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How to choose the right dining table and chairs for your home

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A place to catch up with the family over dinner, host gatherings with friends, or even a desk space for kids to do their homework – the dining table is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of furniture in the house.

A key investment piece that you’re likely to hold onto for years, finding the right one requires a lot of thought. We’ve broken down everything you need to know to help you find one that suits your tastes and your space.

Think about the footprint of the table

light grey dining table and 6 chairs

The first thing to consider is how much space you have for your dining table and chairs. Measure carefully to ensure your set of dining table and chairs will fit comfortably in the area you have available. We have 3ft, 4ft, 5ft and 6ft dining tables sitting 4–12 people. Don't forget to leave enough breathing room to manoeuvre around your table – between 90–120cm of extra space is ideal.

Also think about depth as well. Even if the dining table physically fits your space, it might be bulky in appearance. If you’re opting for a chunkier dining table, make sure your space is large enough so it doesn’t look overcrowded.

If you’re short on space, invest in a table with extendable leaf design. The practical set-up will allow you to save on space when folded away.

Be careful with the trends

As an essential piece of furniture that will get used repeatedly, it’s important not to give into trends too much. If you opt for a dining table that is too adventurous in style, you run the risk of getting bored of it a few years down the line.

oak dining table set with bench

A good-quality dining table should last something like 5–10 years, so it’s wiser to invest in one with a timeless aesthetic that you know will outlast the trends and make your money stretch the extra mile.

Think about the shape

Dining tables usually come in rounded, rectangular, and square designs. Rounded tables are a good option for small spaces – they’ll create an intimate setting and encourage conversation. Rectangular designs are the most popular dining room styles and will suit most spaces.

small oak table and chairs

Thin rectangular designs will work best in narrow rooms and wider rectangular designs are better suited to larger spaces. You should also think about how you like to use your dining table, if you like to share food in the middle, a wider rectangular design is ideal.

If you need to save on room, a rectangular shaped table with an extendable leaf design will make a good choice. An oval table is very similar to a rectangular table in terms of size but will leave more room to manoeuvre around. Square dining tables look best in square-shaped rooms.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our Dining Set Builder. Designed to help you build a customised set with any tables and chairs, it can save you hundreds of pounds off our most popular sets.

Just select your dining table preferences based on type, material, and shape and the tool will narrow down the options for you. Maybe you need a versatile dining table set with an extending top, or perhaps you would prefer a glass top or even a painted finish. Which will you choose - a round, a rectangular or a square shape? You can also select chairs made of solid oak, painted, rustic oak, mango, leather or other chairs with a fabric, leather, grass or no cover upholstery.

We promise it’s actually very simple to choose your ideal set once you start using our dining set builder, but if you’re feeling unsure just pop in-store to see some tables up close or give our customer services team a ring on 0800 440 2254. We can chat over the options with you, or at least help narrow them down.

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