What's the best shape for a dining room table?
We're having the hardest time trying to answer that question.
I currently have this 54-inch round drop leaf table in my dining room. We keep four chairs around it and pull two more of the black chairs up to it for seating six when the kids come for dinner. If we want even more seating, there are four leaves that turn the table into an oval that can seat ten.
The problems I have with this table (and admittedly they're small problems) are that it's a bit wide for the room, it's impossible to find or sew nice tablecloths to fit it, I find it difficult to style it when we're not actually eating at it, and when we're not sitting at it, it doesn't look very good with six chairs around it because of the awkward placement of the legs. Also, the colonial drop leaf style isn't my favorite. In fact, until I stained the orange-ish maple top with an English Chestnut stain and painted the bottom black, I really disliked it. It's a family heirloom, so I'll never give it up. I just don't know if I want it in my dining room.
To see if we'd prefer a rectangular table, I cut a piece of cardboard into a 42-inch by 72- inch piece and laid it on top of our table with the leaves dropped. These bottom two photos are from my phone, so they're a little distorted, but you can get the gist of it. As you can see, six chairs fit fine around this shape, and it would be great not to have to keep pulling the extra chairs up to the table only when we need them, like we do now. This shape is in better proportion to our rug and the rectangular shape of the dining room, too. It takes up more of the length of the room instead of the width of it, edging out more towards the entryway and kitchen. It definitely fills up more of the room in exchange for the practicality of having six chairs around it.
I think I'm more confused than ever!
Right now, we're just trying to decide on the shape of the table. We'll try walking around this cardboard "table" for a bit to see if there's enough room on the sides, and we'll get used to the look of it. Once we've made a decision about the table, we'll decide on whether to keep or replace the chairs, too.
We've always had this round table in this dining room, and, honestly, we could keep living with it just the way it is and be happy. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time making this decision! But I keep picturing a fringed burlap runner on my dream rustic farmhouse table with a long wooden box full of hydrangeas sitting on top of it.
I would love to hear your opinions about this. What shape is your dining room table? Are there pros and cons to different shapes, and do you think one shape is better than another? Do you think my round American colonial table fits in okay with my vintage rustic farmhouse dream home, or should I throw caution to the wind and buy a new one?
Thanks for joining me on my quest for the perfect dining room table!