When you are selecting dining table shapes it is more than simply preferring one shape over the other. While your preference for a shape counts, you do need to consider the shape of your dining room or dining area when selecting a dining table. Another important factor to consider is how large a group you usually seat around your dining table.
Rectangular Dining Tables
Rectangular dining tables are maybe the most common. A rectangle is possibly the best shape for a dining table because most dining rooms are also rectangular. Also, it is a good shape for seating more than four people.
A rectangular dining table also lets you seat a greater number of people, especially if it comes with an extra leaf for extending the length should you need to seat additional guests at your table.
Ideally the table should be 36” to 42” across. Narrow rectangles can work in a narrow room, but if the table is any narrower than 36” you may find it difficult to fit place settings on both sides and also have enough room for food on the table. If you have to have a narrow table, you might want to consider placing the food on a sideboard, so that guests could help themselves before sitting down.
Square Dining Tables
Square shaped rooms look best with a square dining table. Square dining tables are also a good solution if you don’t have a large group to seat most of the time. A square table that can be expanded with leaves is good for the times you need to seat more guests around your table.
A benefit to having square tables is that they provide intimacy and a satisfying solution to seating a small number of people. It can be off-putting to have large rectangular tables when only two or three people are going to be present most of the time. That arrangement can feel makeshift and cold.
Two square tables can be grouped together to create a larger rectangular seating arrangement for special occasions.
Round Dining Tables
Another possibility for a square shaped or smaller dining room is a round dining table, which is also possibly the best shape for small gatherings. Every one can see everyone else and it just seems to provide a cozier and more intimate setting.
A round table is not ideal for larger gatherings, as a large round table simply means that while you can see others, you still seem far away, and may have to shout across the table to be heard. Besides, most dining rooms are not large enough to accommodate very large round dining tables.
If you do prefer a round table over a rectangular one but you need to seat a larger number of people from time to time, consider getting a round table with an extension leaf. That way you could use your round table most of the time but extend it when you have company over.
Oval Dining Table
An oval dining table is very similar to a rectangular one in almost all its attributes. Visually, it seems to occupy less room than a rectangle because of rounded corners.
Use an oval table when you have a narrower or smaller room, but need to seat more people.