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A Guide to Choosing the Ideal Dining Table Width

While you're here, there's more invaluable information from the UK's leading reproduction furniture specialists:
What is the ideal Dining Table and Chair Height?
A Study of Period Dining Tables - Height and Width
Dining Table Stretcher Layout Designs

Back to the subject in hand. Pretty well all of our dining tables are bespoke, so we can custom-make in a width that suits you. Clearly however, there are several factors that will determine what you actually choose as the ideal width. At a risk of stating the obvious, the first consideration is the available free space you have in your room. This may be the distance between two opposing walls, or the remaining space left after taking any objects into account, i.e. dresser base, fireplace etc.

In an ideal world, you should aim for at least one metre between the table edge and any wall or object. This provides enough space for someone to walk through the gap, remaining with people seated, without having to shuffle sideways. This is particularly important if it's a through route to another room, door or staircase. Of course, we don't always live in an ideal world and I'm sure you would't want to start moving walls to accommodate your new table! So, if space is limited, then the one metre rule will have to be abandoned and/or the table will have to be positioned off centre. Some thought to the latter, is particularly important, if your also planning ceiling lighting over the table.

Ideal space around dining table
Drawing by Nicholas Berry © Early Oak Reproductions

In the diagram above, the room width allows for a sufficient gap, even with an additional object against one wall. So people are free to walk either side of the table, with ease. As a matter of interest, the gap remaining after people are seated is around 60cm.

Minimum space around dining table
Drawing by Nicholas Berry © Early Oak Reproductions

In the above diagram, we have a narrower room (substitute the front of the dresser/fireplace object, for a wall, and the room is actually only 2.4 metres in width). However, we can still achieve an ample through passage, by positioning the table off-centre. This is particularly important if access is required to another room, external door, staircase etc. If the room is effectively a dead end, then you could get away with an overall space of less than 2.4 metres. This not ideal, but then rooms in many old cottages (and indeed many more recently built houses!), are very small. The sitters closest to the wall, will still be able to get in and out of their chairs, but shuffling past their neighbours may prove troublesome!

It's not only the room size, but also the actual ergonomics of the table itself, which should be considered.

The following diagrams show a range of table widths (starting with the realistic minimum of 86cm), and how they reflect on sitters and place settings. In addition to the space taken up by both the table and sitters, as a whole, you will see that I have also provided dimensions to indicate the approximate space available for serving dishes in the centre. The other consideration is 'below table top'. The end elevation drawing shows (pictorially) how much room there is for legs and feet (for the average adult), for each given table width. The room width dimensions use the above one metre rule. Do bear in mind that this is a guide and therefore dimensions, although pretty exact on the diagrams, naturally have some leeway in reality. Additionally,  I have deliberately crammed the sitters in at the end of the table, to demonstrate what many of our clients may describe as 'the few times a year' dinner party!

86cm wide dining tableThe above table at the realistic minimum width of 86cm (34 inches)
Drawing by Nicholas Berry 
© Early Oak Reproductions

91cm wide dining tableThe table above is 91cm wide (36 inches). This is the standard width of our Berwick semi-bespoke dining tables. A popular width, which provides just enough room for centrally placed serving dishes and yet small enough to fit into most rooms.
Drawing by Nicholas Berry 
© Early Oak Reproductions

97cm wide dining tableA 97cm (38 inches) wide dining table, gives a little more room for serving dishes. Another popular size, where space allows.
Drawing by Nicholas Berry 
© Early Oak Reproductions

102cm wide dining table102cm (40 inches) wide dining table. Now, bags of room for serving dishes etc.
Drawing by Nicholas Berry 
© Early Oak Reproductions

107cm wide dining table107cm wide dining table. You can see there is now more space for legs and feet.
Drawing by Nicholas Berry 
© Early Oak Reproductions

112cm wide dining table
The diagram above shows a 112cm wide dining table.
Drawing by Nicholas Berry 
© Early Oak Reproductions

117cm wide dining table
Now approaching 4ft wide, this table gives more than enough leg room and serving space above.
Drawing by Nicholas Berry © Early Oak Reproductions

122cm wide dining table
At 122cm, or roughly 4ft, this is about as wide as you would want to go for a rectangular shaped table.
Drawing by Nicholas Berry © Early Oak Reproductions

122cm wide dining table with room for two each end
The same width as the previous diagram, at 122cm, you can actually get two sitters at the end, albeit slightly squeezed!
Drawing by Nicholas Berry © Early Oak Reproductions

Please note, that although I have given specific width measurements here, they are not cast in stone. All our Chalvington and Wilmington range dining tables are bespoke and can be made in widths that fall anywhere within the stages described above.

As always, we are here to help and will be only too pleased to assist if need be.

As always, we are here to help and will be only too pleased to assist if need be. - See more at: https://www.earlyoakreproductions.co.uk/news-blog/buying-tips/ideal-dining-table-and-chair-height-5388.php#sthash.aYNWvnPF.dpuf
As always, we are here to help and will be only too pleased to assist if need be. - See more at: https://www.earlyoakreproductions.co.uk/news-blog/buying-tips/ideal-dining-table-and-chair-height-5388.php#sthash.aYNWvnPF.dpuf
As always, we are here to help and will be only too pleased to assist if need be. - See more at: https://www.earlyoakreproductions.co.uk/news-blog/buying-tips/ideal-dining-table-and-chair-height-5388.php#sthash.aYNWvnPF.dpuf

More invaluable information from the UK's leading reproduction furniture specialists
What is the ideal Dining Table and Chair Height?
A Study of Period Dining Tables - Height and Width
Dining Table Stretcher Layout Designs

Author; By Nicholas Berry
Bespoke Reproduction Early Oak Furniture Specialist

Nicholas Berry, Bespoke Reproduction Early Oak Furniture SpecialistFrom a small boy at infant school, I've had a passion for early furniture and architecture, embracing the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. I've spent almost three decades designing and making replica early oak furniture (and architectural woodwork)...with my own hands!

Nowadays, together with a team of highly skilled and equally passionate craftspeople, I use that valuable experience helping clients commission, from our company, the very best in bespoke oak reproduction furniture, with a particular emphasis on personal service.

Circle Nicholas Berry on Google+ Profiles (opens in a new window)

© Early Oak Reproductions

 

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