Ideal for fostering intimate, conversation-filled dining experiences, round tables eliminate awkward angles and sight lines, preventing any guest from feeling stuck in a corner or excluded. Round tables also eliminate sharp corners and provide a nice contrast to contemporary, straight-lined furnishings. To seat eight guests comfortably and allow room for full place settings, table decor and prepared food, a 72-inch diameter table is best, preferably with a pedestal base.
The interior designer rule of thumb is to provide a minimum table space per diner of 24 inches wide by 12 to 15 inches deep. If you are using armchairs, add an extra 2 inches per person. Conversely, if you want a cozier environment, plan on a space of 22 inches wide per person, assuming armless chairs. Placing guests closer together, as is common at banquet halls, means a 60-inch table will accommodate your needs. Keep in mind, however, that instances where a right-handed person is seated to the left of a left-handed person, may prove awkward.
Take a Seat
Armless chairs average 16 to 20 inches wide by 15 to 18 inches deep, though some chairs are 24 inches or greater at their widest point. The size of the chair, or chairs if you are mixing more than one type, will directly impact the number of diners a table can seat. More ample chairs may increase the comfort and enjoyment of diners, leading to more leisurely meals, but you may need to split up larger parties to two separate dining areas or tables.
The table base style influences seating placement: Pedestal bases provide the most consistent leg room. Tables with legs placed toward the outside perimeter of the table limit seating options, particularly for taller guests. Legs may also inhibit the ability to fully tuck chairs beneath the table to maximize floor space when the table is not in use.
If your preference is for a smaller, 60-inch table, be sure to select a model with a pedestal and purchase narrower chairs. However, if larger chairs or legs are important to you, you need a 72-inch round dining table.
Measure the room for the table at its fullest length if the table expands. Allow for a minimum 32 inches around the table for traffic flow and to allow diners to push their chairs in and out without bumping into the wall. If you use wait staff to serve your meals, allow 42 inches to ensure enough room to walk in and out of the room without disrupting guests.
When the dining room includes a buffet or sideboard, measure the available room space from the front of the unit to ensure sufficient space.