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How to choose the right Dining table for yourself feature

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to choosing a dining table; you will after all spend many hours enjoying time with family around it so it’s important to get it right! Ultimately a dining table should suit your lifestyle, family and of course your design aesthetic. To help you get started, our furniture experts have put together all their top tips for choosing the perfect dining table for your home.

Ethnicraft Circle Oak Dining Table

Size and Shape

First things first, decide on the size and shape that will best suit your home. Start by measuring your room to determine the maximum size you can go for. Allow at least 90cm between any walls and the dining table so you can move your chairs in and out comfortably. Next you should consider your family’s needs and how many people will regularly be seated at the table. You should allow 55-60cm of space per person (or more if your chairs are bigger) and 60cm between people. If you entertain often but are short on space an extension dining table is good way to overcome this.

Don’t just rely on measurements when it comes to deciding on the size of your table. You should also consider the ‘visual weight’ of a piece and how that contributes to the room. Finer tables with slimmer legs such as the Ethnicraft Bok dining table have a light and airy feel while a chunkier farm-house styled like the Bordeaux dining table will appear larger in a room. Darker colours will also seem more prominent and add to the visual weight of a piece.

When it comes to deciding what shape to go with you will need to take the shape of the room into consideration. In general, round and square tables are better in square rooms while rectangle and oval table are better in rectangle rooms. Rectangular tables are often the go-to options and there are plenty of styles to choose from however circular tables can be more conducive to conversation and you can often squeeze more people around when you have extra guests. There are also options that fit somewhere in between with a move away sharp edges on tables. This has the advantage of no more scrapes on hips and being child-friendly!

Global Design Gold Coast Dining Table with Mimi Dining chairs


While table legs are usually made from metal or timber, there are no shortages of table top materials. Your choice will often come down to personal preferences as well as the best material for your lifestyle. Think about how it will be used, whether it will be subject to excess wear and tear or if it will be drenched in all day sun making it more prone to UV damage.


Ceramic tables come in a wide variety of styles, from beautiful marble look to contemporary stone like texture. Ceramic is a great family friendly option as it is very hardy and scratch resistant. It is also great for high sun areas as it won’t fade or deteriorate.


There is no denying the beauty of natural wood dining tables. Whether solid or veneer, timber can bring warmth and natural texture to your interior. Timber is softer than other options so more care needs to be taken as it is more prone to denting and scratching. If you have young children and still love the look of timber, go for a rustic style such as the Global Design Gold Coast dining table where it easier to disguise any damage.


Glass gives a modern look to interiors and is particularly popular for Italian tables. They are available in clear, frosted and tinted and can create an open, airy look so are great for smaller spaces. You do need to be wary of finger prints and be prepared to clean a little more often.

Natural Stones & Marble

Like timber, natural stones and marble impart a beautiful natural aesthetic. They can however be more susceptible to staining and etching especially from acidic liquids so a little extra care is required.

Ethnicraft Black Oak Dining table


A dining table is often a defining feature of a space and one that can make or break or an interior. It should stylistically link with the rest of your home but also reflect your personality.


Due to the size of a dining table, the colour you choose will have a big impact on a space. It is often easiest to keep your table neutral. But rules are meant to be broken and black is very on trend right now with stained black timbers proving to be very popular.

Types of Legs

Leg style is an important factor as not only does it affect the look of your table but also its functionality. There are many types available including, pedestal, tapered, trestle as well as standard straight legs. Straight legs are usually quite modern, tapered legs can have a Scandinavian look, while trestle legs can lend themselves to a farm-house aesthetic. Pedestals can be traditional or entirely modern depending on how they are used.

Bear in mind that what leg style you choose can have an impact on how many people will be able to sit at your table with some types affecting leg room, especially bulky splayed out styles. To ensure a perfect fit, place chairs around the table and sit down at them to ascertain how much leg room is available for each person.


We can also create a custom made piece designed to fit perfectly with your space. Whatever your style, choose from a wide range of finishes, colours and materials and let us help you refine your design with our expert help on hand. We work with some of the best craftsmen and makers in New Zealand who have been carefully selected on their expertise and skills. All you have to do is sit back and relax while we bring your concept to life.

More than Just a Dining Table

Finally, your dining area is much more than just a table. You can change a look entirely with different chairs. Chairs should feel like they belong in some way but they don’t have to match entirely. Take your prompt from the Italian designers and add contrast with coloured chairs to add interest to the look. Be sure to choose chairs that fit with the height of the table and will easily slide underneath. There should be at least 18cm between the chair arm and the lowest point of the table top.

You can also define your space with feature lights and low pendants to set the mood and draw attention to your dining table. A rug is a great way to divide an open plan area but make sure the rug is at least 90cm bigger than the table on all sides so your chairs don’t get tangled in it.

Browse our range of dining tables online or view our Dining & Occasional Catalogue for all the latest styles. If you would like help finding your perfect dining table, visit one of our showrooms in Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin, Queenstown, Wanaka and Timaru or contact us online here.

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