How to Choose a Dining Table

Once upon a time, in an age before the term TV Dinner was coined, people actually had most of their meals in a room devoted to dining:  The Dining Room.   Can you imagine that?  All kidding aside, due to our fast-paced modern world, most of us rarely have time to sit down with our loved ones around a large table and catch up over food at home.  The Dining Room in feng shui is one of the most important rooms in the home that often gets overlooked.  For example, most condos and apartments do not have a separate dining room, but a dining area or breakfast nook.  Not having a separate dining area is neither good or bad, it’s what one does with the dining space that is important.

There are many aspects to the dining room that need attention, but the one we’re going to look at today is the star attraction of any dining room – the dining table.  A round or oval table is considered to be the best by feng shui guidelines, as the smooth flow of the curves can be relaxing to the diner.  Square and rectangular are tables are not as good; the harsh corners can affect how people interact within the space negatively.  Also, children (and some adults) can bump into the sharp corners, causing pain.   Two ways to fix the “harsh corners” would be to select a table with softened or rounded edges.  The other way is to put a tablecloth on the table.

In feng shui, we generally like  some open space in the middle of each room or area.  One of the few exceptions to this is in the dining room.  The table should be placed within the direct center of the room (or close to it) with enough space for each guest to move from seating to standing position around the table and not bump into anything.  If you have more of an open floor plan with a dining area rather than a separate room, try looking for a light source – such as a chandelier or ceiling light.  The table would then be placed underneath it, with the light over the center of the table.  Enclosed dining rooms should have a light source as well; this can help in finding the best location for the table.

Below are some examples of the best tables I could find currently for purchase, and all of them are under $250.00 (shipping and taxes excluded).

The Svalbo table from Ikea is an excellent choice.  Although it is more rectangular in shape, the corners have been completely rounded, making it more harmonious for any room.  Also, it comes in unfinished pine, which can be left as is, or finished to one’s desire.  Four sturdy legs support the table top, and an extra leaf is included, so the table may accommodate four to six people.

Another Ikea option is the Liatorp.  Curves abound in this charming white table that can easily blend into most environments.   A pedestal base acts as support, with an extra leaf for additional table space, altering the circle to more of an oval.  Both of the pieces above are available at Ikea.com.

Amazon Tables 01

Amazon.com also has a few choice selections.  From International Concepts comes their Dual Drop Leaf Table (left).  Ideal for apartments, this little table has two leaves that fold down, as well as softened edges all around.  The item also comes unfinished.   The Light Oak Dining Table (right) from Winsome Wood is also a great piece.  In addition to the two drop leaves, the legs fold inward, making it perfect to store away if need be.

Another example is the Brannan Pedestal Dining Table by Coaster.  The elegant curves and ideal size make this a classic table for any home.  Available in Cappuccino (pictured) or Dark Oak.

And for those who are in need of extra storage space, the Cottage Drop Leaf Table by TMS comes with two large square shelves in the support base of this round table.   The shelving here would be an ideal storage space for table linens or pottery.  All four of the above mentioned tables can be found at Amazon.com

Home and Living.com is an excellent online source for furniture, and they offer free shipping for most of their items.  The Rich Cappuccino Table is an excellent choice if one is looking for a more oval table with a contemporary feel.  And, for those who want a more rectangular table, The Cappuccino Finish Dining Table (below) is another prime selection, with its softened corners and beautiful finish.

I have perhaps neglected the most important thing when selecting a good dining table.  It’s important that you like your selection.  If you purchase a dining table that you’re not thrilled about, chances are you will rarely use the table.  Stay on the lookout for my article on how to select the best dining chair, which will be posted shortly.

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