How to Choose the Right Dining Table for Your Space

The MAG 11/22

GUIDE by Emanuele Drago

Dining Table ASYMMETRIC by Nicola Di Froscia for DFdesignLab

Selecting the right dining table for your kitchen or dining room is a crucial decision. Along with your sofa, kitchen cabinets and decor, bathroom vanity and other essential pieces, your table is a central element in your home and is where you’ll enjoy shared meals and moments with family and friends for years to come.

The range of tables available on the market today is virtually endless, so much so that it can be confusing when it comes time to choose one, but with a few tips to keep in mind it can actually be easier than it seems.

Select your table’s location & materials

When planning where to place your table and what materials to choose, remember to plan for the right lighting, too, depending on the time of day you’ll use your table and whether it will be used in a space like a breakfast nook or a separate dining room. If you’re going to use your table primarily during the day, place it preferably near a window or door, otherwise make sure to use appropriate ceiling or floor lamps to add the right artificial lighting when dining.

Two other factors are important when deciding on the perfect table for your space: its shape in relation to the room, and the material it’s made from, with wood, metal, plastic, glass and marble being some of the most common tabletops and structures.

Rectangular dining tables


Table AXY by Claudio Bellini for MDF Italia

Elegant and sleek, rectangular tables come in a wide variety of sizes and lengths, including with table extensions, so as to fit any space and accommodate any number of people.

A rectangular room tends to adapt well to being positioned in almost any space. Make sure to place your dining table parallel to the wall of your dining room, as normally tables placed diagonally take up too much room and create confusion visually.


Round & square dining tables


Round Table with Veneered Walnut Wood Top SOSPESO

A round table is the most practical choice for those with a small dining space, and can be placed in a corner to create a sense of harmony in the room. The soft and balanced forms of a round table create a warm atmosphere and make it easier to converse when dining. It’s also a safer choice with children in the house, as round tables lack the pointed corners a rectangular or square table has.

And here’s a little secret: if you want to know approximately how many people can sit comfortably around a round table, use this formula: diameter of the table X 3.14 ÷ 60.


Steel and Wood Table FIRST by Baldessari e Baldessari

Similarly to round tables, square dining tables are symmetrical and create visual harmony in a space as well as make conversation easier. Some square tables can be extended with leaves, making them highly versatile.


Oval and irregular-shaped dining tables

Marble and Crystal Dining Table ASYMMETRIC by Nicola Di Froscia for DFdesignLab

Oval, hexagonal and other irregularly shaped dining tables are less common but help give unique character to a space. Another factor to consider is that an oval table that is the same size as a rectangular table can visually appear to take up less space as it has rounded corners.

These less common forms of tables, including sculptural dining tables, tend to be more refined pieces made from luxurious materials, and should be generously sized and placed in a large room so as to best appreciate and admire them.

The right table for your space

Glass Dining Table TESO TAVOLO by Renzo Piano for FontanaArte

Design Italy offers an exclusive selection of tables by big names in Italian design, like glass dining table TESO TAVOLO by Renzo Piano for FontanaArte, aluminum dining table AXY by Claudio Bellini for MDF Italia, Inventoom’s tables in reclaimed wood, and many more.