Finding The Elusive Round Dining Table That Extends

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

One of my favorite rooms to furnish in a home is the dining room. And my favorite table shape is a round dining table– preferably with a leaf (or leaves) so that it could become an oval and be able to seat more people.

Yes, an extension round dining table that can seat 8-10 or more. Ever try to find one? They are not that easy to come by in the marketplace.

I used to work with a furniture maker who made some custom tables for clients.

There’s also Englishman’s Furniture. They are one of the 36 sources or so in Laurel’s Rolodex that I cannot live without! They make gorgeous English reproduction antiques. You can also see their showroom at America’s Mart when they sponsored a trip I took in 2014.

 

I’d love to have one of their tables!

 

19th-century-potboard round-dining-table

Actually, Englishman’s makes a table just like this one.

 

 Laurel Bern Interiors Portfolio - round dining tables

 

Englishman’s made this table for my client several years ago. It’s 72″ with a large leaf and seats up to 10 when extended. In the Bronxville dining room, we did a 72″ table, and it is the perfect size for that 18′ square room. Another round dining table I did back in 2001 can be seen here.

 

I love the shape, and I love how a round dining table is so congenial for conversation.

 

Not all dining rooms can accommodate a round table, but most can with some clever maneuvering.

 

Laurel, does the room have to be square to do a round dining table?

 

No, it doesn’t have to be square. In fact, if it’s not square, there is more room for other furniture. That is unless it’s a very large square dining room. By the way, I’m hoping to do a post about room configurations for dining rooms like I did for living rooms.

 

For an extension round dining table, I like a table of from 48″-72″ in diameter.

 

One thing I need to point out about all dining tables is something I hear all the time.

It’s the veneer issue.

This is very difficult, I realize, because we’ve been programmed to think of veneer as cheap crap.

And yes, it can be.

But THE finest, most expensive, the $30,000+++ dining tables are ALL made from veneers.

Yes, they are.

Why? It makes for a stable non-warping tabletop. That’s why, and it’s how it’s been done for centuries.

 

How many people can you sit at a round dining table?

 

Well, partly it depends somewhat on the chairs. If your chair is 20″ wide, you’ll want at least 2 “-4″ inches on either side of the chair— minimum.

In addition, each individual needs about 24″ of space.

So, using the pi method to figure out the circumference and then dividing by 24, here are the numbers for some typical size dining tables.

36″ D = 3-4

40″ D – 4

48″ D = 4-5

54″ D = 6

60″ D = 6 – 7

66″ D = 7

72” D = 8

If your chairs are smaller, like 16 “-18″, you can probably squeeze in one more chair for the 54″ – 72” sizes.

One other thing to keep in mind is that today’s chairs are frequently, IMO over-scale. Here is where you can find numerous dining room chairs that are all on a good scale.

 

One last bit of business regarding your round dining table.

 

The chandelier.

Well, for a round dining table, the fixture is usually… uhhhh — round.

How big around?

A standard diameter for a round dining table is half of the width of the table– max. I would not go larger than that, but you can go a little smaller.

 

Here is some dining room inspiration, featuring round dining tables.

 

Junior-League-Dining-design - Carter & Co. round dining table - Susan Harter mural

Junior-League-Dining-design – Carter & Co. round dining table – Susan Harter mural

 

Beige upholstered chairs at circular table in cream townhouse dining room

Beige upholstered chairs at a round dining table. And, another Susan Harter gorgeous mural.

You can also see some beautiful Susan Harter designs here.

And, also in this post about Grisaille.

 

alexa-hampton-dining-room-round dining room tables Architectural Digest

Alexa Hampton

Timeless and so, so pretty this dining room is! Alexa is one of my favorite designers— so talented! I’ve met her a few times as well, and she’s also screamingly funny!

 

Susan Burns Design round dining tables breakfast-room

Susan Burns Designs above and below

 

Design - round dining tables - sitting area

This is an excellent example of a dining room with a round table and a seating area at one end. Please be sure to have a minimum of three feet for major pathways.

 

round dining tables - Kelly Grosso via Maison Luxe

Kelly Grosso via Maison Luxe

Fabulous colors and I adore the wall panels.

