortable folding chairs also from IKEA -- we can manage a tight eight.

I am no longer willing to tie up a lot of floor space with a large table, or tie down one room as a formal dining room. BTDT, but as lovely as the dining room looked, it wasn't particularly useful. The smallest configuration of the table didn't work with fewer than six, and with two leaves was crowded with 12 (and it stuck out awkwardly into the living room, spoiling the look).

Even though I'm a serious cook, IMO the most important thing when when I entertain is conversation. Everything else is a backdrop to that. I do not want my guests to have to shout over large distances. So I prefer tables of four to six even if the seating is tight for six. I use tables that can be expanded, in any room that has the floor space. (I always serve buffet-style so, ideally, guests should be able to move around freely.) We have a gorgeous rosewood card table that has pullout leaves to handle up to six. For the two of us, DH and I use a 36" round pedestal table (I'm serious about not wanting to shout). This table can be expanded with a 48" top that folds flat for storage in the back of a closet.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Our "dining room" is an 8' by 11' space at the end of the same room with the kitchen. There is a window with a nice view centered on the 11' wall. There is a door in each of the 8' walls. Our 37" by 60" dining table is located with one of the short ends up against the 11' wall, centered under the window. We usually have just four chairs at the table but it easy to add a fifth at the open end. In a pinch we can turn the table 90 degrees and center it in the space and crowd in as many as eight chairs. It's pretty tight when we do that. More often, we put a couple of wooden boxes and a plywood top on the coffee table that is just eight feet away and an additional five people can sit on the sofa and loveseat to eat there. When that isn't enough, we set up a buffet on the kitchen peninsula and let people find their own place to eat. We have fed as many as 20 people in our 400 sq ft kitchen/dining room/living room space.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 1:52PM
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I do like the idea of a round table, but it wouldn't work for my family size (2 adults, five active kids) in my dining room space of about 10-1/2' x 11'. I have a rectangular trestle table that measures 42 x 68" which holds our six regular dining chairs (and I stuff in a small antique chair for dinner so we can all eat together). The table does have two 12" leaves for an additional two feet total for when we have company and/or just want more room to stretch. Our dining room area is in the classic L-shaped living room/dining room layout of a 1960's Colonial. I wishwishwish I had a formal living room!! My kitchen does have enough space for a nice island or table/chairs, but I keep my home office and the (big) dog crate in the kitchen instead!

My dining room also houses a smallish hutch, a jelly cupboard, a vintage sewing table (the machine is tucked inside so isn't on view) and an open space that may house the pup's bed when we move her crate out of the kitchen in anticipation of a second desk/PC getting added to my "home office" (just a funny phrase when I'm working four feet from the refrigerator!).

Sigh :-)

Good luck with your decision! Any pictures of the tables you're considering?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 2:22PM
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Well, I have to paint and wallpaper so I haven't started to look for tables yet. I would like to see how I feel about the room when I am done with the wallpaper.

I really like the white country tables. Our house is a c1850 farmhouse so I would like a nice simple farmhouse table. One that could be beat up and look like it was supposed to be that way!

I do like this black table also, however I am not sure it it will be too dark. That is why I would like to finish the room first and then find the table.

Here is a link that might be useful: table I like

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 3:25PM
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Our dining room is about 10.5' by 7' or 12' depending on which wall you are on. It is open to the kitchen and has a patio door on the longest wall. When we were looking for dining room furniture, we fell madly in love with a Mexican pine and marble table that is a 5' by 5' square. It's probably a little large for the room, but there's no other furniture in there so it works. Don't mind the empty walls, we're slowly working on decorating :).

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 11:48AM
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I have a room 11'x12'. Can I put a dining table 96"x48" in it? No other furniture will be in the room. I am planning to only using the leaf that expands the table to this size periodically.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Hi, Pooh! I'm impressed that you searched way way back and found this thread to base your question upon.

My dining room is the same as yours, 11 x 12. I have three doors in mine, and I think I could not use a table with the dimensions you give. Is your dining room sort of a "dead end" room, with only one way into it? Is one wall almost totally doorway or something else? I think the table size you can use will depend a LOT on where your doors are located.

In the span of time we've lived here, I had a 48" round table in the middle of the dining room. Four chairs. It was hard getting around if the chairs (heavy wrought iron) were pulled out from the table. So I had my DH build a 39 x 39 square table for me. We will be including a window seat beneath the two windows on the south wall, when we redo the kitchen next winter. This table will be off to that side of the dining room to allow a better access to the kitchen. That wall into the kitchen will be almost totally knocked down too, so we won't feel so cramped when dining.

I think your 48" dimension is okay, but the 96" dimension is a bit overwhelming. Without the leaf what would be the table size normally kept?

We had a similar sized table that was 8' x 4' in the end of a long family room. The room was 13' wide, and the 8' dimension was across that width. (room was 34' long). It was not easy for folks on the back side of the table to get in/out when the folks at either end (4' dimension) were seated at a meal. They had to hooch their chairs forward and hope gravy was not spilled down their backs. :)

Do you already own the table? Is it an antique? I think many tables these days are about 40" wide, not 48". But the 48" dimension should leave enough breathing space behind the chairs for dinner guests to move around and be comfy.

You do not intend to put other furniture in there, but I think with such a big table, having a couple of corner cupboards would be appropriate. And a huge chandelier in the center of the room? Any windows to give light? What kind of window coverings? Is this a formal room or more a country charmer?

Glad to have you renew this question which is of interest to many among us.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Great thread! Thanks for finding it, Pooh :)

I've been considering two places for the table and each would dictate the shape of the table. My favorite is round, with a pedestal, with leaves. There's something about the pedestal splitting and the round becoming oblong that I really like...and no table legs to bump into with the extra chairs.

Pooh- A 4' x 8' table, in an 11' x 12' space? As ML has already said, that's a bit tight, unless you have an archway or opening on one end. The 8' side will leave about 2' for the chair on each end and room for the person to slide in. The people on the other side of the table may have a hard time getting out, if people are sitting down. Of course, if you don't put chairs at the ends, it would work fine. Do you have a picture of the space?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 4:11PM
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