Kitchen & Dining, Shopping Guides

Shopping Guide for Dining Tables

Have you ever tried shopping for dining room tables? If so, then you know how endless the possibilities are. When it comes to shopping for a new dining room table, the conundrum lies in not knowing which to choose from! There is such a variety in woods, finishes, styles, designs, upholstery, and more! Each dining room table can serve many purposes. You may be looking for a perfect place to entertain, a great centerpiece to pull together your room, or even the perfect spot to host family holidays. There are several factors to consider when narrowing down your dining room table search. The process can be incredibly exciting when you know what you’re looking for! It’s as simple as narrowing down a few keys factors and finding what fits best. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to find pieces that not only fit your needs, but also transition into a variety of design styles. Knowing where to start is the first step, so let’s dive in!


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As most of us know, choosing pieces which best compliment the existing space is key. Tables are no exception. You should never sacrifice your personal style simply because you need a piece of furniture. There are lots of ways to blend functionality and fashion together for your perfect setting. Pedestal tables are an extremely popular style, especially for breakfast nooks and smaller spaces. Something like our Alberta Single Pedestal Table can provide the perfect space to have quiet family dinners or relax with your morning coffee. Farmhouse tables, like the Croft Trestle Table, are another popular style for mid-range to large spaces used for entertaining or family holiday feasts. Parsons style tables are known for their no-nonsense, straight to the point style, perfect for those wanting a no frills design style. The Durango Leg Table is a great example of this, because of its minimalistic, elegant design. It’s perfectly versatile and able to withstand tabletop use in many forms. Mid-century fans will find a use for the Vadsco Round Table, which streamlined shape gives any room a chic, sleek look. Mid-century style is excellent for anyone wanting a little edge mixed with a hint of tradition. It’s anything but the norm, but perfect for those with a chic taste. Contemporary style is defined by sculptural  accents. Contemporary tables, like the Yukon Trestle Table, boast mixed material elements which give your room a modern, sleek update. The versatility in contemporary designs ensure your ability to switch things up every once and awhile. You won’t have to feel tied to any one style, because contemporary pieces transition easily!


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Choosing the type of material used to create a table is so important because it will determine how long you can enjoy this beautiful piece. Not to mention, it may help you decide which table to choose, based on the amount of use the table will get. If your home is a constant bustle of people, you’ll definitely want to look into material that can withstand wear and tear. Veneer is often a popular budget friendly choice given their resistance to stains, however, cheaper isn’t always cheaper. Veneer cannot be refinished should it get damaged the way wood can. Veneer also warps with heat, so you may end up replacing your table far more often than a wood table. This can be a costly expense every few years. Wood is, of course, a beloved choice for dining room tables, due to its durability and versatility.

Metal and marble are popular choices among the industrial and contemporary crowds. While these materials are rather durable and can withstand a great deal of use, they both prove to be fairly high maintenance. Marble and metal must be cleaned every day to avoid scuffing or staining. The process can be more involved than you may have time for, so be careful to assess whether or not the extra effort is worth it for you.  Wood can be endlessly updated through stains and paints, allowing you to keep your favorite pieces for much longer. Something like a Newport Table can be in your home for years and withstand numerous updates with no problems.


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Some consider shape the utmost important factor to consider when selecting dining room furniture. Your table should provide a place to gather and promote an inviting atmosphere, not overwhelm the room. So consider the dimensions when you’re looking at tables. If your dining room is a bit small, opt for a round dining room table. A great example of this is our Normandy Single Pedestal Table. Should you have a much larger room with lots of space to fill, look for table with length and more rectangular or oval shapes. Something like our Cleveland Table would fit the bill for a room with a bit more space. Square tables can also be used in smaller rooms, depending on the space provided. The average rule to follow is 24-28″ of space around the table. This will vary depending on the amount of people you intend to fit around the table, but a great way to determine seating is to multiple the diameter of the table by 3.14 and then divide by 24. To help you visualize the size and space you’ll need for your dining table and chairs, Mattie Lu offers a dining table seating guide. This will give you a more accurate account of how many people can comfortably be seated, and thus help you pick the best table for your dining room.

A dining room table is really the focal point of any dining room. The place where you and your guests gather to share memories and meals should provide a sense of ease and comfort, and reflect your design style too. Your vision does not have to be compromised by a lack of space, you can simply pick shapes that work best for your particular room! Any style can be translated into any number of sized tables. Now that you understand which style, shape, and durability you’re really looking for, you’re well equipped to find your dream table. You’ll be hosting family functions, get-togethers, and fun-filled nights in no time!

RESOURCES: The Design Network

Mattie Lu made to fit every aspect of your home - from style to size to color to design. At Mattie Lu, our artisan Amish craftsmen make imagination come to life for our customers every day. We are a lifestyle furnishings company owned by a mother and daughter duo. We're ready to help you create the interior furnishings of your dreams.

From the selection of wood to the first cuts to the final touches, every piece from Mattie Lu is lovingly created with your specifications in mind. We know you'll love the end result and will enjoy it for years to come!

Made to order. Made to love.

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