 

Steven Gambrel

 

This is one of my favorite dining rooms ever. I love the tone-on-tone Chartreuse!

More of Steven Gambrel here.

 

Dining Area - lake view - bay window - monochromatic color scheme - round Table Hickman Design Associates - round dining tables

Hickman Associates

Pretty dreamy, eh?

 

Suzanne Rheinstein round dining tables - Chinoiserie wallpaper

Suzanne Rheinstein

 

Fabulous traditional dining room, and I adore the Chinoiserie wallpaper. It reminds me of Mark D. Sikes.

 

Via Swede - Round Dining Tables

Swede

 

I love this Swedish-influenced pale, monochromatic dining room.

 

The only thing is—The rug should be a bit larger, and the chairs should be sitting on the carpet completely.

I would go at least one foot wider.

 

Elle Decor upstate home round dining tables

Elle Decor upstate home.

 

James F Carter dining room round dining table

An exquisite dining room with a round dining table by James F Carter

 

James F Carter dining room round dining table

We saw more of this gorgeous home in this post as James Carter is one of my favorite classical architects.

 

Below are some terrific round dining tables that I found.

 

The round dining tables below are primarily antique and vintage, but three of them are new. I find that purchasing a vintage or antique table is an excellent way to save money on an extending round dining table. Well, sometimes, it is. Dining room tables can be hellishly expensive.

 

 

A few comments about some of the tables

 

 

This is a similar table to one in the widget, but in a black finish which is quite smart, I think.

 

 

The image above and the next two are the same as the table in the widget.

 

These types of tapes are so versatile.

 

It can go from quite a long table to a compact round table.

 

The piece in the middle could be used as a server when the table is round.

 

Above is another view of the Baker Charleston table that it’s in the widget.

The top is not that orange. No way!

 

Below are two times we did this table back in the day!

 

This dining room was done in 2000 and appeared in Better Homes and Gardens in December 2004.

The table isn’t this color either.

 

This dining room was done two years later, in 2002. and the color here is close to what it is. It’s a rich, warm cognac shade of antique pine. And yes, the edge is a subtle antique gold. The table looks like an authentic antique. Very well-done.

Another view of the same dining room

 

richmond gray dining room - LH Paint and Palette CollectionAbove is one of the 40 mood boards featuring a round dining table. It is part of the Laurel Home Paint and Palette Collection, a 2-part guide.

 

How do you feel about round dining tables?

 

Plus, are you wondering if you should even have a separate dining room?

There are many more posts regarding dining rooms, here.

And, are you struggling with dining room lighting? If so, you might find this post helpful.

 

16 cool round dining tables

please pin to Pinterest for reference

 

In addition, if you’d like to learn 100s more rules and tips:

I very much recommend getting 333 Difficult to Find Decorating Rules & Tips You Need to Know.

xo,


PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

 

7th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2020 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Susan - October 18, 2021 - 5:12 PM

    HI Laurel!
    So glad to hear you on the mend!
    I redid my kitchen to have an area for a dining table- it is perfect for a round table! It took me a long time to find one! I also need it to expand for entertaining as it is my only table. I found one at Ethan Allen

    Take care of yourself!ReplyCancel

  • Fenella - October 17, 2021 - 2:51 PM

    I love an oval table, my favourite being ye old Irish Georgian Wake Table, which can expand to sit plenty but fold down to shunt to one side after dinner for dancing. Lots of room for conversation, dishes, decorations, glasses and so on.ReplyCancel

  • Fenella - October 17, 2021 - 2:49 PM

    Yes, Gibbard was such a great loss! However their stuff shows up at auctions all the time, and I’ve even picked up pieces in Boutique Vay Vay. I buy nice fabric and cut to fit dining tables; heavy upholstery fabric makes for a lovely rich tablecloth, and if you wash and dry it hot the character really comes out.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - October 16, 2021 - 11:34 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    Glad to hear that you are on the mend. Love this post on round dining tables.
    I live in Canada, where in 2010 we lost the oldest family owned furniture company named Gibbard. They made traditional solid cherry and mahogany furniture. I was lucky enough to find a dining suite for a reasonable price. The table was a large rectangular double pedestal table with Hepplewhite shield back chairs as well as chippendale style buffet. However, I always wanted a round table as my rectangular one was quite large for my room. I found a 48 inch round table that extends to an oval table by the same company on Kijiji. I scooped it up and sold my rectangular table in one day! Now I am contemplating chalk painting the chairs in white to make it look more casual and contemporary. I want a more light hearted and happy feel to this room. Only issue is trying to find nice tablecloths. Would love more ideas on future posts. BTW, I love my round table.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - October 15, 2021 - 2:34 PM

