Dining tables are at the heart of every home. A dining table is a place to share a meal, bond with family, and socialise with friends. When people come together in the house, everyone gathers around the dining table. It’s where we share stories, catch up with friends and family and enjoy our favourite meals. Whether you love family mealtimes, hosting or enjoy sharing an intimate dinner for two, having a functional and inviting dining table is essential.

Depending on your unique needs and space limitations, there is an ideal style, size, and design of dining table for your home. A well-informed purchase means you will enjoy your table for years to come.

What should you consider before buying a dining table?

There are several things to consider before purchasing a new dining table. If you’re shopping for a new table for your home, it’s essential to be conscious of the following:

Space requirements

Before shopping for a new table, ensure you carefully measure up your space - mark out the area on the floor with masking tape to help visualise the table, and don’t forget to measure access via doorways and staircases!

More information further down to help you measure your dining room

Desired table shape

It's important to consider the function of the table and the space it needs to work with - round tables work well in small areas such as an open plan kitchen, whereas a rectangular extending table would be a good solution for a home that entertains regularly, but doesn't need to take up a large footprint day to day.

Number of seats

Another important aspect of dining table buying is determining the number of seats you need. If you have a large family or love a lavish dinner party, you’ll want to invest in a table that can easily seat everyone. You may want to consider an extending table, if you are looking to host larger parties on the occasion.

Your unique style

Naturally, the design of your dining table will play an important part in your buying decision. From the shape and colour to the material and finish, choosing a dining table that compliments your dining room decor will ensure you achieve a look to be proud of.

Comfort factor

Comfort should be a priority when buying a dining table. You want to be able to sit down, relax and enjoy your dining experience, so a table and seating that feels comfortable is also something to think about.

Sizing & Space

 

Round Contemporary Dining Table

 

Measuring your space

Before you even begin browsing for your new dining table, measuring your space is a good idea. You don't want to fall in love with a dining table that won't fit! Our collection of modern dining tables comes in various sizes to suit any dining room.

To begin:

  • Take measurements of the space where you wish to place your dining table, and work out how much room you'll need around it. A dining table will need extra space to allow people to move their chairs out and get up comfortably. A typical dining room chair is 400mm to 500mm and you’ll need about 200mm space to be able to get enough room to move the chair in and out - as a rough guide you should be looking to leave 700mm space around the table. You might also wish to consider the height of your table to ensure that it doesn't sit awkwardly against any shelves, radiators, or other features of your room.
  • Measure your door frames. Before you buy, it's a good idea to check how the item will be delivered, i.e. flat packed, fully assembled, or something in-between! Ensure your door frames are wide enough to get the furniture into your home - you won’t want to scratch or damage it before you’ve even got it inside the house.

To give you an idea of the type of dining table that might suit your requirements, here are some typical measurements for different types of dining tables:

  • Banquet tables - between 8' and 10'.
  • Dining tables - between 4' and 8.'
  • Breakfast tables - between 3’ and 5’.
  • Cocktail tables - between 2.5’ and 3’.
  • Solid wood tables - between 3' to 6'.
  • Glass tables - between 2.5’ and 3.5’.

Capacity

You need to consider how many people are going to fit around your dining table. If you use your dining table a lot, how many people in your family will regularly sit around it? If you are hosting social occasions, you should also take this into consideration. Is the primary function for family meals or entertaining big groups of friends and relatives?

How many people you need to fit around your dining table may also influence your choice of shape. A round table, such as the Kigumi Table, is ideal for socialising. Rectangular dining tables, such as the Cross Extending Table, can be more useful when you need some extra capacity for certain occasions. If you have the space for your dining table to extend and want the option to have more people fit around it, an extending dining table can be a great choice. Extending tables can be circular, such as the Dulwich Round Table, or rectangular in shape, like the Dulwich Extending Dining Table.

Best dining tables for small spaces

If you only have a small dining space, you'll need to choose the shape and size of your dining table carefully. Too big, and it will look cramped and out of proportion with the rest of the room. Too small, and you'll have trouble getting many people around it, which will limit your options for dinner parties and other social gatherings.

It is therefore pretty important that you choose a dining table that fits the shape of your room. Long thin tables with bench seating can be ideal for rectangular rooms. Round tables can fit snugly into corners and still get people sitting all the way around it. If you plan to put your dining table in a bay window, a round table may also work best as it will follow the room's shape. The table colour/finish can also play a part, with light options working best in smaller dining areas to add a sense of space and glass tables that reflect lots of light can also be a good choice.

Best dining tables for large spaces

If you have a large dining room or dining area, you will want to fill that space with a dining table of the proper proportions. A large dining table can significantly impact and elevate your interior space creating an elegant and impressive feature in the room. Again the shape of the table may depend on the shape of your room and how many people you want to seat, but if you do have a larger area to work with, the options are limitless.

Materials

rectangular wooden contemporary dining table and chairs

If you're shopping for a new dining table, there are many different materials to consider. The type of material you choose will impact the look and feel of your dining room. Some of the most popular material options include:

Hardwood

Hardwood tables crafted from quality wood are sophisticated, timeless and long-lasting. They're great for both casual or formal settings and add warmth and class to your dining space.

Metal

A metal table can look sleek and stylish. If choosing a metal table, make sure that you select a hard-wearing, long-lasting metal that is rust-resistant to keep your table looking great and fully functional for years to come.

Glass

Glass tables are contemporary and easy to clean. They look great in modern dining spaces with lots of light.

If choosing a wooden dining table, you should also consider the finish of the dining table you choose. Consider your current interior and how the dining table will look in the room. Do you want it to blend in seamlessly with your existing decor or be a showstopping piece of furniture that really draws the eye?

