Round or Rectangular? What do you fancy?

HomeNoobieMay 31, 2011

Hi all,

I've posted here a few times, and now I post with a rather odd question. We are getting our newly built home in a couple months, and I am contemplating furnishing my eat-in kitchen (the layout is on another thread), and I am struck with the dilemma:

Round kitchen table or rectangular?

I prefer round because it feels more warm, homey and intimate, however some people are really averted to round tables.

Tell me what you prefer and why!


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I like both, but will purchase a round table when our kitchen is finished because it will fit the space better.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:17PM
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Thanks Adrienne!
I especially have my eye on the Crate and Barrel Orion table.. what do you think?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:20PM
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We too will be purchasing round, which, when the leaves are in it will make it oval.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:24PM
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I've had both and prefer the round table. It just fits the space better and definitely feels cozier. I think also since rooms/walls/flooring is angular, I like the juxtaposition of something round there. Or... I simply like it better cause I do!!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:25PM
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While I agree a round table can often seem cozier, if it's too big, I think the opposite is true. If it's so big that you have to strain to reach across it, then it's probably too big, IMHO, b/c now you're too far away from most people.

With a rectangular table, even if it's long, you're still not that far from the people sitting on the opposite side as well as those next to you.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:41PM
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I have a round table in my kitchen. As mentioned, it fits in better, and is a little cozier Also, if you do get a round shape, try to get one with the pedestal, rather than legs. The legs get in the way of people sitting at the table.

You said "people are really averted to round tables". Huh? I never heard that. Where did you hear that?

One more note (perhaps not important, or perhaps you can benefit from my experience) - I bought a round kitchen table with a leaf. I wish I had instead bought a solid table with no leaf. The reasons why I regret the leaf: (a) have never used it; when I need to seat more people, we eat in the dining room, (b) storage of the leaf is a PITA, and (c) I CAN'T STAND the line/seam in the table - I feel I have to keep the seam parallel to the wall or it is even more annoying; crumbs get in the seam; and it just doesn't look as nice as a solid table would have.

I know my last paragraph isn't what you asked, but since you are shopping, I thought I'd mention it anyway.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:44PM
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I refinished a round oak table, which I keep the leaf in (so its really oval). I like it better in my nook than my old rectangle table because its easier for people to move around without the legs or corners being in the way. They just seem to fit in small spaces better.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:46PM
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I just looked up the Crate & Barrel Orion Table that the OP mentioned. I think the walnut finish is GORGEOUS. Especially if you click on the C&B photos that show the top surface and that beautiful grain.

I have two concerns though - it is a 60" diameter, and as Buehl pointed out, that might make people sitting at it too far away. I am not sure, you'd have to go to the store and see for yourself. Also, make sure you are including the chairs when figuring the amount of space needed in your kitchen for it. My second concern is that the Orion table is almost too beautiful for a kitchen. That just depends on your lifestyle. My wood kitchen table has water marks, scratches, a couple of gouges, a burn mark, and some other dings. I don't care - it's that kind of wood table that almost looks better with some signs of hard use. I expect my kitchen table to endure abuse. You may be totally different. If you are the kind of person/family who is careful at the kitchen table, then I say go for the Orion table.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crate & Barrel 60-inch Orion Walnut Table

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:57PM
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I've never heard that people don't like round tables. I like them. If I had room for one large enough to seat 12 in my DR, I'd get one.