    So glad you shared some pieces from Niagara Furniture. I “found” them this summer and was overjoyed to find just the piece I was seeking–a center hall table–in the right size and color, without needing to raid the kids’ college fund 😀 I’m so glad someone is still making these classic pieces at (relatively) reasonable prices.ReplyCancel

  • Vivian Byrd - October 15, 2021 - 8:52 AM

    Laurel, I was disappointed that I saw no pictures of glass-top tables. I find that mine, with surrounding Louis XVI chairs, doesn’t overwhelm my smallish dining room. I also have corner china cabinets. I can, of course, use a table cloth for a more formal look.ReplyCancel

  • Gabrielle C - October 15, 2021 - 8:30 AM

    This post is a walk down memory lane! We inherited my paternal grandparents’ round table with a pedestal base, and I remember fighting with my siblings over who got to put their foot on the base extension…lots of foot wars! And it had a locking mechanism with gears, that allowed it to open, and there was a shelf of sorts between the table top and base…perfect for me to stick my Nancy Drew mystery to hide it when I was supposed to be doing homework. One end had the piano bench, since we had nowhere else to put the upright, and finally my parents had to ban the bench sitters from spinning around during a meal to play the piano!

    The 3 narrow leaves had disappeared, but not the wooden box that held them. Dad made plywood replacements for when we had guests. We always had to remind them not to lean on the middle, so the plywood wouldn’t fly up! When my cousin was at Grandma’s once, she begged to go in the attic. There were some curiously narrow shelves with knobs on them…leaves found!

    I never realized how much I miss that table…so many memories! With the 7 Dwarves at my house, this Snow White will have to wait till they outgrown the awkward stage (by 35 or so), so we have a long, solid, heavy rectangle table for now. It has ugly square legs, but we did get the top sanded and lightened and it at least looks better. Someday I’ll do a pretty table…right now, pretty tablecloths!

    Thanks for such a fun post, Laurel!!ReplyCancel

  • Madonna - October 15, 2021 - 7:43 AM

    I love a round table in a square room. It looks wonderful. I am with TSIPPI, though. Would you consider doing a post on banquettes? I am considering having one put in my kitchen. It would solve all sorts of problems for me.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Sorahan - October 14, 2021 - 2:59 PM

    Love all the beautiful dining tables. I am fortunate to have a lovely one also and wonder how other people solve the problem of water spots. When you have a lovely wood table its nice to show the wood but when you use placemats where do the glasses go? I usually end up putting a table cloth over the table but wish there was a better way! Any ideas?ReplyCancel

  • Kathy Guiliani - October 13, 2021 - 10:06 PM

    I searched and searched for a round, not too fancy sixty inch round dining table. I finally had one custom made by some Amish furniture makers. Solid cherry, well made, and very pretty.
    Your story of the Great Fall reminded me of a similar trip when I was visiting Washington D.C.. I was happily strolling back to my hotel pulling my antique wicker market basket, which I had just scored at an antique shop. Did not see the curb, and boom. Slightly hurt, majorly embarrassed, and still glad I bought the cart, even though I had to have it shipped home.ReplyCancel

  • Ingrid Stockton - October 13, 2021 - 7:38 PM

    I love my inherited round dining table with its chubby carved animal feet extending off a square central column. The two central leaves that extended the table very nicely have,alas, been left behind in a previous life/house.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - October 13, 2021 - 6:01 PM

