And The Right Size Dining Table For You Is...
The one that fits your space and lifestyle.
There are a range of dining table sizes that fit a space, and within that range lies the single, perfect size that fits your lifestyle.
Excited to find your magic number? Here we go:
S P A C E
3 types of space to consider, 3 numbers to remember:
80 - 80 - 30.
With these 3 numbers, you’ll have all the math you need to figure out the ideal size for your space on the go, even if you forget what size you wanted to get while shopping.
1 . Room Space
80cm: The goldilocks amount of walking space for an average person is 80cm from edge to edge. By leaving about 80cm from the edge of your table to the next surface (wall / back of the sofa / cabinet), your guests will be able to walk around your table comfortably without stubbing toes or knocking into edges, while maximising the amount of usable space in our typically-cramped city apartments.
Min/ Max Range: 60cm - 150cm of space from edge to edge.
Sometimes spatial constraints require us to compromise and that’s okay, you’ll just have to be more careful while walking. Conversely, be sure to maintain visual balance by not getting a table that’s too small.
2 . Personal Space
80cm: To avoid getting into fights with your left-handed sister, be sure to cater approximately 80cm of elbow space per diner.
Min/ Max Range: 60cm - the width of your armchair (if you’re using one).
Anything less than 60cm is a cuddle (try it!) and anything wider than your armchair will make conversation difficult (unless that’s what you’re secretly going for…).
30cm: We saved the best (most important) for last. This one’s about height - for the optimal seating experience, make sure there’s about 30cm clearance from your seat to the surface of the table. Most off-the-rack dining tables are between 75-80cm tall (or just get yours customised! By us!).
Min/ Max Range: 24cm - 35cm knee clearance
When you’re shopping and starting to get tired of keeping track of chair height numbers and table surface calculations, just recall the last time you went to a cafe and had to crouch over the table for your entire meal - if you don’t get this right, that’ll be your. entire. life. every. day.
L I F E S T Y L E
Within the range of table sizes that fit into a particular space, lies the perfect size that fits your lifestyle and habitual use. Asking yourself 2 simple questions will help you decide whether to land on the smaller end or larger end of the range that your space can afford:
Sharing or Plated?
Whether you’re a frequent entertainer or an incontrovertible introvert, chances are you’ll be sharing your new table with someone at some point, and the main question here is: do you visualise yourself hosting with shared dishes or a plated meal?
The bottomline is: shared dishes are one more piece of tableware that you need to make space for. If sharing’s your style, 70cm is the minimum depth you will require, with 80-90cm being the most comfortable width. Any width above 90cm means having the “pass the dish” frequently, otherwise your dining partner sitting across from you will have to stand up to get their food.
Diner-Dash or Cafe-Culture?
How much time do you typically spend at your table?
Do you tend to dine and dash, or do you enjoy lingering at the table with your laptop and a cup of coffee? Do your guests typically adjourn to the sitting room after dinner or do they prefer gossiping while grazing at the table?
The more time you typically spend at your table, the more comfortable you should make it. That usually means investing in great armchairs, which means having to cater more space for them at the table, so err on the larger side of the range that your space can afford!
L I F E . H A C K S
Many interior design sites recommend laying out the table size you want in your space with tape, and while that’s definitely a great way to get a sense of how your table will feel in your space, we’ve got a couple of other tips up our sleeve that aren’t quite as troublesome:
Learning from Experience
We’ve all had experience with dining tables, whether at a restaurant or at our parents’ or friends’ homes. The next time you’re dining anywhere, take some time to pay attention to the little experiences that arise - do your legs feel obstructed, do you feel like you don’t have enough space, do you get a sense of joy or satisfaction from using the table top? Mindfulness practice plus primary table research all-in-one - many birds, one stone.
Free Floor-planner Visualisation
All the diagrams here were built with this free floor-planning site that will easily help you visualise the proportions of your furniture in your space. It’s great for those moments when you need to take advantage of a good promotion, and need to start shopping before you get the keys.
Need more personalised advice for your space? Make an appointment with our experienced advisors below: