How to Choose the Best Contemporary Dining Tables with Olson + Baker

Insta 1080 x 1920_Dulwich Dining Table

When it comes to the best contemporary dining tables, the dining table is where the family gathers. It is the focal point of most modern homes. This is why a modern dining table is both a positive and an important investment.

The best dining room tables have the capacity to transform the look, feel and character of your space. But, choosing the right one can be tricky. Table tops made of laminate or glass are easy to clean by wiping with a damp cloth. Oak or other wood tops will need more maintenance and are more likely to suffer scratches. Which one to choose?

The best contemporary dining tables can be rustic or simple, stylish and modern, practical or exclusive. Your options are endless. But, what is most important is that the table matches your style and accommodates the needs for which it intended.

If you want one of the best contemporary dining tables you need to decide either whether you want it to make a statement in a room or if you would prefer this key piece of furniture to play a more discreet role. Before you invest in a new, modern dining table, you need to be clear what style of dining table you want.

Among the things to consider are:

The Function

For what purpose is your dining table intended? In most homes, the dining table serves to do more than simply hosting family meals and dinner parties. You may run your home business from it. It could be where you or your children will study.

Its functions will play a big part in determining your table’s size and style. Do you want a special event location or something much more practical?

Desalto Clay Round Ø180cm Table by Marc Krusin D64 and D64 lifestyle

If it’s intended for everyday practicality the Desalto Clay Round Ø120cm Table designed by Marc Krusin is a good all-rounder. It comes with a choice of round or oval-shaped toughened glass tops. And while it is practical it also befits more formal occasions like dinner parties. There are many finishes from which to choose. These include metal, marble, glass and stone.

When choosing a table as important as this it should be among the best contemporary dining tables. This means it should not only be comfortable but in line with your tastes and lifestyle. Think wood that you can sand and oil like the Ethnicraft Slice Dining Table. The robust legs of this wooden extendable table enable you to adjust the seating space. The table is available in two sizes and can come in walnut, oak or teak.

Olson + Baker’s teak range comes with no finish or any protective treatment. The polished wood allows natural oils to rise to the surface. Teak wood’s high density has the advantage that any stains do not penetrate the wood. They stay on the surface.

The finish on all Ethnicraft walnut furniture is a tinted natural oil. The furniture thus retains its natural colour. The oil creates a natural protective coating that repels most common substances and liquids.

When choosing your new dining table to be mindful of how it’s going to be used. This will also have a bearing on where you may want to place your dining table. This decision will also determine the size and maybe even the best material for dining tables that you choose.

The Size

The room and the number of people who may be sitting around it will have a bearing on the size of the table you choose. Don’t only think about the number of people who will use it on a day-to-day basis. Take into consideration how often you may be hosting dinner parties or having guests.

Think about both the minimum and the maximum number of people you will need to seat. When there is a large difference between these two numbers, an extending table would no doubt work best.

Take Case Furniture’s Dulwich Extendable Table as an example. This is a sophisticated, bold extending table, designed by Matthew Hilton.

Its slim legs maximise legroom for an enjoyable seating experience. Also, stored inside the table are the extension leaves. When extended this table can seat between six and 10 people. It has a solid wood base and a chamfered veneered top. This table does not need regular polishing although a good polish will maintain the wood’s natural shine.

When choosing your new table, consider the room in which you will be dining. Is it a formal dining room? Or do you have an open-plan kitchen-diner? It could be that you have a large kitchen in which you plan to fit the table.

It’s important to determine how much space is available. Measuring space will help you pick the dining table that suits your space and guests.

A good rule of thumb when choosing a table size is to make sure there are at least 90 cm between your wall/other furniture and the table. This should allow the diners to move around, getting up and sitting down without difficulty. It’s worth noting that 105-125 cm would be even better and would create a more spacious feel.

When matching the best dining table and chairs a general rule is to allow 30 cm between seat and table-top. It’s also best to allow each person to have at least 60 cm of the table’s surface. Again 75 cm would be even better for that extra elbow room.

