The most important part of any dining room is undoubted […]
The most important part of any dining room is undoubtedly the dining table itself. Much like the lead role in a play, the dining table takes center stage, in some cases literally. And since it is easily the most essential part of the room, it is even harder to choose the right one.
Back to the details, long tables tend to be made up of a series of 6ft tables. As a rule of thumb, allow 2ft per guest, meaning you can seat 3 guests on each side of a 6ft table. Although you can often fit additional guests on the table, this will mean that some guests will be sat where the table leg is positioned which wouldn’t be comfortable. We would therefore advise against squeezing in additional guests if you can.
From a guest experience perspective, it can certainly work well on long tables as you can comfortably have conversations with the five guests surrounding you. However, if a guest turns their back on you to talk to the person to their other side, it creates a slightly less sociable environment. It all comes down to preference and hosts tend to choose long tables for aesthetic reasons, but it’s good to be aware of the impact and consider your seating plan carefully. To make it more relaxed and sociable for those sitting on the end sections of the tables, we would suggest placing a guest at the ‘head’ of the table on each end. However only place two guests on each side of this final 6ft table (meaning 5 guests are seated on these ‘end’ tables rather than 6) so it doesn’t feel too cramped.
Aesthetically, long tables offer more flexibility with your table design so you can be really creative with your florals and tableware. Both elaborate and opulent or more contemporary and minimalist floral runners work particularly well, depending on the desired effect you are looking for. Again you can incorporate both high and low arrangements although low tend to be more common place. It’s really important to be aware however that rectangular tables are considerably narrower than a round table and therefore keep your arrangements slim and work with your venue and caterer to ensure that it will fit with your selected tableware. If you have chosen a family style sharing menu to be laid in front of guests at the table, this will have a significant impact on the space available for floral arrangements so consider this carefully.
Round Dining Tables
The square table is not the only solution for a smaller or square-shaped room. A round dining table is another possibility, and it is one of the best shapes for small gatherings since everyone can see everyone else, conversations are easier to carry on, and the setting feels cozier and more intimate.
Keep in mind that a round table is not ideal for larger gatherings. A large round table means that, while you can still see others, they seem far away, and you may have to shout across the table to be heard. Besides, most dining rooms are not large enough to accommodate large round dining tables.
If you do prefer a round table over a rectangular one and you think you may need to seat a larger number of people from time to time, consider getting a round table with an extension leaf. That way, you can use your round table most of the time but extend it when you have company over.
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