The dining table is a major focal point in most homes. It brings families together, provides a place for guests to catch up, and it’s where parents pretend they understand math homework. For many of us over the past year, it has even become our office.
A dining table needs to be big enough to meet your needs without consuming unnecessary floor space. The function should be as specific to your family as the design. Choosing between the many design styles of real wood dining tables can be daunting with so many types available.
Knowing what feel you want your dining room to have will play a big role, so we have broken down the most common styles for you.
Why Go for Real Wood?
This is a topic we cover a lot on our blog, and for good reason. There is a very long list of pros for real wood furniture and an extremely short list of cons.
Mass-produced dining tables are hard on the environment; material is often sourced in one country, manufactured somewhere else, and constructed in yet another place. Along with the large carbon footprint, they often last only a few years before finding their way to the dump. They are often fragile, difficult to modify, and have a cheap appearance.
On the other hand, real wood furniture is ethically sourced and built, extremely durable, and very repairable.
The cons? Higher upfront cost, but saves money in the long run. And…nope, that’s all we’ve got.
Characteristics to Consider
Each style of dining table has its own unique aesthetic, but the different functions available tend to be universal. As with any real wood furniture purchase, spend some time thinking through all the ways you will use the table to ensure you don’t end up with a piece that will be a headache.
You can get dining tables with dining benches which are great for kids and excellent space-savers but tend to be uncomfortable after long periods. If you like to invite guests over for dinner, a table that can expand is ideal for always having enough space. Watch for sharp edges on table legs if you have kids or a bad habit of stubbing your toes.
Think about what you love about your current table and what you would change.
Styles of Dining Tables
Live Edge Dining Tables
Live edge refers to the natural edges of a wood slab being preserved, either with or without the bark. They are the perfect way to tie interior design with the natural world by adding movement and warmth to the space. Usually, with live edge tables, wood slabs are chosen that display beautiful grains and characteristics to make a table that is a work of art. Live edge tables celebrate all the beauty that wood has to offer.
Many popular interior designers across all design styles incorporate live edge furniture in their designs. From rustic homes to minimalist spaces, a live edge dining table would be an excellent addition. For more information on live edge tables, check out our in-depth guide.
Traditional Dining Tables
Traditional interior design is classy and timeless in appearance. It uses a combination of elegant yet functional elements to create inviting, warm spaces. Traditional design is inspired by 18th and 19th century Europe where practicality and beauty played equally important roles. dining tables designed using traditional elements will look right at home in spaces that emphasize art and antiques.
Contemporary Dining Tables
Contemporary interior design continues to enjoy popularity as more people switch towards minimalist lifestyles. This trend is likely to continue as more homes are being built with open-concept floor plans.
Contemporary furniture has bold, clean designs with minimal fuss to make a room feel more spacious and sophisticated. Often, contemporary furniture uses texture rather than ornate designs to make the space feel more comfortable and natural. Contemporary dining tables typically use thin table tops and narrow legs for a more subtle appearance.
Rustic Dining Tables
Rustic interior design connects the inside with the outside world through its use of aged, rough, and distressed furniture pieces and wall decor. Rustic dining tables often look weathered, have a commanding appearance, and have as much strength as they do charm.
Farmhouse Dining Tables
Farmhouse is a modern take on rustic interior design. It smoothes out the beat-up, lived-in traits often seen in traditional rustic furniture for a cleaner, fresher aesthetic that still maintains a warm, cozy feel.
Amish-Made Dining Tables
If quality and durability are important traits to you, an Amish-made dining table is not an option to overlook. The tables are built using high-quality, locally sourced wood and designed using unbelievable skill that has been passed down from generation to generation. The talented furniture builders know just how to bring out the unique natural beauty in each piece of wood while building solid, elegant tables that can survive generations.
Check out our blog post about Amish-made furniture for more info.
Unfinished Dining Tables
When none of the dining tables you’ve looked at are the table of your dreams, then consider buying an unfinished table. Unfinished means the table is still in a raw wood form, not yet finished with stain or varnish. Going this route allows you to see the quality of the workmanship, make modifications more cheaply than with showroom-ready options, and you can apply the exact finish you want.
Want more info? Look no further than our guide to buying unfinished wood furniture.