Gather around, y’all! It’s time for some table talk. Whether you’re undertaking a holiday feast for twenty, or hosting an off-the-cuff shindig for four, the dining room table is the dining room’s undeniable pièce de résistance. Which means selecting a smashing dining table is serious business—no pressure! To narrow down the plethora of dining room table options, we’re taking inventory of four common shapes and passing along tips on what spaces (and hostesses!) they’ll suit best.
If your hosting style is all about keeping it chic, casual, and cozy, a round dining table is your ace in the hole. Unlike a rectangular table, which can encourage one-on-one discussions, a round table encourages a communal convo (not to mention it’s the key to no-ask, no-pass style dining—ding, ding!) Worth keeping in mind, is that round dining tables take up more space than quad-shaped tables. Don’t anchor them to a wall—they shine when plunked smack dab in the middle of a room.
Dining Room Chair Know-How: Round tables’ curved perimeter naturally encourage more space between chairs. Take that as your cue to rack up the comfort and style quota and employ a set of armed dining chairs.
Calling all haute hostesses—by which we mean all those gals and gents with gobs of china with matching napkins to boot!—a rectangular dining room table might just be your calling card. Ideal for those who like to entertain to the max, a rectangular table is your best bet when seating six or more. Have ones of those families that keeps on giving? A rectangular table with leaves has got you covered like a pro.
Dining Room Chair Know-How: Since a rectangular dining table can skew a bit massive, consider going a bit rogue with your dining chairs. Chairs in a different style than your table can prevent things from looking too matchy-matchy.
If your style is a kismet of traditional and eclectic, an oval dining table might just be your match made in heaven. Just the right balance of tradition and the unexpected, an oval dining table can swing from formal fête to game night faster than you can say bon appétit.
Dining Room Chair Know-How: Lend an oval dining table even more character by banking one side with dining chairs and one with an upholstered dining bench. While a rectangular bench moored by a rectangular table would result in a surplus of hard edges, an oval table softens the equation tenfold.
Love entertaining but only have so much space? We hear you, city folk. A square dining table is a space saver and can play well with two or four chairs. You can even scooch one side of a square dining table flush to a wall to maximize floor space. When it’s party time, a square dining table has got you! Disperse dining chairs for additional seating and turn your dining table into a help-yourself snack station.
Dining Room Chair Know-How: With their four perpendicular sides, square dining tables showcase a uniformity that’s perfect for playing opposite a crew of wildly upholstered dining chairs. Select a raucous pop of color or a wonderfully wacky pattern to offset your table like a design pro.
Feature photo by Sarah Dorio, Interior by Angela Blehm