​Dining tables: Round or rectangular?

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​Dining tables: Round or rectangular?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
classic  by KwiK Designmöbel GmbH, Classic
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If there is one essential element in the dining room, then it 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 questions: What material should we use? For how many diners are we setting up? 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? Some people prefer round tables and some find them much less functional than rectangular or square ones. However, both have their own advantages and also some drawbacks. So, let’s get it started: round tables versus rectangular ones.

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 is where you will be placing your dining table.  A round table curiously seems to draw all elements that surround it towards it, thereby anchoring itself (and the chairs) visually more than a rectangular table would. It also takes up less space.

industrial  by Salvation Furniture, Industrial
Salvation Furniture

Kanteen Table in Reclaimed French Oak

Salvation Furniture

However, for elongated rooms a rectangular table is perfect, as it can ideally fill the space more perfectly than a round one. Another advantage is that a rectangular table can be placed against a wall and still be functional and look stylish, which won’t work as well with a round table. 

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2. The social factor

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 social factor of your dining room. A round table is perfect for when you want to encourage conversation around the dining table. Also, it doesn’t allow anybody to sit at the head of the table, which is perfect for when you want to avoid any type of hierarchy. 

The same is true for square tables; however, square tables take up more space than round ones. And for the same number of diners, it’s better to opt for a rectangular one, as it offers more seating areas.

3. Capacity

As mentioned, rectangular tables present a certain advantage in terms of capacity that round- and square ones do not. Imagine having to place all the diners to be seated at this elongated table at a round one – you’d have to have a pretty big round table! 

For big dinner parties, it’s best to opt for an elongated/rectangular table, as you get more space for chairs and guests.

4. Legs

When deciding on the type of table to pick, round tables offer another advantage that works in their favour: most of them have one, singular leg instead of four, conjuring up more legroom for diners.

5. Corners

Another advantage of round tables is that they present no corners, meaning they are more comfortable (and less dangerous, when thinking about little toddlers manoeuvring around those sharp table edges). 

And let’s be honest: who hasn’t stumbled into a table’s edge and walked away with a sore or bruised hip?

6. In summary…

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 can avoid painful encounters. However, they require a very special space and are not suitable for crowded parties.

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 they are a practical, functional and comfortable option. They are perfect for elongated dining rooms and they allow for more diners in less space. In a small room, a rectangular table can be shoved against the wall and still be perfectly practical. 

But in the end, another crucial factor comes into play: personal taste. After evaluating all pros and cons of each table, you will have to take into account your home’s style and which table it is that you prefer. After all, when you’ve found the perfect table for your dining room, regardless of its shape, you’ll just know!

But don’t run off, as we have some more Ideas for the dining room.

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