The finish on a wooden table can also help to protect it. Whether you love a delicate and contemporary light oak finish or prefer the opulence of a darker walnut finish, invest in tables that are designed to last.

Design, Shape & Style

dark wooden contemporary dining table and chairs

Choosing a new dining table isn't just about functionality; you'll want something that looks great too. A stylish dining table can completely change the room, creating a welcoming, inviting space for you to enjoy family time and socialise. Dining tables come in many designs, from sleek and modern to traditional and homely.

Some of the most popular shapes for a dining table are:

Rectangular

A rectangular table offers plenty of space for eating and setting down plates and drinks. This could also be a good option if you want to make the best use of your space.

Square

Each side equidistant from the other, a square table offers symmetry and is a popular shape for couples and individuals, particularly those looking for a smaller dining area.

Round

Round tables can be ideal for small families or intimate dinner parties. The soft edges of a rounded table can give a more traditional feel and a cosier setting.

Oval

If you prefer a rounded edge but need to fit more people around your dining table, an oval shape can be the perfect solution.

When shopping for a dining table, you can choose a design that aligns with your vision and current aesthetic. Whether you want something simple and classic or bold and modern, there is a table to match. There are a huge variety of different dining table designs to choose from, and to ensure you make the right choice; it's important to take the time to consider your desired aesthetic.

Colours

contemporary wooden dining table and benches

Choosing the right shade for your dining table is also essential. Do you want something classic and neutral or bright and eye-catching? As with most furniture, dining tables come in a range of colours, so you can pick the exact shade to compliment your current interiors or even paint your table to match.

If you aren't sure what to pick, using a colour wheel can help you determine which colours complement each other the best. If you opt for an oak wood dining table, deep shades such as burnt orange, lime green, and berry red can bring out the warmer tones, where cooler colours will create a more natural, tranquil space.

The majority of our dining tables are offered in a range of neutral colours to compliment a variety of styles, such as the Cross Fixed Table that can come in black stain, walnut, or oak.

Lifestyle & Practicalities

Dark Wood Extending Dining Table

Of course, your new dining table needs to fit in with your lifestyle, so it's vital to consider the practicalities of your new dining table too. Does your table need to be multi-functional? Will it just be a place to eat, or will it also serve as a place to prepare food, or for the kids to do homework, or even double up as a place for you to work? Do you often have social gatherings and need a table that can seat lots of people when you do?

By factoring in who will be using it and what for, you can choose a table that will serve you best. A busy family lifestyle where you need a table everyone can relax around might be very different from one that is mostly used for fine dining and special occasions. If you want the best of both worlds an extending table could be a fantastic option as it can stay smaller and not take up much space day to day and then extend whenever you need it to.

How to maintain your new dining table

Dining tables are an investment, so maintaining them is important to ensure they last a long time. Here are some tips for keeping your new dining table in fantastic condition:

Cleaning

It's essential to clean your table frequently. Wipe it down after meals to remove crumbs and stains. You can also use a tablecloth to protect the table from spills and everyday wear and tear. Only use sprays and polishes that are labelled as safe for the material your table is made of.

Using placemats and coasters

Placemats and coasters will protect your table from unsightly watermarks and heat damage.

Placement

Protecting your table from the elements will also help it to last longer. If you place your table by a window, you may want to cover it when not in use to protect it from sunlight damage.

Repairing scratches

Light scratches may be removed on wooden tables through sanding and staining.

Investing in quality

Finally, when you are shopping for a dining table, you need to ensure that it is durable and built to last. All our dining tables at Case are designed by world-renowned furniture designers and manufactured by skilled craftsmen to ensure they are robust, durable, and last for decades.

For more detailed information about how to care for your dining table, why not read our dining table care guides?

Price & warranty

You naturally have to consider the price when investing in a new dining table. Dining tables vary hugely in price, which means that everyone will be able to find a suitable dining table within their budget. However, it is worth factoring in the link between cost and quality. While plenty of low-cost dining tables are available, cheaper tables tend to be crafted from cheaper materials and, therefore, may not last as long. If you are searching for a unique designer piece that makes a statement in your home and is crafted from the finest quality materials, the price will naturally be higher.

Whatever your budget, it's always a good idea to enquire about a warranty before you buy. Most reputable manufacturers should offer a guarantee to ensure that you are happy with your purchase and have the right to return it if it is faulty. All our dining tables come with a two-year warranty as standard.

Top tips for buying a dining table

  • Research the manufacturer - make sure you buy from a reputable, trusted seller, particularly if you are buying online.
  • Read the warranty - make sure you read the warranty thoroughly. A genuine seller will not try to hide any clauses in the warranty that make it difficult for you to return your table if there is a problem.
  • Read reviews - nothing beats word of mouth when it comes to trust and reputation. See what other people have to say about the product and company to get some assurance you are investing in a quality product before you buy.
  • Check assembly requirements - ensure you understand how the table will be delivered to you and the set-up requirements.
  • Read delivery policies - make sure you are clear on when you can expect delivery, if there will be any delivery charge, and how the table will arrive with you - will the delivery drivers help to carry it inside, for example? Does the company offer white glove delivery installation?
  • Read refund policies - as well as the warranty; it's a good idea to read the return and refund policies too.

Final Words

If you're ready to invest in a new dining table, keep these tips in mind to ensure you find a table that suits your lifestyle and space. A great dining table can be a focal point in the home, and a place where wonderful memories are made, so make sure you choose one that is both stylish and functional.

Now that you know everything you need to buy a dining table, you can confidently invest in your next purchase fully informed and with peace of mind.

Our collection of modern dining tables, designed by award-winning designers, offers you a wide range of shapes, colours, and styles to ensure you find a table that perfectly suits your needs.

Shop our dining table collection now, or contact a member of our team here, and we can provide more details or guidance on any of the products in our range.