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Things to Consider When Buying A Dining Room Table


Decorum Furniture


Decorum Furniture Blog


Nov 16, 2021


Purchasing a new dining room table, kitchen table, counter table, or bar table is a big deal. These are places where your family and friends get together and spend quality time. Between everyday meals, special dinners, family game nights, and often, working from home, you need a dining table that meets all of your needs. So, what exactly do you need to consider when buying a new dining table? As one of the premier furniture stores in Norfolk and Hampton Roads, Decorum Furniture has the knowledge, expertise, and experience to help you find the perfect dining table.

What to consider when buying a Dining Room Table

When you begin looking for new dining room furniture, you may be overwhelmed with all of the options available. What type of base or legs do I want? Does the shape fit my space? Do I need to get a certain material? Don’t be overwhelmed by the questions and options. Here are the four most important things to consider when buying a new dining table, counter table, or bar table.

Does it fit your design style?

We have all been somewhere the furniture just doesn’t match or go together. It can stop the flow of a room and cause multiple styles to compete for your attention. When looking for new dining room furniture, you will want to make sure it matches or blends in with the rest of your decor—especially in today’s popular open concept living spaces. Do you have a slightly rustic style? Obsessed with contemporary design? These two styles can now be blended into a modern farmhouse look.

By blending architectural metal bases or thick square legs with wood tops with multiple finishes, you can achieve this. There are even options to use distressed wood, solid wood, or—the extremely popular—” live edge” table top. A “live edge” dining table shows the organic nature of a tree’s trunk. The styles pair perfectly with a simple, clean-lined dining chair, covered in a material that can make it feel more modern, or more casual. If you prefer a mid-century dining table, a simple wooden table with slim tapered legs, or a simple trumpet base, paired with round-backed dining chairs may be the set for you.

How does the dining set fit the space?

Similar to match your style, you need to make sure the dining set fits in your current space. You don’t want to fall in love with the “perfect” dining table only to find out it doesn’t fit in the area. It’s always best to measure the space and flow of the room to help you, or a design consultant, find the scale best suited for you. Taking a few pictures of the area can also be very helpful when seeking out advice.

Round or square tables work best in smaller spaces, such as eat-in kitchens. Many people find counter tables or bar tables to be the best option in these areas as well. Rectangular tables are ideal for large dining rooms or open-concept spaces. Many even come with the ability to expand with leaf options that are often self-storing. Finally, don’t forget oval dining tables are a classic favorite—with the ability to seat many and the ease of getting around in a tighter space.

What material is best for you?

While you may love the idea of a wooden dining table, or a glass dining table, is that the best material for your needs? While shopping, consider your table’s care needs and be realistic about how this can impact budget and design style. This can, and should, impact the material you choose. Some of today’s most common material choices are:

  • Solid Wood
  • Wood Veneer
  • Natural Stone
  • Porcelain or Ceramic
  • Glass
  • Laminate
  • Concrete
  • Metal

Solid Wood Dining Table

Wood is one of the most popular materials but it does require a specific amount of care to protect the finish. Solid wood can expand due to temperature and humidity over time, but most hardwoods are kiln dried to prevent this. Wood can also scratch and get water rings. Most of today’s finishes are sturdier than ever and repairs to wood are fairly easy, but placemats are recommended. To combat this, many people opt for a distressed wood dining table, which is very suitable for a young family or for high amounts of use.

Wood Veneer Dining Table

Wood veneer is a less expensive option. It is essentially a thin skin of wood adhered to a material designed not to shrink or swell. This allows you to get the appearance of wood grain, at a fraction of the cost.

Natural Stone Dining Table

Natural stones such as marble, granite, or onyx vary in density and typically have a protective sealant applied for protection and ease of care. Some stones have a natural finish or polish and can be susceptible to rings for acidic liquids like soda or wine. Placemats are recommended to prevent this so if you choose to go in this direction, make sure to do your research.

Porcelain/Ceramic Dining Table

Porcelain or ceramic is an up-and-coming product that many consumers aren’t aware of. Its surge in popularity is due to its stone appearance and durability. It’s extremely scratch and chip resistant. Porcelain or ceramic dining tables are created by thermally fusing a layer of ceramic or porcelain into a layer of glass. This creates a very sturdy product with lots of design options and a finish that stands up to red wine (without using placemats).

Glass Dining Room Table

Glass is a year-round favorite and its popularity never waivers in modern design. Nothing looks better than a sleek and stunning base with a glass top. A glass dining table can also allow you to keep a space from feeling closed in. Clear glass is one of many options, but others include frosted glass, milky white glass, micro-etched glass, and crackled glass—all of which are great at minimizing fingerprints.

Laminate Dining Table

Laminates are incredibly durable products that have been used as countertops for almost 100 years. Today’s textured laminates are very affordable and often mimic wood or concrete. Extremely easy to care for, and perfect for an active lifestyle. Plus, no placemats are needed!

Concrete/Metal Dining Table

Concrete dining tables and metal dining tables are increasing in popularity, but are only suited for a specific design need or aesthetic. Both come with pros and cons. If you find comfort in the “warmth” of concrete or metal, embrace it.

What do you need from a dining room table?

Since every person has specific needs, it goes without saying that your dining table will fall into those needs. Are you looking for a large table to host parties and Thanksgiving dinners? You might want to consider a long rectangular dining table that can seat a lot of people. You may also enjoy a dining room buffet table—perfect for holding food and leaving more table space. Do you need a small dining table for family dinners? A round or square table may be a great option.

Need a multi-functional dining table that allows you to work from home? A counter table or bar table might be a great option. Friendly game nights? Carving pumpkins? Make sure that when you are looking for a dining room furniture set, you consider all of the fun activities and events that you may need a dining room for.

Find a Dining Room Table in Hampton Roads

Looking for a quality dining room table, kitchen table, counter table, or bar table in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, or Chesapeake? Look no further! Decorum is your premier furniture store in Norfolk. We have helped customers like you for over 50 years. And with over 190 five-star reviews, we must be doing something right.

Whatever your design style or dining room needs, Decorum carries something that is sure to fit them. From chairs and tables to buffets and sideboards, you can get an entire dining room set right in Norfolk!

Explore our website or visit the store to shop our wide collection of dining room furniture.

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