For those of you who aren’t sure what size table fits how many people here are some measurement guidelines:

  • A 183 cm long rectangular table seats six.
  • A 245 cm long rectangular table seats eight.
  • A 305 cm long rectangular table seats 10.
  • A 90-125 cm round (diameter) table seats four.
  • A 155 cm round (diameter) table seats six
  • A 185 cm round (diameter) table seats eight.

The Shape

When it comes to the shape of the table you choose, consider your room size. There is no doubt that furniture looks best when it fits well in a space. Opting for a round table with a pedestal base is ideal if you are furnishing a smaller space. With this in mind consider the Desalto Clay Round Ø120cm Table mentioned above.

Round tables like this tend to make a room’s perimeter appear larger. The lack of legs will also make room for more chairs. When selecting the best dining table and chairs, circular tables are great for creating an intimate setting when accommodating small parties. They can also add a cosy, warm and even romantic atmosphere to any room. This can be further enhanced by placement under a light and when the best dining table set is accompanied by plush chairs.

Stellar Works Exchange 180cm Dining Table by Crème 2

When seating six or more people consider a rectangular dining table set like the Stellar Works Rén Rectangular Dining Table. Like other Rén tables and chairs, this combines Nordic philosophy with craft techniques and aesthetic detail from Japan and China. The Rén table combines solid wood legs with a veneer laminate top and brass-plated stainless steel. Other Stellar Works dining tables like the Exchange have metal legs.

A round dining table set could make it difficult for the people at opposite ends of the table to engage with each other. If you have a larger room you will have more flexibility when it comes to the shape and size of the table. Bigger rooms tend to go better with rectangular tables than smaller rooms.

Rectangular tables, with their clean appearance and well-defined lines, act as statement-furniture. Even when they are in a dining area they can also serve everyday needs. Rectangular tables stand out in both form and functionality. They can pair well with pieces of storage furniture to hold any tableware accessories.

It is worth emphasising that the shape and size of a dining table should match the room. If there is plenty of space then a large rectangular dining table is ideal. When space is tight, then the best extendable dining table would be good. Exetendable tables give you options to change the shape as and when this is required.

Round dining tables tend to work in both large and small rooms. Plus a round table can create a special dynamic with its curved edges and softer shape. When people sit at a round dining table they are closer to each other. This makes it much easier for everyone to join in any conversation that is going on.

Whatever suits, try to choose the best material for dining tables and chairs that harmonise with both your decor and the room in which it is going to stand. Choose the shape when you know the purpose of the table and the room it will be sitting in.

When it comes to the best contemporary dining tables, both rectangular and round tables have benefits and work best in different scenarios. Rectangular tables fill up space in a large room and large tables look great in formal dining rooms.

Circular tables are better for conversation if you want everyone seated around the table to be able to chat. Round tables are also ideal for smaller spaces. They work particularly well when placed in bay windows or kitchens.

The Style

Deciding on a style for the best contemporary dining tables and that complements your décor and existing furniture can give you more direction on what to look for. Wooden tables look at home in traditionally styled rooms with furniture that has mahogany, brown, and dark-toned finishes.

Lighter-toned tables are better in rooms that have a more modern, pared-down feel. Different styles of furniture can look great when blended together. Having an idea of what you like before you start looking can make finding that perfect table a much easier and quicker process.

The Material

Finally, for the best contemporary dining tables choose the materials from which you would like the table to be made. If you would like a wood table, would you prefer a smooth oak, a rustic wood or perhaps even a dark wood finish? What about a wood top with a different style of legs to create more interest in the room – perhaps black or brass legs? Or would you prefer a glass tabletop?

When you’ve made your decision on the materials that you prefer, you’ll find it much easier to narrow your search. Remember that the material that you choose for your new dining table will be very much related to the actual function your table will have. For example, when you have young kids opt for the best material for dining tables that is not too delicate and that is easy to clean.


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