    Laurel,
    I inherited my mothers 60″ Drexel pine round early american table with 2 12 inch leaves. If you just look at it you will leave a scratch. My mom saw this set on the cover of a magazine in the early 1950’s and she and my father drove to Chicago and bought every piece that was in the picture including the lazy susan and the large ironstone soup tureen that was on the lazy susan. I just recently had just the table painted white as my dining room is rather dark (no sunshine) and I have pinkish/red wallpaper. I am loving the white table. My mom also bought 6 captain chairs which do take up a lot of room. I have had the set since the early 80’s and would never get rid of it, although I doubt my children will want it! The only bad thing is trying to find a tablecloth big enough to fit the table when the leaves are in, almost impossible!!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - October 13, 2021 - 5:02 PM

    Love the rooms by James Carter and Susan Burns. And thank you for sharing Englishman’s.. We currently have a round dining table with armless chairs and I hope to get rid of them soon in favor of a rectangle table with at least 2 chairs with arms. I experience this vertigo-like sensation when I’m sitting at our round table in our armless chairs… like I am going to fall right out of my chair. It’s very strange, but I think a rectangle table and chairs with arms will make me feel more “secure”.ReplyCancel

  • Alicia R Perdue - October 13, 2021 - 3:47 PM

    https://laughingsquid.com/expanding-circular-dining-table/

    This one is round before and after it expandsReplyCancel

  • Danni McLaughlin - October 13, 2021 - 1:43 PM

    I love them, but have found that most dining rooms aren’t the right shape to house them. They are visually and spatially inefficient really. By the time you calculate rug size and chair pull out size, it’s a pretty big ‘box’. And depending on your room, the people at the back get can get ‘trapped’. I still love them. What I wanted to say tho, is that while I love round tables, ovals (when you use the leaves) I hate. When we have family, we need to seat 12 or more at the main table so we gave up on the round. Way later, I saw a table in a winery in California, made by Skovy that is round and self-stores integrated leaves in its core that pop up and make the table a much-larger round when implemented. They also had several local artisan versions, less Scandinavian, more CA craftsman, that cost as much as a car. The poor wine guy was trying to talk wine and I was crawling under tables and demanding that open and close them for me. But it was an engineering feat and gloriously done. Someday, I hope to have one.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - October 13, 2021 - 12:11 PM

    So glad you are on the mend! I’ve had a couple of falls like yours – sudden and unexpected, prompting the “what happened?” soul searching. So glad you found some answers and are getting back to your routine.

    Regarding today’s post, my current dining table is 60″ round – love it for all the reasons you mention!

    I am currently shopping for a breakfast table, max 42″ round, and have 2 questions for you to ponder for a future post, pretty please?? First is how to deal with the table legs / pedestal on such a small table. A central circular pedestal (so popular = easy to find today) seems to mean diners’ feet will rest on the pedestal base, maybe not such a good idea. A central pedestal with 3 or 4 feet extending radially (several styles, also popular today) are depicted either with the chairs straddling the legs (weird, I think) or between the legs (better). Four “corner” legs are ideal but hard to find in a new table.

    Second dilemma, comfortable chairs! I love the elegant looks you put together, but my table will be used daily and the chairs MUST be comfortable. The open back and many ladder-back chairs just don’t cut it for everyday use. How about putting together a widget for comfortable everyday dining / breakfast chairs that work with smaller tables?

    Thanks for all your hard work on this blog! It has been and continues to be a wonderful source of information and inspiration. And please know that you are free to take a week or more off as needed – we’ll survive! LOLReplyCancel

  • Terri Tragesser - October 13, 2021 - 9:26 AM

    So enjoyed this week’s blog. Also glad your tumble troubles are subsiding.
    I had been wanting to send you a “request” for a future blog and it was partially addressed this week. My dining table is rectangular and banquet size when all leaves are in. I struggle with a tablescaping for it on a daily basis when not in use for dining. My dining room is a somewhat formal one and colors are pretty much the Gustavian greys, blues and greens and I love it when you incorporate blue and white porcelain. When I put a large floral in the center it just looks so “fixed” and boring. If I add candle sticks it just looks like a lone of stuff.ReplyCancel

  • Mary E - October 13, 2021 - 8:56 AM

    Good morning Laurel.
    I’m happy you’re feeling well enough to write a blog post. And this one is wonderful!
    Sadly, the home I’m moving into doesn’t have a dining room. I’m hoping I can figure out a way to add even a small table in the living room. I would love an old English antique table.ReplyCancel

