12 Dining Table Styles and Designs to Consider
The dining table is a hub of activity in the home – from family meals to entertaining, game nights to craft projects and homework, we spend a lot of time gathered around this central spot. We’re all aware of how to create a functional dining setting, but what about style?
You’ve got style, and we know it, but sometimes it’s tough to translate this into furniture pieces that serve a purpose and check all of the boxes. Dining tables are particularly important to a room’s look and feel, as they will likely be the first piece of furniture someone sees when they walk through the door – so getting it right, and really adding a splash of your personality, is crucial.
To help you out throughout this tricky buying process, we’ve put together a guide to our favourite styles and dining table designs, that we hope sparks some inspiration.
Our top 6 dining table styles
Let’s start by talking style in its purest form – a collection of design elements that when paired together create a cohesive and distinctive look. Some styles have roots in history, whereas others are inspired by the tendencies of a particular region or culture, or by a design ‘attitude’.
We all have an idea of what styles we like, and are hopefully already reflecting these through the furniture and design choices in our home. But, many of us struggle to put a name to them… here’s a deep dive on six of our favourites.
Mid century modern
Mid century modern furniture originated, as the name suggests, in the middle of the 20th century, and is commonly associated with the 1950s and 1960s above all. This post-war era saw bright colours, funky geometric shapes and expert craftsmanship take the helm in a style that’s classic and organic, but has personality. It’s uncomplicated and youthful, taking cues from modern art, and this approach is paired with ultimate functionality.
A mid century modern dining table brings a fresh take to the dining space in a simple way, without compromising all of the necessary practicalities of the place you eat your dinner. Look for clean, smooth lines with a rounded take, as well as mid-toned woods like walnut, and unique pops of colour or unexpected shapes to add a little flair. A breath of fresh air that’s a hundred per cent, certified cool in the 21st century, mid century modern furniture will never go out of style and is the perfect choice for a table. Pair it with chairs in a similar wood tone and add a little brightness with coloured cushions or a gorgeous vase as centrepiece.
Clean, minimal and natural, Scandinavian furniture comes from countries like Sweden, Norway and Finland, and incorporates their increasingly-popular ‘hygge’ mentality, which prioritises comfort and cosiness blended with functionality.
Meant to last both physically and stylistically, a Scandinavian table will never go out of style – nor will a little wear and tear put it out of action, as these pieces are designed to be used every day. Scandi furniture relies on pale, blonde wood tones almost exclusively, and despite its expert construction, usually looks very lightweight with clean lines and a thinner profile. You won’t find any bells or whistles with these pieces, as they’re as minimal as it can get, but that guarantees they’ll stay in style for a long time. Complement a Scandinavian dining table with chairs in a similar style, and basic homewares in neutral shades of white, black, grey, beige, oatmeal and brown.
Once a staple of middle and lower-class French homes in the 17th and 18th centuries, French Provincial furniture is now the epitome of elegance. Timeless and luxe, French Provincial pieces are simple with sparing intricate touches, and establish a sense of old-world charm that can be adapted to sit comfortably alongside more modern furniture items. These sturdy designs are built to last, and so, could be a fixture of your home for many years to come, even as your taste changes and shifts.
Light tones and greys are ever-present in French Provincial design, so expect to see your new dining table in one of these hues. French Provincial dining tables can be rectangular or square, but one thing each piece will have in common is a commitment to structural integrity and a finish that looks positively regal. Pair this style of dining table with similar chairs to cement the tenets of French Provincial design in your space – think upholstered seats with tufted backrests, subtle curlicues and a strong wooden foundation. This style plays well with others, and so, can be slotted in effortlessly with many other furniture styles, creating a dining room that can be dressed up for elegance or relaxed for a more casual vibe, depending on the occasion.
Influenced by the modernist art movement of the 19th and 20th centuries, modern contemporary style is sleek and practical, featuring slender forms constructed from wood, metal, glass, or a combination of these materials. It takes a minimalist approach, relying heavily on neutral and often monochromatic tones including white, black, grey and brown. You won’t find any embellishments or frills, either; modern contemporary style is fuss-free and works with what it’s got to get the job done.
A modern contemporary dining table will make a statement in your dining room without going over the top. If sharp and elegant is your style, opt for a modern dining table in a square or rectangular shape – popular picks might feature a glass top with a wooden frame and legs. To add a little curve to the equation, opt for a circular, or even oval-shaped, dining table and balance out this softness with darker tones like black and charcoal. Paired with streamlined dining chairs in a similar hue and material, your dining setting is bound to evoke modern chic.
Whitewashed, beachy and relaxed, Hamptons-style furniture comes from the blissful holiday destination east of New York City. The Hamptons is known for hosting some pretty elite clientele, so you’ll find this style has a luxurious feel compared to the traditional coastal aesthetic, whilst still being laid-back. Think bright white tones accented with cool pops of colour like blue, turquoise or grey. There’s a rustic element to Hamptons, but it’s never unpolished or cheap-looking; instead, any imperfections are subtle and intentional.
