How to Choose the Right Table Style – Shape, Seating Capacity

Many of our customers assume that all farmhouse tables should be rectangular in shape. But that shape may not be the best one for their needs.

Our home, for instance, is an old farmhouse with very square rooms. The best shape for our family’s kitchen table is either square or round because these shapes best match the shape of our particular dining area. A rectangular table simply wouldn’t be a good fit for our space.

When Are Square Tables or Round Tables Your Best Option?

A square table or round table works well in a square room because it allows each person seated to have enough room to push their chair out and get up and move around. This also means square and round tables often have pedestal bases instead of legs. Pedestal bases work very well with these tables because chairs can be easily pushed under them and nobody gets their legs caught on a table leg when moving around.

On average, a 36 inch round table with a pedestal support will comfortably seat 4 people. A 48 inch table will comfortably seat 6 persons. A 60 inch round pedestal table will comfortably seat up to 6 people, can fit 8 but will be tight.

Be aware that when round tables are made 72 inches  or greater in diameter, it gets harder for everyone to reach for food on the table’s center. So what we typically recommend for these larger tables is that you also get a matching Lazy Susan. We’ll make you one that’ll be an exact match for your table and it’ll make your piece much more functional and easier for everyone to enjoy.

We generally like to keep round tables fewer than 65 inches in diameter if they have a single pedestal because very large round pedestal tables tend to become more unstable without extra leg support. For larger tables, we build a double pedestal base to provide them with that extra support.

Occasionally we build larger round tables with legs if that is what will meet our customer’s needs the best. To make such a table look nice, however, we also add an octagon-shaped apron around the underneath of it. This apron not only helps the table look great, but it also secures the legs and makes the structure very stable. (All tables that have legs, no matter what style they are, have aprons in order to give them stability).

We typically make aprons 4 inches high. And we also craft a bead around on the apron because it looks nice. But we can adjust the width or shape of table aprons in order to give, for example, tall persons more leg room when seated in their chair. So that is an option you can choose if needed.

Square tables can have either legs or pedestals. We recently built a very large square table for one of our customers … it was a 60″ square, and for this table we constructed a quad pedestal in order to give it a very secure base of support.

When Are Rectangular Tables Your Best Option?

Rectangular tables work very well in rooms that are rectangular in shape. As far as width goes, we always recommend that a rectangular table be at least 36 inches wide. The table’s length, of course, can increase proportionally with the room’s length if that’s what the customer desires.

In general – for a rectangular-shaped table with legs – a 48 inch long table will comfortably seat 4 persons and a 5 or 6 foot table will nicely seat up to 6 persons. I’d say that the most popular sized rectangular table that is built in our shop tends to be 6 feet (72 inches) in length. This allows 2 persons to be seated very comfortably on each side with one person on each end.

Tables that are 7 feet in length can generally accommodate 8 people comfortably … 8 to 9 foot long tables can seat up to 10 persons very comfortably … and 10 to 11 foot tables can generally seat up to 12 people very easily. (We’ve actually been building quite a few 12 foot tables recently).

What About Trestle Tables?

Trestle tables have not only pedestals but also feet that come off the pedestals. This allows them to have very stable support while also keeping the pedestals from getting in the way of those seated at the table.

One of the beautiful things about a trestle, for example, is that it’s usually possible to fit up to 8 persons around a 72 inch long table. This is because it doesn’t have traditional table legs and there is simply more room for people to sit down around it.

We often have customers that have banquette seating, where bench seats are already built into the space they want to put a new table. A trestle table is often a perfect solution for such a situation because it’s easy to for individuals to maneuver around the trestle in order to access any built-in seats.

Trestle tables also offer a variety of seating options. For example, one seating style that is popular right now is to have seating on both sides of the table … but not on each end. For this, we typically place support legs at each end of the table so there is more room on both sides. You can however, install “company boards” on the ends of the table so that it’s possible to seat guests on both ends of the table if more seating is needed. Such boards allow you to get even more seating on a trestle table during special occasions.

What About Getting Custom Tables & Seating for Unique Situations?

We recently constructed a custom farm table for a beach house in Bethany, Delaware. Our customer wanted to have a large table that would allow for every member of her large family to be seated when visiting. The problem, however, is that the room where she was going to place this table was pretty small. What we were able to do for her is tweak a couple of things. We placed the legs just a couple of inches further apart than we normally do. And she ordered narrower chairs so that 3 seats could be placed in between legs on each side of the table. This gave her just enough space so she could fit all of her children and grandchildren at the table at once.

These are the sorts of things we can do to meet your needs. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about having a custom farmhouse table built for you … one that will perfectly fit your space.

Please visit the following pages for even more information:

Furniture Gallery Page:

Farmhouse Tables Page:

Customer Showcase Page:

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