How to choose a coffee table or a dining table?
An essential piece of furniture, the table is for every moment of life! In the dining room or in the living room, it is used to fill up, but also to draw, do homework, sew or play cards...

An essential piece of furniture, the table is for every moment of life! In the dining room or in the living room, it is used to fill up, but also to draw, do homework, sew or play cards. But then how to choose it according to the space available and the number of people seated? And what shape or material should be favored according to the conditions of use? We guide you step by step in this difficult choice.

What is the ideal table shape?

The rectangular table

• The rectangular dining table, the most common, adapts to the majority of room configurations and sizes. It is particularly the preferred form of dining rooms all in length. Ideal for entertaining people, especially if it has extensions, it also has the advantage of sticking to a wall permanently or occasionally.

• In large living rooms, the rectangular coffee table is also the favourite, especially with a corner sofa or two sofas facing each other.

The round table

• The round dining table allows all the guests to see each other and talk to each other fairly. User-friendly, it promotes communication, circulation and ease, especially if it is mounted on a central foot.
Particularly well suited to square rooms that are difficult to furnish, it can also be placed in an angle to optimize space.
• In a living room, the coffee table fits perfectly between the sofa and the armchairs, especially if you have nesting tables.

As a dining table or coffee table, the round table avoids bumping into each other, a real advantage for the safety of young children.

The oval table

• The oval table is an interesting in-between. Very similar to the rectangular table, it allows large tables, especially in a long room. In addition, the removal of the corners makes it possible to comfortably place 2 guests at each end of the table by improving circulation. In addition to a beautiful aestheticism, it stands out for its originality.

• As a coffee table, this practical shape is often found in nesting tables.

The square table

• The square table, like the round table, allows great conviviality. Indeed, all the guests benefit from good proximity, whether they are side by side or face to face. Depending on the size of the table, you can eat up to 8 people more comfortably than on a rectangular table.

• The square coffee table is a good option with a small 2-seater sofa

What materials for your table?

The wooden table

A renewable material that is easy to work with, wood is traditionally used in the design of furniture and tables. The wooden table is warm and robust. However, hard woods such as oak, elm, ash or even acacia will resist scratches and shocks better than fir or pine.

You will still have to be careful, because all types of wood are sensitive to heat, fatty substances and liquids. This is why cabinetmakers apply a varnished, oiled or waxed finish. This protection has other virtues, in particular aesthetic, by giving the wood attractive colours.

The metal table

Rarely used exclusively, with the exception of the industrial style or the living room coffee table, metal is often associated with wood, marble or concrete for a modern dining table. Also handy and resistant, it is on the other hand lighter and less expensive than wood, but it will not forgive you scratches.

The marble table

This noble and rare material exists in a multitude of shades, all of the most beautiful effect. Distinguished and refined, the marble table is resistant to scratches, cold and heat. It will also find its place indoors and outdoors.

Like wood, marble is sanded and polished. If the marble table has many advantages, it has some disadvantages, especially in terms of weight and maintenance. Porous, it can indeed stain if it has not been treated.

The concrete or terrazzo table

Design, the concrete table is all the rage in our modern homes despite its weight and porosity.
Terrazzo is also trendy. This material, widely used in construction in Italy since antiquity, has won over furniture. Fashionable in the 1920s, star of the art deco style, it has been making a comeback for ten years in our homes without drying up. Elegant and warm with its stone and marble inlays, the terrazzo table is not lacking in charm, especially on a magnificent wooden floor.

The ceramic table

Modern and aesthetic, the ceramic table fears neither heat nor stains and scratches. This totally hygienic material, which allows food to be cooked without alteration, is a must-have for the table. Easy to maintain, it is well suited to children.

The plastic table

The plastic table is the garden table par excellence. Light and inexpensive, it resists rain, but finds its limits with freezing and thawing.
In indoor tables, molded or recycled plastic can be very stylish, especially in coffee tables. It allows all shapes and all patterns, which allows it to imitate more noble materials.

What dimensions for your table?

The dimensions of a dining table

• Rectangular tables are usually 120, 140, 160, 180 or 200 cm long

• Square tables 90 or 120 cm wide

• Round tables 90, 120 or 150 cm in diameter.

In terms of height, a dining table is around 75 cm to allow you to easily pass your legs.

Your choice will therefore depend on the size of your dining room, knowing that your table should neither be too large nor too small. You will also have to take into account the usual number of guests. If you regularly receive people, an extendable table with integrated extensions or to be added to the ends will be the best option.

The size and height of a coffee table

There are different sizes, the most common is 100*60 cm for rectangular tables and around 90 cm for square tables. On the side of the round tables, the diameter is often 60 cm.
Of course, you will find coffee tables, smaller or larger, including side tables, with heights between 30 and 45 cm, which you can multiply with refinement.

How to choose your table?

The space available

Several measures must be taken into account, such as:

• The space needed to sit down and get up from the chair in relation to a wall or a piece of furniture such as a sideboard, ie around 60 cm.

• Useful space at the table, around 60 cm also, hence 50 cm extensions. Indeed, a seated person occupies a floor area of ​​45 cm, knowing that it is desirable to leave 10 to 15 cm of space between 2 chairs, we can put a chair every 60 cm.

The number of people seated

With this measurement of 50 to 60 cm necessary per person, you can determine the length or the diameter of your table according to the number of people to be installed daily.

Dining table Length / diameter
< 120 cm
Length / diameter
< 160 cm
Length / diameter
< 200 cm
Rectangular or oval table 2 to 4 people 4 to 6 people 6 to 8 people
Square table 4 to 6 people 6 to 8 people 6 to 10 people
Round table 4 to 6 people 6 to 10 people 8 to 12 people

The spirit of the room

Opt for a table in the spirit of your furniture, taking into account the configuration of the room. Also consider using your square or rectangular table as a separating element between the dining area and the living room in American kitchens or open rooms.

Which coffee table for a small living room?

The coffee table should be proportional to the size of your living room. If it is small, a great option is to use nesting tables or combine a coffee table with end tables. Opt preferably for round or oval models in order to smooth the circulation and break the straightness obtained by the alignment of the sofa, the coffee table and the TV cabinet.