Choosing The Right Table
Before purchasing a table, know the dimensions of your room. If you place a big table in a small room, it will limit your entertaining capabilities. A small table in a big room will look alienated. A table should take up a decent amount of space, while allowing you to freely walk around the room. Also, make sure it fits through the doorway.
A table's surface is an important element. Glass tops look great and add a smooth texture to your dining atmosphere, but if you have children, pick a surface like pine. It will hide scratches and is great for a variety of activities.
For a small room, buy a drop-leaf table that can be extended for additional guests or put away to make more room. You can also purchase a convertible coffee table, which can be raised up to dining height.
Dark finishes, like stains or paints show imperfections. Glossy polishes look great, but also reveal all the nicks. If this table is meant for multiple tasks, get it in light wood or a distressed finish.
The two main attributes of any table are comfort and stability. The table has to have enough elbow room. A sitting person should get at least 60" of table space, but also to be able to pass dishes. To check for a table's stability, lean on all corners to make sure it doesn't wobble.
If your chairs and table are not in a set, make sure they both fit into your room's decor. A comfortable table will allow you to cross your legs under it. The chairs with their arm rests should freely fit under the table's edge.