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Buying a Dining Table

Buying a Dining Table: The Essential Guide

As a central piece of furniture in your home, your dining table should fit both your functional needs and aesthetic preferences. But with so many options available, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming – which is where we come in! Need advice on selecting an appropriate size, style and tabletop material for your space? Then our essential guide to buying a dining table will help you get it right. Read on for everything you need to know before deciding.

How to choose a dining table for your space

Which table size is best?

Before researching dining tables, you’ll first need to determine the space you have available. From there, you’ll be able to calculate the maximum table size you can go for, while leaving clearance for the chairs. For reference, this should be at least 90cm on all sides of the table, so people can get in and out easily. And you should also leave around 60cm width for each place setting to avoid bashing elbows. This will also allow room for chairs with arms if desired.

A large 12 seat Dekton dining table with red leather dining chairs

In terms of seating capacity, a good rule of thumb is to size up your table wherever possible. So, for example, if you’re a two-person household, opt for a four-seater dining table. Likewise, families of four should consider a six-seater table. This will give you a bit more room for manoeuvre – ideal for sharing style dinners and for when guests visit.

With that said, you don’t have to fill up all of the free space in your dining room or kitchen. In fact, in doing so, the table may feel too bulky for the room. To help visualise it in situ, mark out several different dimensions on the floor with masking tape to see which you prefer.

If you find that a large fixed table feels too big, you could opt for an extendable model instead. At New England, we offer various designs with fold-out or sliding leaves, and some even feature wheels for easier expansion. Otherwise, if you don’t need every seat daily, pushing one side of your table up to a wall will save space. You can then it out as and when needed.

Cleveland round extending dining table with marble effect Dekton stone top

Table shape considerations

Table shape is another key consideration when it comes to buying a dining table. Rectangular tables are traditionally the most popular, providing a good amount of surface area for family dinners. And those with corner legs offer plenty of flexibility in regard to seating arrangements. This shape also works well with bench seats that tuck neatly underneath when not in use.

However, not everyone wants or needs a sizeable rectangular table. Another good option is an oval table, which offers a similar amount of length with a more casual, sociable feel. Or, if space is limited, smaller square or round dining tables are ideal and fit snuggly into corners. On top of that, a dining room table with pedestal base will make the most of your floor space.

Large oval dining table with Dekton Trilium top

Want something a little different from the norm? New England Home Interiors can also supply custom-made tables upon request. That way, you can tailor the size and shape to suit your dining area. Additionally, barrelled or curved edges can be added to rectangular and square tables. Learn about our bespoke dining table service and how to place an order here.

Need help measuring for your dining room table?

If you’re still not sure which table size and shape will work best for your home, don’t worry. Our friendly team can provide complimentary home visits for anyone buying a dining table or other furniture item from us. During our visit, we’ll measure up, offer advice and confirm exact sizes of suitable models.

While we’re there, we will also check for any potential access issues. For example, tight corners or staircases that your preferred table may not fit around, even if partially dismantled. That way, you can rest assured that your item will fit perfectly – just ask in store or give us a call on 01403 330508.

Best dining room table materials

Once you’ve narrowed down the right size and shape, it’s time to look at materials. We offer three options, depending on your needs and the level of upkeep you’re willing to undertake.

First up, we have the timeless solid wood dining room table. These are ideal if you want to add warmth and character to your home. Choose from responsibly sourced oak, ash or walnut, each with their own unique grain and natural wood tone. (Though some are oiled or stained to create a different effect and others are lacquered for longevity). Solid wood tables are also sturdy and long-lasting, but they are more prone to scratches and stains than other materials.

Napoli large solid oak dining table with modern pedestal base

Sintered stone, such as Dekton, is a popular table material due to its durability and scratch resistance – perfect for family households. Made from a blend of quartz, porcelain and glass, it is also much lighter than natural stone options. Yet, it comes in a variety of attractive designs, including some that mimic real marble. And it won’t become stained in the event of spills either. Thanks to its low-porosity and wipe-clean finish, Dekton is virtually maintenance free! Similarly, you won’t have to worry about scorching the tabletop as it is heat resistant too.

Large marble dining table on display at New England Home Interiors in Horsham West Sussex

Alternatively, ceramic dining tables are typically more affordable and still provide a good degree of stain and scratch resistance. They’re also very robust, though not quite as strong as Dekton dining tables (ceramic can be cracked if excessive force is applied).

Vesuvius ceramic dining table with thin and stylish metal legs

Different table styles to suit your décor

The style of table you choose can also greatly impact the overall look and feel of your space. To achieve a contemporary look, a slimline ceramic model with high gloss finish could be the best dining table for you. Or you might like a more minimalistic Scandi-inspired table made with pale-toned wood and sleek tapered legs.

Arizona Dekton marble dining table with slim metal legs

Other modern dining table options include our Dekton models boasting clean lines and smooth matt or gloss surface finishes. Each comes in a host of styles, including striking marble-effect tabletops with authentic veining, mottled stone patterns and more. There are also many different metal frame styles to choose from, such as decorative crossover and three-legged designs. Each of which can be powder coated in practically any RAL colour.

Pisa 4 seat round solid Oak dining table with red leather chairs on display in the New England Home Interiors furniture showroom

Meanwhile, if you’re considering buying a dining room table in a classic style to complement a more established home, we have that covered too. Think solid oak farmhouse-style rustic dining tables with trestle bases and a live edge for added charm. Plus simple round dining tables built from real wood that will complement any décor scheme and outlast short-term interior trends.

Buying a dining table from New England Home Interiors

Ready to invest in a new dining room table? All of our standard models are listed online, alongside their different tabletop and frame colour variations. While this is a great starting point for inspiration, we’d highly recommend visiting our Horsham showroom if you can.

Here, you’ll be able to get a feel for our different table styles and materials in situ. Tabletop colour and pattern samples are also available to browse in person. And you can ask questions and receive tailored advice from our expert team, and explore bespoke options if your wish. You can even try out different dining chairs while you’re at it to complete your dining set!

We’re open 6 days a week, Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am until 5pm, so please call in when you can. Alternatively, feel free to send any queries to info@newenglandhome.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.