Good interior design is not only about the “big picture.” Yes, everything has to come together to create a great-looking and great-feeling aesthetic. But much of that has to do with choices that perfectly mesh with your lifestyle, and that’s different for everyone. One space in your home that may matter more than people think is the dining room. Dining room tables exist in almost every home, but most aren’t purchased with the intentionality they deserve. Here are some things to consider when looking to incorporate the best dining room table for your home and your way of life.

Start with Scale

One of my favorite design projects was a 41,000-square-foot megamansion in Bel Air. The entire home had sprawling space everywhere! It was fun selecting decor that was larger than life because the space could handle it all. What I realize, though, is some of those same pieces of furniture would completely dwarf the average dining room in most homes.

That’s where your journey to find the best dining room table should start. Consider the size of your space.  Why? Because visual balance is always key. That said, you want to make sure the scale of the table matches the available square footage. Honestly, no one wants an Alice in Wonderland situation. You may adore a specific table, but if it is too small for your space, it will never present the way you want (or need) it to. Such is the same with stately dining room tables. They have such a commanding presence and they can look so regal. However, if you have a smaller dining room, selecting a table that’s too large would crowd your space. That would have the opposite effect you want. Instead of looking grand, you would actually reduce square footage visually. You definitely want to think about scale as you choose your dining room table.

Make & Material

People tend to pick furniture with their eyes versus their needs. They buy what they like, and they like what they see. But with so many different types of materials from which to choose, how do you know which one is best? All materials are not made equally, nor do all of them present effectively in a space. But again, that is contingent on one’s definition of “effective.”

For example, is being environmentally sound important to you when furnishing your home? It is for me. I am a big advocate of thinking about sustainability when it comes to furniture purchases. You may want to consider looking at dining room tables made from reclaimed wood. This material is significantly stronger than traditional wood. Prolonged exposure to various temperatures causes wood to expand and makes it tougher and less prone to splitting. Its rustic look also adds visual depth and character other woods don’t. And, reclaimed wood helps to preserve natural resources. Wins all around!

I also love to design with glass dining room tables. In fact, another one of my favorite pieces that I’ve used in an interior design project featured a glass tabletop. It sat on a brass base and was infused with one of my favorite hues. Glass is great because you can go larger with it without obstructing the view or visually breaking up the continuity in a space. It is a delicate material, so it does have some limitations. I’d say the same about marble. It’s simply gorgeous, but it is a very soft stone. Now, if you love marble but don’t want to have it resealed often (which tends to be the case with marble), go with a manmade material. It’s just as beautiful and more durable.

What’s the Use?

A final thing to consider when deciding on your dining room table is how it’s going to be used. Many people have formal dining rooms that aren’t regularly utilized. Rather, homeowners use the rooms more for beauty and for contributing to the overall look of the entire home. If that is what you’re after, you may want to select a table based on its intricate craftsmanship, look or color. These aspects may be more appreciated because they work to better complement the interior space itself.

However, if you’re looking to get a dining room table you will sit down and use daily with your family, that may be the time to deliberate more on what you really want. Do you want to invest in an heirloom-quality table that may be a bit more costly but more substantial? Or, will having an active family cause you to think more practically? If you entertain a great deal, are you okay with having a dining room table made of beautiful but super porous materials? These are some serious questions to think about.

As an interior designer with a family, I think you should also be mindful of the dynamic of the people who will be using it. If your household consists only of you and your significant other, two responsible adults, you may be more willing to purchase a table with a more precious or delicate material. If you have active young kids, though, chances are you may not want a table that can be easily marred by stains, nicks, or dents from regular use. Trust me: NO ONE wants permanent memories of spaghetti sauce or ketchup mishaps. Also, if you have kids, consider the cleaning that will be necessary if you have a glass table. Fingerprints are real—and very visible— with this material.

Need Help Deciding?

There’s so much to keep in mind when you want to create the perfect dining room in your home. A big part of that will center on the elements you want to incorporate, including your dining room table, and how everything will fit into your everyday lifestyle. Need some help making a decision about all your options? I can help! I’d love to look at your room and talk you through some specific considerations for your dining space. Contact me at The Expert, and let’s work to find the best dining room table for your forever home!

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