The dining table is frequently the center of family life. It is the heart of the home, where many families come together to discuss the day while sharing a delicious meal. While the tradition of sitting down for dinner is falling by the wayside in these busy times, families who maintain this habit often comment on the joys that come from sharing some time together each day.
Below is our guide to just some of the many different types of dining tables. We are always looking to capture new styles and unique types of tables that compliment a dining room.
The dinner table has a long and varied history. The early Greeks used tables for eating that could be pushed under beds when the meal was done. The Romans had semi-circular tables. The ancient middle east, the table was long, low, and rectangular. The diners would lounge on couches arranged on the sides of the table, leaving the fourth side free for food servers to access. In Europe long plank tables set on trestles popular, especially for their easy removal. These long tables would be used in the main banquet hall of castles and keeps. Up until the 18th century, most dining tables were regularly removed after meals so that the room could be used for other purposes. A room specifically designated for dining did not become popular until the Victorian era.
Around the world today, there still are many different types of dining tables. In the Middle East and parts of Asia, many people eat at tables that are low to the ground. Diners lounge on pillows and rugs on the floor while eating their meal. In Japan, sometimes the table is set into a hole in the floor where diner hang their feet while seated. In America, we have many different styles of dining. Many families love having a dining table in a dining room. Some prefer a smaller table in the kitchen or breakfast nook. Most of these tables are of average height. This height should be comfortable to someone seated in the chairs around the table. There is a growing popularity in Bistro tables. Bistro style tables are somewhat taller than average to accommodate chairs that are similar to stools in height.
When choosing a dining table for your family, there are several factors to consider. How many people are living in your home, and do you regularly eat at the dining room table together? The best table for you will provide enough room to seat everyone. Do you like to entertain? Will you want everyone to be able to sit at the same table? How many people do you usually invite? Many tables have leaf inserts, table pieces that can add extensions to the table. This provides more size options and greater usability. The size of the room where you are putting the table in will also be important in determining the maximum size of your dining table. Before going shopping, measure the room and the space where you want to put the table. Bring the measurement with you, as well as a measuring tape, when you visit the dining room stores. If you buy your table online, the dimensions should be available for you to consider.
The shape of your dining room table will again depend on how your family dines, and the shape of the room you are going to put the table into should also be taken into consideration. Round tables may remind us of King Arthur, but they can be extremely functional. Most round tables are set on a pedestal which mean less space taken up by the legs and more people can be seated at the table. Rectangular tables bring to mind banquet style dining, and are great for family where the parents like to sit at the head of the table. Square tables have a cute quality, but sometime are less efficient because table legs block a higher percentage of space. Square tables can be very efficient for a family of four, and good for company if it includes a table leaf extension.
The materials that tables are made out of are widely varied. Traditionally, tables are wood, but we also have glass topped and marble topped. These are frequently on metal legs, but some are still set on wood. Wood tables have a rich lustrous beauty, but they can be scorched and scratched easily. Glass can be elegant and modern, but it shows finger prints and dirt quickly. Marble is tough but very cold to the touch. You can protect you tables by use of table clothes or place mats. Also, always put a trivet under any hot dish you place on the table.
If you decide you want an antique dining table, do plenty of research before you commit to a purchase. Try to decide on the style and era of the table, then you can find out the earmarks to look for to make sure you are getting a true antique and not a replica. Two great places to find antique dining tables are eBay and Craigslist.
Your dining table can become the center of you home, the place where you family can come together at the end of the day. A quality dining table can last for a lifetime. So choose one that will grace your home and your life.