Your Guide to Selecting the Perfect Dining Table
Thursday Jun 13 2024 by Stacey Beyer

When it comes to picking a new dining table, you have many options. This can make the shopping experience both fun and, at times, overwhelming. At The Black Goose Design, we want to keep the focus on the fun, so we’re sharing our fav go-to table tips. They’ll help you narrow down your choices and ensure you find the perfect piece for your dining needs.

image credit: Lindsay Salazar

TABLE TIP 1: Take a Moment to Measure

Shopping is the fun part, but you’ll want to do a little homework first. Grab your measuring tape and identify your table space. With the area identified, you’ll know what will and won’t work for you. This brings us to tip 2…

TABLE TIP 2: Leave Room to Walk

Don’t select a table that’s too big to accommodate traffic space. The rule of thumb is leaving 36” from your table to the nearest wall. This ensures you have enough room to easily pass by and also pull chairs out to comfortably get seated.


TABLE TIP 3: Get in Shape

The most common table shapes are rectangle and round, but there are also square and oval options depending on the room you have to work with. Did you know, there are many instances where we can order a table in a shape other than that on our showroom. Always ask. You never know what expanded options you might discover.


TABLE TIP 4: Save Me a Seat

How many do you plan to seat on a day-to-day basis? What about special occasions? Reserve an area of at least 24” for each person/chair at the table. Most tables offer a leaf option to go from day-to-day accommodations to larger gatherings. When using a leaf to host more guests, there’s a chance you’ll break your 36-inch-from-the-wall rule. That’s okay. If a tighter fit means more can break bread with you at your next celebration, pack those chairs in and live your best life!

image credit: Lindsay Salazar 

TABLE TIP 5: Know Your Table Types

There are many different table finishes to choose from. We’ve listed the most common types below, complete with features, so you can decide on the right material for your mealtime.

  • SOLID WOOD: These are built to last. Unfortunately, they can also be damaged by heat marks, water rings, and dents/stains. On the bright side, they can be sanded down and refinished, making them good as new again! Solid wood is beautiful and unique. Because it’s a natural material, no two tables are going to look identical. The woods will stain slightly differently and have different movement in the grain. Of course, these pros do come with an obvious con – a higher price point. Expect to pay more for solid wood than you will veneer.

image credit: Lindsay Salazar

  • VENEER: Hello, versatility! Veneer designs offer a wide variety of looks and styles. Plus, they’re less expensive. Like wood, these tables can also get damaged by heat marks, water rings, and dents/stains. If that happens, they can be repaired to some degree, but can’t be sanded down and refinished.

  • STONE: It probably comes as no surprise that stone tables can withstand a lot. The most common stone option you’ll find is marble, which is beautiful and strong. The downside is that marble can stain and needs to be resealed regularly. Because this is another natural material, you’ll find that stone tables are typically a higher price point.

  • CONCRETE: These tables are extremely durable, as well as extremely HEAVY. Because they can withstand the elements and won’t blow away, they’re commonly used outdoors. Styles are more limited than the other options, making concrete less common indoors. Like stone, concrete can stain and needs to be sealed. Leaf options are not available.


There you have it – all the table talk before you shop. Still need help picking the perfect piece? We'd love to help. Give us a call. One of our experienced designers can come to your home, help you measure, and select the perfect table for your home and needs.

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