What immediately comes to mind when you imagine a round table? Is it the story of King Arthur with the Knights of the Round Table? The table of the Arthurian legend was round to indicate equality at the table. Everyone at the table was of equal status and therefore there could be equal discussion around the table.
This is one of the many benefits of having a round dining table. The very fact that the table is round means that there is no “head of the table”. It gives equal spacing and equal opportunity for everyone to participate in conversation, with a shared centre.
The round table of the Arthurian legend was used to ensure that no one person held more importance in their position at the table than any other. And the modern family tends to share the same values. Having a round dining table can instantly impact the social dynamic around the dinner table. Though, of course, mum and dad still get the joy of being able to tell kids to stop playing with their food, when it comes to dinner conversation there isn’t the authoritarian father figure dominating the conversation while everyone else is expected to eat in silence, only speaking when spoken to. These days, there’s a lot more of “so how was school?” and “any plans for the weekend?” going on.
Round Dining Tables for the Modern Family
Historically, dining tables were set up with the head of the household at the very head of the table to show their authority, as they can easily look down upon the length of the table at their family and/or guests. At dinner parties, guests would be seated strategically according to a social and authoritarian hierarchy, with the more important guests sitting closer to the head of the table. These days, family dinner time tends to be a bit more casual…
Advantages of a Round Dining Table
- It’s easier to get in and out of your seat.
- Creates a more intimate setting.
- Great dining table solutions for small spaces.
- Better for board games or card games due to the common centre.
For couples, a round dining table is a must. Round dining tables encourage intimacy as you can sit a little closer to your partner, or sidle over your chair if you wish, rather than being directly opposite them. In feng shui, a round dining table is said to create positive energy and encourage a sense of unity between those around the table due to the single curved edge around the table – as opposed to hard angles that may separate those at the table. This also means that round dining tables are great for families with young children who frequently play around the table, due to there being no hard corners they might bump their head on!
For those looking for dining tables for small spaces, there are many small round tables on the market. Couples or smaller families may even benefit from searching for breakfast and kitchen tables instead of full-sized dining tables, and there are even round dining tables that can be pulled out to accommodate more guests when you need it. When you’re wondering how to choose a round dining table, though it is down to personal preference in aesthetic, consider whether you want a round dining table with four legs or a single sturdy leg supporting the round table (also known as a “tulip” or “pedestal” table). Tulip tables could prevent any bumping knees under the table or awkwardly being positioned up against a table leg.
How To Choose the Size of a Round Dining Table
C = d x π
Or for those of us who aren’t particularly mathematically minded… to work out the circumference around the table, all you need to do is multiply the diameter of the table by pi (3.14159). Guests will need approximately 24-30 inches of table surface space to comfortably eat without clashing elbows.
So for a rough guide, round dining tables with a diameter of:
- 48 inches (122cm) will seat 4-5 people.
- 60 inches (152cm) will seat 6 people.
- 72 inches (182cm) will seat 8 people.
Anything larger than 72 inches, and you may find that conversation gets a little more difficult from opposite sides of the table, and the centre of the table will be a little harder to reach.