How to Choose the Right Dining Table Shape for Your Home

There are few memories as warm and joyful as those made sitting at the dinner table. It's a time of story-telling, bright smiles, and good food.

The dining table is the centerpiece of the room. Psychologists say that one of the most important things a family can do is eat together.

But how do you know if you're buying the perfect dining table for your home?

Not everyone can be expected to know the difference between a trestle table and a double pedestal table. How can you tell if the table you choose isn't going to be too big for conversation? Or if the style is right for you?

There are a number of factors to choosing the perfect table. Here is the complete guide to buying the right table shape for your home.

History of the Dining Room Table

Table derives from the Latin word tabula which means plank, board, or a flat piece. The traditional American dining room table has its roots in Western Europe.

The Britons of the Middle Ages feasted in Great Halls. They developed long trestle tables to seat large numbers of people on benches.

The American dining room wasn't truly developed until the late 1700's. Thomas Jefferson's Monticello was thought to have one of the first rooms set aside just for dining.

From the mid-19th century, the dining room gathered importance in American culture. As the American Dream began to flourish, so did the importance of family values and dining together.

Now, the American dining room is a place of tradition. Unfortunately, many families now eat together in front of the television or they don't eat together at all, but the dining room is still the center of holidays and special dining experiences.

Function First

The dining room is second only to the kitchen as the most popular space in the house. 

It's important to consider your family's needs before selecting a table shape and style. The rest of the room's decor will most likely depend on this purchase.

Plus dining room tables are treasured pieces of furniture that can last for generations, so you want to pick the right one that you won't get tired of in the future.

What is the Mood and Tone of the Room?

Consider the difference between a more elegant and formal dining room to a modern and clean design. This is a time to list materials like wood, fabric or metal that you would be interested in.

You can peruse styles to see what peaks your interest and note the elements you are attracted to.

The atmosphere should speak to your own personal taste and long-lasting interests. You may want something that is very specific or something that can adapt with different pieces in the future.

Be true to you, your style and your family.

How Many People Will Share the Room for Dinner? 

Are you going to be hosting a lot of family gatherings or dinner parties?

There is a big difference between just six people eating dinner and a 20-person feast.

The number of family members drastically changes the shape you want. You also want to consider how often you would like to host events. You may want a table that adapts to fit more people.

What are the Room's Measurements?

This may seem obvious but you'll need to know the measurements. Collect these before moving forward. You don't want to get a table that doesn't leave your family much room to get around.

Also, consider the shape of the room and whether angles or curves might best fit in the space. Understand the relationship between the table and the rest of the room is important.

Are You Going to Move the Table Around Frequently?

A dining room table can be a multi-functional piece of furniture. From board games to homework to family meetings, you may need to use your table for more than just food.

Consider your needs before choosing a style or table shape. Just knowing your priorities will make the decision easier and more informed.

Deciding on a Table Shape

After collecting and prioritizing what is right for you, it's time to review the options you have.

One of the most frequently asked questions is "how do I decide which shape is right for me."

Since you've considered your needs, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of the designs to see what would work best.


The most common and conventional table shape, the rectangle is a powerful contender.

Able to seat larger families, the rectangle depending on the width can be quite good for conversations.  

it is also adaptable, with the longer and wider versions of the rectangle harking to a more formal and classic look. Choosing a narrower table will provide a more intimate and modern setting.

Because of the shape, a rectangle table will also fit in tighter kitchen or dining room spaces.

Rectangles lend themselves easier to an extendable design, making them highly versatile. If you're expecting a larger company, extending the table could provide you with the extra space you need. But afterward, you can return the table to its normal size.


Square tables can add a modern and dramatic flair to any room. Although, they come as a double edged sword.

The sides allow each person to see each other and conversation can flow easily.

But square tables can be quite large and they can be quite awkward depending on the shape of the room.


Round tables are nearly as popular as the rectangle table shape. They are also a good option for small dining rooms. 

With this table, everyone will be able to see and hear one another. They encourage good conversation and a more intimate setting.

Consider this option compared to the rectangle shape where people will most often speak to those sitting directly next to them.

If you are limited in your space, an expandable round table might help seat larger parties for special occasions. 

Oval, boat and bow end

Oval, boat shaped and bow ended dining room table shapes brings a more formal and elegant option to your room. They are sure to impress guests and bring a sense of significance to every meal.

These shapes are also a great option for those that have a larger space and want to fit larger parties. 

Normally, oval, boat and bow end tables will have pedestal table legs which solve that pesky leg-banging problem. These legs can be formed into a lot of different designs, making them a great piece to match any mood or decor.

In tighter spaces, the curved edges make for a more seamless flow to the home without the hard angles of a rectangle.

The Flow and Feeling of Your Home

Think of Thanksgiving Day, when you bring out the turkey, still steaming, to your loved ones. After all the food's set out and passed around, everyone will be sharing stories and laughter.

They'll be gathered around an important piece of furniture. One that may help decide the decor of the rest of the room and will surely be the background to great food and wonderful memories.

The dining room is one of the most popular rooms in the house. It's a space that will make a statement about you, so what would you like it to say?

The right table shape will determine how the rest of the room's functions. There are also other aspects of design which could be incorporated into the decision making process.

Traditions like Feng Shui, a Chinese practice that harmonizes people with their surroundings, could make your space more peaceful. In Feng Shui, shapes are an essential element of the home.

Either way, pick something that matches all of your needs. This is a piece of furniture that will last in your home for a long time. 

All of our furniture is made to order just for you! This means that if you fall in love with a table base but love the functionality or look of a different table top, you can almost always change it. All you have to do is ask! We are never more than a email or phone call away. 


 How to choose the right dining table shape for your home.