Bring Hamptons into your home with a white or light wood dining table (or, a style that combines the two shades). Hamptons dining tables are traditionally heavier in design, with thick legs, lots of surface area, and raw, natural finishes. Chairs will have similar elements, but might also incorporate rattan or cane, or perhaps an upholstered backboard in a complementary colour like navy blue.
Finally, if all else fails, embrace the comfort and calm of classic traditional style. Not too simple, but never overcomplicated, classic traditional values consistency and establishing a soft yet structured style in the home. It’s appealing to many sensibilities, and so, classic pieces can be mixed and matched with trendier items to create a flexible aesthetic rooted in good, simple design.
Classic traditional dining tables might arise in a variety of colours, but in particular, you’ll see light and mid-toned woods popping up the most. Rectangular is the most common shape for a classic traditional table, but there might be some curvy elements to add subtle flair, too. The beauty of classic furniture is that you can pair it with almost anything, but if you’re staying true to the genre, you might like to source wooden chairs with upholstered backs in a soft and clean design.
Exploring 6 common dining table designs
With an idea of your favourite style in your back pocket, design is the other element you should consider. Pair the two together, and you’ll have the perfect dining table for your space and to suit your home’s unique look and feel.
When we talk about design, we’re referencing all of the elements of a piece that aren’t specifically tied to a style. These could include form, shape, colour, material, and size – each of which is crucial to the way a dining table feels in the space, as well as how practical (or impractical) it is for your specific needs. Ponder these six dining table designs when selecting the perfect piece for your home.
Round dining tables
Eclectic and curvy, the round dining table is a staple in homes across the world. They’re ideal for those of us working with less space in the dining room, or alternatively, fewer guests to cater for, as they generally seat four to six people depending on size. A round table can give a room an open and inviting feel, and due to the shape, when seated, guests are closer to one another, permitting more immersive and involved conversations.
Square dining tables
Like its round sibling, the even sides of a square dining table makes it the perfect pick for intimate dinner parties and comfortable meals with family and friends. Square dining tables are great for tight spaces, as their corners can be fitted to a wall if necessary – place your piece up against the wall on a regular day, and then pull it out and add more chairs when guests come over. Stylistically, square tables are a little more structured and sleek than round tables, but they serve similar purposes and as a result will seat a similar number of guests.
Rectangular dining tables
Perhaps the most popular shape, rectangular dining tables are ideal for anyone who loves to entertain, or has a big family to cater for every day. With a variety of sizes, rectangular tables can seat anywhere between six and twelve people depending on length – but these size variations mean you’ll need to double-check you’ve got enough space in your home to accommodate your new piece of furniture comfortably. Rectangular tables feel warm and traditional, but when style is factored in, can be adapted to suit any aesthetic.
Extendable dining tables
At the top of our list of modern design miracles is the extendable dining table. Seriously, these things are just too good! Extendable dining tables can be adjusted lengthways, creating multiple size options. They’re the perfect concept for anyone who entertains but doesn’t have a huge amount of space to work with, as the shorter size can be used day to day, before extending the table to its full length when guests come over. Where this dining table design used to be quite clunky and cumbersome, extension mechanisms are now easier than ever, and also come in an array of gorgeous designs in different styles.
Trestle-base dining tables
Built for stability and designed to look gorgeous in your home, trestle-base dining tables feature crossed legs in a six-point star shape, with one central beam and two complementary beams on either side that cross over from base to floor. This design is great for anyone with a rambunctious family of kids and pets, as the resulting tables are sturdy and steady on their feet. Trestle-base tables look particularly beautiful in classic, rustic styles.
Outdoor dining tables
Finally, the last design to explore is the humble outdoor dining table. Just like it says on the tin, these pieces are meant to be used outdoors, seating your family and guests for any of the fun seasonal activities headed your way, like barbecues, garden parties and poolside hangs. Dinner al fresco has never looked better, either – outdoor dining tables have come a long way, and are now available in a range of styles to complement any home. Traditionally, the construction of these tables will be sturdier and adapted to withstand the elements more than an indoor table.
The world of dining tables is full of choice, with gorgeous pieces to suit a number of styles at every turn. Don’t forget to factor design and form into your decision, as these practical elements will affect the functionality of your new furniture piece.
From modern contemporary dining tables to Hamptons favourites, Scandinavian must-haves and more, you’re sure to find your new mealtime hub within Brosa’s range of dining tables. All of our pieces are constructed to last from quality materials, and don’t compromise on form or function. Explore our range of dining and kitchen furniture, and shop today with a range of premium delivery options, flexible payment, virtual styling services and more.