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Dining Tables 101: Choosing a Table for Your Lifestyle & Aesthetic

dining tables

Often considered the heart of a home, dining tables can spark conversations, bring people together, create memories, and serve as a place to eat, work, study, and engage in other activities. As such, "picking the right table – or any piece of furniture – is important because you will be living with that piece for some time – and ideally, you’d love your table or at least feel it serves you well” states Jon Pelletier, a Copenhagen Phoenix sales associate. “Of course, whether the table is going in a formal dining space or casual kitchen area will help determine the aesthetic and material choices.”

Because dining tables come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, we asked Pelletier to help us break down the different types of tables to consider and what household they might suit best. Read on for tips on choosing a dining table that accommodates your design and lifestyle needs, as well as product recommendations from Copenhagen’s collection.

Extendable Dining Tables

Extendable dining tables are predisposed to supporting a variety of seating needs and functionalities. Easily increase the length of the tabletop to accommodate extra guests or create a larger work surface with leaves that are cleverly concealed beneath the tabletop.

Pelletier recommends an extendable dining table for “homes that have limited space or frequently host guests. They’re a great option for those who need the flexibility to accommodate larger groups on holidays or special occasions. The extra size might only be needed a few times, but it’ll be appreciated when the time comes!”

Copenhagen’s Quasar dining table, for example, extends from 78” to 110” with the shift of a lever via an innovative synchronized mechanism, creating a space geared towards effortless dining and entertainment. Rectangular extendable tables like the Quasar work well in most spaces because of their ability to adapt to an assortment of gatherings. However, round tables are worth considering if your goal is to encourage more conversation and create a cozier ambiance. For example, the Jones dining table has a smaller circular tabletop and features an innovative spring mechanism that quickly unfolds self-storing leaves, creating seating space for additional guests, as well as ample leg room.

Whichever dining table you choose, below are some general size guidelines to follow for seating capacity:

    • Allow 24”-27” space per person for comfortable seating
    • Rectangular Dining Tables
      • A 48” to 72” table can seat 4-6 people
      • A 72” to 96” table can seat 6-8 people
      • A 96” to 120” table can seat 8-12 people
    • Round Dining Tables
      • A 48” to 60” table can seat 4-6 people
      • A 60” to 72” table can seat 6-8 people
      • A 72” to 100” table can seat 8-12 people


To further narrow down your dining table choices, we suggest considering which type of tabletop would suit you best. This is a matter of balancing your durability needs with your preferred design style. Tabletops are now available in a wide range of natural and crafted materials; from wood with its long lifespan and the affordability of veneer, to the stylishness of a high gloss finish and the elegant lightness of glass.

“What the table is made of is just as important as size and shape, in my opinion,” Pelletier says. “A glass table will often make a small space feel more open, but if someone has young children, or cats, the upkeep on a glass table could be too much trouble. A ceramic or porcelain table might be a better fit for a family with small children. A wood table will offer the space a sense of warmth and an organic element but will need to be maintained regularly, depending on the finish.”

The Petra dining table, available in two sizes, combines a traditional wood veneer tabletop with a herringbone pattern and contemporary silhouette. Durable and easy-to-clean, a table like this is ideal for a family-friendly household that still seeks to maintain a sleek style.

For a dining space that isn’t afraid to embrace color, the Bella Onda dining table’s high gloss veneer in deep cobalt blue is visually striking and has an art-deco inspired design.

“Most dining tables are neutral in color and can work in a variety of dining rooms with different color palettes,” Pelletier says. “The Onda needs a little more specific setting. It can set the color story for a monochromatic themed room as well as a very colorful room – in both situations it can anchor and help define the palette. I feel it works best in a semi-formal to formal dining space because of its elegant presentation.”

For those wanting something entirely fresh, an Italian-made table with a ceramic marble top like the Yoda embodies strength and elegance.

Table Bases

“Tables with artistic bases can bring a unique and visually appealing element to a dining space,” Pelletier explains. “They serve as a focal point and add personality to the room. An artistic base can be a sculptural work of art in itself and elevate the overall aesthetic of the dining space, creating a more visually sophisticated environment. Additionally, tables with artistic bases can be a conversation starter and add a sense of creativity to the dining experience.”

A dining table’s base is largely a design choice, as most are already made to provide adequate leg space and hold up over time, but Pelletier says to “keep in mind how your dining chairs hide or mask the base from view at many angles if the top is solid.”

For homes that prefer a more traditional look, dining tables with pedestal, trestle, or cross leg bases are a perfect choice due to their sturdiness and lasting charm. With its classic trestle base, the Heidi Elliptic dining table has a no-fuss look that is nonetheless timeless. If you prefer something more contemporary, bases that use artistic, industrial, or sculptural elements will likely capture your interest. These types of bases tend to stand out, whether it’s the detailed craftmanship of the Gordon Deep Wood table’s lacquered steel legs, or the smooth lines of Calypso’s grey metal base. For a dining space that literally incorporates functional art, look for a base that instantly catches your eye.

Dining Table Extras

To further maximize the functionality of your dining space, look out for tables that include something unique or distinctive. Tables with unique adjustments and intuitive features can more easily support a variety of activities and shake up your dining dynamic.

For example, the Karsten High Rise dining table features an electric adjustment mechanism that allows you to raise its height from 25” to 43”, creating one surface for a variety of activities.

“Karsten is a multi-tasker,” Pelletier states. “With leaves installed, the tabletop is expanded and can accommodate not only a large gathering, but also a large amount of paperwork, or an equally large craft project. Being able to raise the table allows it to function at bar or counter height for dining, but also act as a tall buffet in a party situation or even as a sit/stand desk for a craft project.”

Just as efficient is the Dansk Multifunction table; its hidden storage space, wheeled base, and reversible stainless-steel plate can accommodate quickly changing tasks and give you more space in a smaller home.

And for a dining space that values simplicity but still wants to entertain, don’t underestimate the power and elegance of a Lazy Susan. Entertain multiple guests with a plethora of condiments, entrees, or beverages on this rotating tray placed in the center of your table. Choose the Skorpio Ker-wood for a stunning marble ceramic insert, or the Rimini and its clear glass top for a monochromatic look.


Whether you’re furnishing your first dining room or looking to freshen up your current one, starting with the right dining table will set the tone for the rest of your space. A well-chosen table will meet your specific size and entertainment needs so that you can linger at the table and enjoy more great conversations. Copenhagen offers a wide selection of dining tables to meet every preference and fit every style. For more product and design assistance, call or visit your local store.