  • Gayla - October 13, 2021 - 8:39 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    I have been looking for posts on dining rooms. I am wondering if you would consider a post that shows how these rooms can be used for more than just dining.
    I have a smallish rectangular dining room that is used twice a year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I currently have an extendable rectangular table and chairs that are too large in scale.
    I would love to use this room more with a sofa/loveseat on one end perhaps with some built in bookcases around the sofa and a small round table that could extend into the hall when needed for the holidays.
    I am not sure if any of this would work and have not seen it done in pictures. I am wondering if I would have to move the lighting as it is now centered above the table.
    Would love to see a post on this? I am so glad that you are back and feeling better!ReplyCancel

  • Pamela Miller - October 13, 2021 - 8:38 AM

    We have the Kettering table by Chaddock in our kitchen. It came with 2 big leaves and extra legs. It is very easy to extend because it has metal cogs inside. We’ve had the table for 25 years and I love it today as much as the day we bought it. Highly recommend.ReplyCancel

  • Robin - October 13, 2021 - 8:27 AM

    Laurel, the first thing my husband and I bought after we were married was a 60” round table that extends to an 88” round table using the 4 crescent-shaped leaves that fit along the perimeter. We were living in a townhouse at the time, and our dining room could only accommodate the 60” table. We stored the leaves under our bed (which didn’t even have a headboard) and dreamed of the larger house we would have one day where we could extend it to the full 88”. Fast forward 25 years, and we are in that home. The 88” table is sublime, and not only is it great for conversation, it’s also a conversation piece! When we have a larger gathering, I can add a rectangular table to one end, and the “lollipop” configuration allows for extra seating. Matching cloths on both tables allows for a seamless look.ReplyCancel

  • Tsippi - October 13, 2021 - 7:48 AM

    Beautiful post, Laurel! Have you ever considered doing a post on banquettes? I adore formal dining tables, but in my next round of downsizing, I may need a corner banquette if I want a nice table. Since 99.9% of the time I’m the only one at the table, a banquette makes sense, but it’s hard to know how to design and order them, especially radial ones.ReplyCancel

  • Lizzie V - October 13, 2021 - 6:48 AM

    I just want to say I love your inspiration photos and have learned so much. I live in a renovated double shotgun in an old New Orleans neighborhood. Our dining rooms in this type of home are so long and skinny, in addition to being a pass through room, that you just can’t go with a big round table! I’ve chosen an antique rectangle farmhouse table. Super long and super skinny!ReplyCancel

  • GL - October 13, 2021 - 6:26 AM

    Alexa Hampton’s dining table clearly has leaves round the perimeter so that it stays round. It is indeed the perfect solution for whole-table conversations.
    The large diameter of such tables doesn’t mean that you have to have a square room — it allows for more furniture on the short walls of a rectangular room. The only problem is that your chandelier which is the right size for the unopened table will tend to look a bit undersized for the open one. What about extending chandeliers?
    The other interesting thing about the photos is how often dining rooms have landscape murals, either as panels or right across the walls. I love them, but wonder why so many people pick the dining room for this form of decoration.ReplyCancel

  • Ramona - October 13, 2021 - 2:03 AM

    I luvs me round tables. Nothing else will do for me in a dining room. They are friendly. They are democratic. The only rectangles I want are in the desk category.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Elizabeth - October 13, 2021 - 1:11 AM

    I’m looking forward to more dining room posts! This summer I got a steal of a deal on a Nichols & Stone 60″ round table (with 1 leaf). The top is solid maple. I want to refinish the top to a somewhat lighter stain. (I laughed when I read “cognac”, as I picked “aged bourbon” for the new color!) The manufacturer’s date on the table says “2001”. Would anyone know what type of clear coat was used at that time? Or the best way to remove it? Thanks for any advice!ReplyCancel

  • Margaret - October 13, 2021 - 12:03 AM

    Laurel, I love your posts. They are so beautiful as well as informative. Round tables are dear to my heart for the conversation that can happen. Long rectangular tables mean that you talk to two or three people, max. Round means everyone is in on the conversation. My personal round table is the Jupe table, or the puzzle table. We can sit 4 or 10 all in a circle. I recommend it to everyone, and it is quite the conversation piece!ReplyCancel

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