A clear all-around winner, round tables are the antithesis of hard-edged quadrilaterals. Rather than right angles, round tables showcase compelling curvature, perfect for breaking up a surplus of linearity in a room. Furnishing around a circle table can be tricky; however. To help, we’re rounding up eight sensational ways to surround a round table and getting tips straight from the inner circle — a.k.a. Design Directory Designers. Read on to discover round table setups that are bound to astound! 

RELATED READ: Chic Vintage Dining Table Ideas

San Francisco apartment with white round pedestal  dining table and fuchsia velvet chairs
Design by Cusp Interiors / Photo by Brad Knipstein

Go with rounded chairs 

While it may be basic, there’s nothing wrong with surrounding a round dining table with standard dining chairs. One way to ensure you choose dining chairs that complement your table? Going with chairs that showcase curvature. Shape repetition is a designer trademark, and repeating elements like curvature recalls an expertly-designed look. Don’t think you have to limit yourself to just chairs with only full circle elements like medallion backs; however. Chairs with any rounded element, be it chairs with curved chair rails. curved seats and curved barrel backs will all enhance a round table. 

Golden Gate Heights Residence: Kitchen with round tulip table and sage green wishbone chairs and built-in tufted green banquette bench
Design by Cusp Interiors / Photo by Suzanna Scott

Try a Banquette

You can always bank on a banquette to bring a brilliant look to a dining or breakfast nook outfitted with a round table. While a banquette paired with a rectangular or square table can look blockade-like, a round table and banquette feel more open and airy. Don’t have the budget for a built-in banquette? Don’t fret. A free-standing settee or tall-backed bench can be swapped in to get the look for less. When pairing a round table with a banquette or bench, keep in mind that a round pedestal table will provide the sleekest and most functional look. Tables with four legs create more visual clutter, plus, make it more difficult for guests to slide on and off your banquette. 

Noe Valley Dining Room with round wood table and black and turquoise chair
Design by Studio Roene / Photo by Molly Haas

Use one solo a desk chair 

If you’ve been longing for a workstation that possesses the gravitas of an executive desk, but isn’t overtly a desk, either, a round dining table fashioned as a desk might be your calling card. When drafting a round dining table to function as a desk, choose a chair that evokes authority, but also elegance. A chair designed in the manner of Dan Johnson’s Gazelle chair is a perfect example. Other dining chairs to consider include models designed by modernists Hans Wegner, George Nakashima, and Ray and Charles Eames. Keep in mind that arms, even if they’re abbreviated, can make a dining chair feel more adept at holding its own as the solo chair stationed at a large circular table. 

Southampton Residence with gray sectional and round coffee table
Deisgn by Ayromloo Design / Photo by Annie Schlechter

Tuck one in an L-shape sectional 

The luxuries of an L-shaped sectional or U-shaped sectional can’t be denied but they do limit the space allotted for a coffee table. One workaround is to opt for a round coffee table which, if scaled right, will take up less space than a traditional square table. When choosing a round table to complement a sectional, resist the urge to go too big. Going with too large of a table will result in an arrangement that looks visually jammed together or doesn’t allow guests to move between the table and the sofa. If you can’t shake the feeling that your table looks too small in comparison to your sofa, try laying a circular rug beneath your table. Doing so can give the illusion that your table is bigger than it is, while still providing the literal spatial benefits of a smaller table. 

Living room with round coffee table, antique carpet and midcentury seating and floor lamp.
Design by Sarah Walker Design Studio / Photo by Sam Frost

Embed one in a serpentine sofa 

With their concave indentation, serpentine sofas seem custom-made for nesting a circular coffee table. In fact, it’s actually hard to pull off anything but a round table with a curvy sofa. If you’re trying to decide on the right table to embed in a curved sofa, consider a table with only a slightly smaller circumference than your sofa’s concave seat. Doing so will create an in-scale anchor around which the rest of your room can orbit. Capitalize on a curved sectional and round coffee table duo by using it as the blueprint for a circular conversation pit. Integrating one is a simple way to make a room look chic and unique.  

Beverly Hills Estate with round geometric table surrounded by turquoise ceramic stools
Design by Jamie Bush + Co. / Photo by Douglas Friedman

Outfit it with round ottomans 

In large-scale entries and foyers, a round center table is often a go-to. They fill space and provide a place to set items as you walk in the door like keys and mail. In spite of their function, round center tables can sometimes look unmoored without any chairs to ground them. One solution? Furnishing around one with low ottomans or stools. Ottomans can add visual heft, transforming a solo table into a substantial vignette. Opting for round ottomans that echo your table’s circular shape can provide designer-level polish. 

Round table styled with a tablecloth and turquoise upholstered klismos chairs
Design by Brockschmidt & Coleman, LLC / Photo by Paul Costello

Space your chairs widely 

Have a round dining table that outsizes your number of dining chairs? If your chairs happen to look too far apart for your liking, consider draping a tablecloth over your table. A tablecloth camouflages negative space, making your chairs appear more unified. Another trick to making an oversized table look more synced to its dining chairs? An oversized centerpiece. Be it a vessel filled with overflowing palm fronds, a hefty hurricane lamp, or a colossal bowl, a scaled-up centerpiece can also visually decrease empty space. 

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Lead image design by Sarah Walker Design Studio / Photo by Sam Frost


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May 28, 2023

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