Deciding on a Dining Room Table

Furnishing your dining room is a big decision, and there are so many options available that it may feel overwhelming trying to identify where to begin. Or maybe you’ve seen your dream dining room set-up on Pinterest and you need to figure out how to make it a reality within your own space and budget constraints. Whether you have a vision in mind or simply need to start from scratch, we hope today’s post is a good guide for some things to think about before you make your final decision. We called on our resident dining room furniture sales expert, Jody, to get his insight on what most of our customers want and need to know…

Deciding on a Dining Room TableDeciding on a Dining Room Table

Start with the Basics

While there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a dining room set (especially if you’re looking to customize), there are 3 key elements of your new table that should guide the whole conversation:

  1. How big do you want your table to be?
  2. How thick do you want your tabletop to be?
  3. What style base are you interested in (metal? wood? legs? or pedestal?)?

Which One, Which One…

We carry a LOT of brands that have dining room furniture divisions. They are split (for the most part) into two main categories:

Don’t let the options overwhelm you, though! We have a team of salespeople and an in-house designer who would love to help you narrow down and filter through the options to find the table or set that is best suited to meet your needs.

Pay Attention to Dimensions

The first concern for most of our customers is finding a dining room set that sits the right number of people (whether that’s 4 or 14). The size and configuration of your dining room (and the presence of any other furniture in it) plays a significant role in determining not only the square footage your table takes up, but also the shape of table that will be attractive as well as easy to use and navigate around.

Here is just a hint at the range of dining room table dimensions you can find through Chervin Furniture & Design:

  • Our widest dining room table available to order is 72 inches wide by 92 inches long (183 x 234 cm).
  • Our longest dining room table available to order is 48 inches wide by a whopping 150 inches long (122 x 381 cm).
  • Our smallest dining room table available to order is a round table with a diameter of 37 inches (94 cm). This special little table has drop leaves which fold down to create an even smaller, oblong table.

Keep in mind the size of your overall room when considering table size – you will want to budget at least 2-3 feet of space behind each chair (a perimeter around the table) in order to have smooth and easy access to and from the table. You can manage with less, of course, but you may have a lot of squishing and squeezing to get by one another.

Deciding on a Dining Room Table - Fall tablescapeDeciding on a Dining Room Table - Fall tablescape

A Dining Set for Everyone

While you can add centrepieces, table runners, and unique dishes to really inform the style of your dining room, it helps to have the right foundation. We can help you find the style that resonates with you most (and fits best with the rest of your home), whether its rustic industrial or streamlined modern. Currently in our showroom are 2 farmhouse tables, as well as a couple transitional glass tables. In the near future, we’re excited to have some more new tables taking their place on our showroom floor, including more modern options, as well as an industrial style with a metal base.

Digging down a little further, consider how much flexibility you want your table to have. Do you expect to host? If so, are you the type of person to host a friend or maybe another couple, or to host Thanksgiving for your whole extended family? If you want the flexibility to host large groups, consider getting a table with leaves that will allow you to expand your seating capacity significantly. Each table has its own options and limitations, but the primary options for leaves are drop leaves (that fold down on the sides of the table), self-storage leaves (that slide out from under the table top for concealed storage when not in use), butterfly leaves (self-storage leaves that fold out in both directions from the centre), or removable leaves (that can be stored in a closet and inserted only when needed).

To learn more about table leaves, take a look at this fabulous article from DutchCrafters.

Custom – Is it Worth it?

A lot of the tables we sell are custom orders from Canadian brands like Handstone and Bertanie, but it is still worth taking the time to evaluate – when is custom worth it? After all, customization does come with a cost. While a standard 6-piece dining set from Ashley may cost you as little as $1,000, you could be spending upwards of $5,000 for a custom, handcrafted 6-piece set from Bertanie…it all depends on what your priorities are in this season of life.

  • A stock set will be quicker to receive, less expensive, and less time-consuming to order – and most brands have a wide variety of good quality products you can choose from.
  • Buying a custom set will allow you to tailor each piece to your own tastes and preferences. For example, Bertanie allows you to choose virtually every element of your table – from the style of the legs and base, to the tabletop thickness, to the finish, the size, and the combination of chairs that go with it (which, by the way, can be upholstered or not, with a variety of styles and designs). Our custom table suppliers also handcraft their product here in Canada (Handstone is even from Wallenstein, just a few minutes drive from our Elmira showroom).
Deciding on a Dining Room Table - Bertanie CustomizationDeciding on a Dining Room Table - Bertanie Customization

But What About the Chairs?

The table is usually the heart of dining room purchases – it requires the most substantial investment and tends to draw eyes the fastest. But that doesn’t mean the decision of what seating to put around your striking new table isn’t important. In fact, if your budget is limited and your current dining room seating is no longer a viable option (perhaps due to wear and tear, or because the style of seating is simply no longer comfortable for older or injured members of your home), it may be worth investing in a good set of dining room chairs first, then customizing a table to match at a later date. (Alternatively, if your existing chairs are in great shape and you’re on a budget, we can help you find a table to coordinate beautifully with the chairs you already have.) It’s up to you – there are LOTS of dining room seating options available and we’d be happy to walk through the options with you anytime.

Besides the basic choice of upholstered or not upholstered chairs, do keep in mind the option of a dining bench, as well. Benches can be great for smaller spaces since you can position the table and bench up against one wall of the room, or for children or guests, who tend to be more flexible with their seating arrangements. Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to dining benches!

Maintaining Your Investment

If your house is home to kids or pets, investing in a shiny, new dining room set may feel a bit foreboding – what if it gets scratched, dented, or otherwise marked up by those adorable and well-meaning little ones that keep your home so exciting? Consider these reassuring options to keep your dining room a little more worry-free:

  • Customize your dining room furniture with a slightly distressed finish; even a subtle distressing can help mask any future knicks or scratches.
  • Rest easy knowing that most of our tables are treated for regular wear and tear and rated to withstand a good amount of heat (think coffee cup, but not pan straight off the stove).
  • You always have the last resort option of buying a furniture marker to fill in and camouflage those pesky marks that just won’t blend in on their own.

Meet Jody - Chervin Furniture & Design Sales

Jody’s Pick

Rectangular industrial dining room table (40″ x 72″) with a thick table top and heavily distressed legs. Dark finish to coordinate well with the black vinyl dining chairs his family has at home.

Contact Jody with your dining room questions!