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Dining tables: Round or rectangular?

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Home In-situ animal paintings Dining room by Thierry Bisch - Peintre animalier - Animal Painter
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If there is an essential element in the dining room, that is without a doubt, the table and chairs that we place around it. So when deciding what type of table we want for the dining room, there are many doubts: what material should we use? For how many diners? Which way to arrange it? In our article today we are going to focus on this last aspect: do we want a round dining table or do we prefer rectangular? The debate is served. Some people prefer round tables and some find them much less functional than rectangular or square ones. However both have many advantages and also some drawbacks. The fight begins: round tables versus rectangular tables.

Dining Room Minimalist dining room by ZERO9 Minimalist

Dining Room


1. Position

modern  by Wharfside Furniture, Modern
Wharfside Furniture

Retro Corian Dining Table

Wharfside Furniture

One of the first things you will have to ask yourself when you choose a type of dining table is the position in which you will place it and the space you can make for it. A round table occupies space in a very particular way: everything revolves around it. That is why when we decide on a round table we must take into account this detail and be aware that we need breadth around it, so that we can move around it, without being uncomfortable for any of the diners.

industrial  by Salvation Furniture, Industrial
Salvation Furniture

Kanteen Table in Reclaimed French Oak

Salvation Furniture

However, for the elongated rooms the rectangular tables are perfect, as they make much more space and offer more for less. Another advantage, for dining rooms with difficult distribution is that they can stick to the wall, which does not support the round table.

2. Sociability

modern  by Amber Design, Modern
Amber Design

Norweigian Wood

Amber Design

One point to keep in mind when choosing a table is how it will influence the sociability of our meals and our celebrations. A round table has a great advantage with respect to the rectangular ones: they generate a greater sociability, since all of the diners can converse easily on the table. All are equally important and there are no hierarchies. 

The same happens with the square tables, all diners are equal and none of them is above the other. However, a square table can not be very large as it would take up a lot of space. For the same number of diners it would be much more appropriate to have an elongated table, since it always occupies less space.

3. Capacity

As we mentioned before, the rectangular tables have an advantage that cannot compete neither with round tables nor square: their capacity. Imagine that we had to place all the chairs we see in this picture around a round table… it would be a very great challenge and probably impossible! The diameter of the table would be so long that a part of the interior space of the table would not be reachable for any of the diners.

However, an elongated table manages to create a niche for more people to eat on less surface. So if what you are looking for your dining room is a table for big parties, you will have no choice but to surrender to the beauty of the rectangular table.

4. Legs

When deciding for a round table, one of the aspects that can tip the balance is the location of the legs. Many models usually rest on a single central foot, thus eliminating the four typical legs of the square and rectangular tables. In this way you make sure that nobody has to fight over leg space. 

5. Corners

Another advantage of round tables compared to rectangular ones is that they have no corners and they are more comfortable—and less dangerous (great for child proofing the house). And let's face it… who has not felt in his own flesh the painful edge of a table? With a round table that does not happen.


Round tables are an important aesthetic option, with some clear advantages. They are more welcoming, versatile, social and less annoying for diners: the legs are less uncomfortable and because there are no corners we avoid homemade accidents. However they require a very special space and are not suitable for crowded parties. 

But it is true that round tables have something very special: they are pleasant, invite diners to the conversation since all the guests are almost the same distance from each other.

Palma de Malljorca (Home) Modern dining room by Lewis & Co Modern
Lewis & Co

Palma de Malljorca (Home)

Lewis & Co

The rectangular tables are the most common which shows that its practical, functional and comfortable. On the one hand, they are perfect for elongated dining rooms, on the other hand they allow for many more diners in less space. If we have little space, we can place the table stuck to the wall, which we can not do with the round. 

But in the end, at the moment of truth, we can not leave out an important point: our own taste. We have to evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of each table and finally choose the one that, in addition, reaches us in some way to the heart. Choosing a table, in fact, seems a bit like love. You could not say why, but when you're in front of the perfect table you just know it.

We hope you've been inspired. For more related ideas, have a look at 5 unique dining tables.

Which dining table do you like best? Please share with us in the comments section below. 
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