Dining Table Style Guide: Understanding the Different Types

Whether you spend a lot of time entertaining or simply enjoy setting a table for two, the dining room is the heart of the home. As such, your space deserves a gorgeous and functional dining table to hold all your most memorable meals. While there are endless stunning options available, choosing a dining table isn’t a decision you should make lightly. Take the time to explore different shapes, materials, and styles before finding the perfect fit for your dining space. Not sure where to start? Learn everything you need to know with our dining table style guide to understand the different types.

Let’s Talk about Shape

Before you jump into the different trends and styles on the market, you have to think about what kind of table will fit your space and needs. What will fit in the room? How many people will sit there regularly? Do you host large gatherings often, or are you okay with a smaller and more intimate table? Questions like these will help you narrow your search and find a table that suits your lifestyle perfectly. Table shape is a great place to start.

Rectangular Tables

Rectangular tables are the traditional shape for the dining room. These types of tables work well as a dignified focal point for the space. They’re also big enough for multiple people, making them ideal for larger families or homes that see a lot of dinner guests. Rectangular tables also have plenty of room in the middle for serving dishes, making them perfect for grand meals with lots of options.

Square Tables

Square tables, though smaller, bring a sophisticated simplicity to the space. If your dinners tend to be smaller affairs, a square table is a great way to give everyone the space they need without dominating the room with a massive table. Like rectangular tables, square tables keep space in the middle for serving dishes or centerpieces, giving a subtle yet elegant touch to the dining space. Square tables are also incredibly versatile. In larger rooms, you can tuck your square table into a corner for a cozy breakfast nook, drink table, or something similar.

Round Tables

Round tables offer an intimate dining experience, making them perfect for smaller, more casual settings. That said, a round table can still bring an air of elegance to the room. Pedestal tables are gorgeous statement pieces in any space. However, you can also keep it traditional with a round-legged table. Round tables don’t offer extra room in the center, which means you won’t have much space for anything beyond individual table settings. This is why round tables are great for quieter affairs, such as a cozy dinner for two.

Oval Tables

Another great option for large gatherings is the oval table. Like rectangular tables, oval shapes offer more space to seat more guests. The lack of corners allows you to fit an oval table more comfortably in smaller dining rooms. Furthermore, the elegant curves of an oval table bring both classic dignity and contemporary fashion to your dining room.

Materials Make a Statement

Once you have an idea of the kind of shape you want, it’s time to think about materials. Once again, your needs should be at the front of your mind when considering table materials. Do you use your dining table every day? If so, durability should be one of your top considerations. If your table is more for decoration than formal dining, then style and beauty are your biggest factors.

Think about the style of your dining room, too. If you’re creating a warm, rustic, or traditional appearance, a gleaming wooden table will be perfect.

If your home leans more toward a modern industrial vibe, metal tables are a wonderful, low-maintenance option that brings plenty of character to your space.

Marble and stone make for grand pieces that bring class and wealth to any room. They’re also incredibly scratch-resistant and durable.

Alternatively, choose a glass table for a beautiful but subtle addition to the room. The transparent glass will allow your eyes to skip over the table and instead move to other furniture and décor in the space.

Gorgeous Styles To Consider

Thinking about shapes and materials ahead of time helps you narrow down your search, but there are still plenty of dining table styles to choose from. From casual to elegant and traditional to modern, explore our dining table style guide for help understanding the different types of tables you can bring to your home.


This traditional style is everything you think of when you picture a dining room table. Rooted in traditional European style, the classic dining table features symmetrical designs, elegant carvings on the legs, and plenty of space for all of your guests. Designers usually make classic tables from dark hardwood, which creates a steady and sophisticated appearance. The curved lines and gorgeous detailing on the table legs offer style and decadence within a timeless design.


Farmhouse dining tables are the perfect way to complete a rustic home. This design exists to be functional, but the simple, understated style brings a classy subtlety to your space. Farmhouse tables usually come in different species of wood. Choose a cool-toned wood with subtle grain patterns to match a contemporary design. Alternatively, keep it rustic with warm-toned woods full of unique swirls and character markings.

Mid-Century Modern

Another beloved and timeless design is the mid-century modern table. The traditional appearance of warm, natural wood pairs wonderfully with the modern style of tapered legs and a thin tabletop. Like all mid-century modern designs, these dining tables are the perfect balance of traditional and contemporary. As such, they offer a versatile style that will complement any dining room décor you have in place.