That CB Orion table is a knock out!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 6:57PM
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I agree with Buehl for all of her reasons. In over 13 moves - I have had both round and rectangular tables. IMHO Rectangular is more efficient, easier to use placemats on it, chairs and high chairs fit better, there are more tablecloth and table runner choices, you can read a newspaper (although most read them on line now - my DH needs room to spread his out and round did not cut it), and I could go on.. If you are limited to space - square works well, it is cozy and you do not lose any real estate (space) the way a round table "cuts the corners" off...hope that makes sense...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 7:15PM
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We bought a round pedestal table for the four kids, DH and myself to sit around. I wanted the round pedestal so we can comfortably squeeze another chair around the table when a friend is invited to eat with us. Rectangular people are stuck at the corners. I have sat at the corners at MIL house for many a celebration and I do not like it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 7:17PM
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Ours is round and 5 feet across. The size works well for us. Intimate but not too intimate.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:47PM
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I prefer a round table for an eat in kitchen. That being said, our kitchen table is oval. Our dining room is currently being used as the kids play room, so the kitchen is the only eating area we have. We have one leaf in the table all the time so it seats 6. I want to take the leaf out but it seems like we have people all the time over to eat so we need the extra table space. DH also likes to read the paper and spread out and an oval or rectangular table is definitely better for that.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 8:55AM
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In our small, bay-shaped eat in area, we had a rectangle that was too big and awkward for the space (it came with when I moved from my previous home). Lived with it for years and dealt with it. Round Crate & Barrel Halo table being delivered tomorrow and I can't wait!

In our formal dining, we have a rectangular table that seats 8, with a leaf for even more seating. Plenty big and the shape works best for the space, so fine with it. Not a fan of oval tables, though.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 9:20AM
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I prefer round tables for smaller, casual or more intimate spaces. In our old kitchen, i wanted all windsor armchairs (as opposed to one with arms and the rest armless, as is more typical). At the time, Stickley did not make a pedestal round big enough to fit 6 armchairs (as opposed to armless windsors). They custom made me a 60" round table, which i feared would feel like a conference room.

We have used it for 8 years or so, and we liked it very much. Easily seated 6 and even 8, great for small dinner parties, cups of tea and long talks, perfect for reading a newspaper (i dont get that comment above) and a good area for cooking with the kids, too.

I do have one thought that I dont think others mentioned. I think a round table only looks right in a square room. In our case, the eating area of our kitchen was pretty square,


    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:37AM
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I, like others, agree with buehl. However, no one has mentioned a square table. At the end of the day, I think space dictates table size and shape, but I like the idea of a square table which can seat eight (two on each side) b/c it's cozier to me than a round table for eight which, IMO, feels less so. Just another idea to throw into the mix.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Rectangular has more room for newspapers and dishes!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:51AM
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Thank you guys SO much for all the responses! You have really helped shed some light on this issue for me.

akchicago - I have had people tell me they "HATE" sitting at a slanted edge, or a circular edge.. and feel quite strongly about it! So I thought I'd see if this was a common feeling or not. I totally get what you mean about the leaf. I'm not much of a leaf person either, and am looking for more of a solid table.

I've seen the Orion in person, and I just love it, although am weary of "veneers"? Does that make it not as quality? Because it is quite costly for a kitchen table. In person it is stunning because of the different shades, and although it may seem fancy, it just "speaks" to me! I'll have to post my kitchen when we get it next month and you guys can tell me if it "goes" or not!

LRy511 - awww I feel bad for you at your in-law dinners! You don't deserve a corner!!

buehl - Love the idea of the square table - I have also been toying with that idea, esp with a bench on one side!

Thanks guys!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:02PM
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sorry it was beachpea3 who gave the square idea!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:07PM
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I think that's a beautiful table too. We've always had square or rectangular, but I'd be happy with a round if it fit my space.

Since the Orion table has a really large pedestal I second (or third or whatever) the idea of sitting at one in person. I'm not sure my (tall) family would have room for our legs with that table but your situation may be different. I'd just try it if you can. Pull up a chair and see if you can cross your legs comfortably. If so, great; it's a cool table.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:45PM
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I think it depends on the space and size issues. I had a round table (ad a leaf to form an oval) when we moved in here, but neither the size nor the height were great here. It was too low and felt like we were in a hole between taler kitchen counters and a sectional with a high back. The narrowness of the space meant a circle would be too small in terms of seating. To get a larger one wouldn't leave enough room around the table. We put that table upstairs for the boys to have for homework and games and got a counter height table in a rectangle that opens to a square. That one works great here, but wouldn't have been right in either of our last two houses.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 2:49PM
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