Q&A: 5 Dining Table Dilemmas, Solved!

How to find the best dining table style and functionality for your life? We have grandinroad-style solutions that are easy, fast, unique, and fun for some of the most common “which dining table do I need, and does it even exist?” decorating problems.

I haven’t really needed a dining room table before, but now I do, and fast.

QI love to eat out. I love parties. I don’t cook much, but I know I should have people over.  I need to get a dining room table – but one I can do other things with. Also, my dining room-art workspace-yoga area needs to look modern, not stiff or boring. Help?

ANSWER: The Haven Drop Leaf Table (shown below). It’s “low-commitment-to-the-dinner-party” dining room furniture, because it’s actually a multi-option extendable table. When you don’t need a full-on dining room table (a 68″x 34-1/2″ surface), the leaves fold down to make it lean and sleek, so you can use it as a desk or a console. Slide it against a wall, hang some art, and you have a work nook. To keep it feeling more fun when you do use it for a dinner party, how about our fresh Skye Side Chairs in modern Kubu gray rattan? They’ll look perfect with the Haven’s hand-selected birch veneer surface.

I crave more dining room drama.

Q: Updated dining spaces fascinate me. I want my dining room to have a distinctive look. I want a laid-back look that has enough style to work with my art pieces, where we can have a chawanmushi tasting party, but still serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Ideas?

ANSWER: The Haven Drop Leaf Table’s (above) clean lines suggest a very modern Italian country house look with some sleek California coastline charm drizzled in. For you, the hidden functionality (leaves open or down) may matter less than its overall laid-back “relax and enjoy life” modern-design vibe. With a custom look, Haven is going to support any modern feast. Another idea: The Preston Table Base (below) combines a modern, elegant, solid wood “X”-base you can also use in a pair, sawhorse-style, with our Rectangular Glass Table Top. The Preston is a modern look you can do a lot with. Add Accent Chairs in your choice of colors and styles to create a lot of look, your own way; they’re great at the head of a table, or poised as shown below, in a table-for-two nook. Our Blog tells you all about our Affordable, Adorable $299 Accent Chairs.

I’m creating a more simplified, relaxed lifestyle. Thoughts?

Q: I’m busy and always traveling. Design-wise, I’ve moved my home design toward simplified life, for a calm space filled only with a few joyful things I love. I would like to find a small two-or-four-person dining table option. I’m drawn to cozy tables, with a bistro feeling. 

ANSWER: Then think “dining nook” because we have great choices for you. Our Rene Round Marble Top Table (shown below, and pretty with our pink Banks Accent Chair) is cute on steroids with a little glam thrown in. You can also place this table in a designated entertainment nook in a larger room. Define it with a rug and bold seating and a little bar cart or console for your serving pieces, and really make something of the space. The metal base rises up like a flower stem to the white polished marble top. We also like our solid wood Preston Table Base, an “X”-shaped table base, you’ll pair with our Round Glass Table Top for a look that’s airier, interesting, and minimalist. And as a bonus, round shapes feel welcoming and peaceful.

I like Traditional, but I’m ready for a fresh, updated, family dining space, too.

Q: We’re in a new white, light-filled house, and our classic walnut table isn’t working. How can I keep the fresh look going in our dining area, while still having a functional, family space? We live in there. It needs to be solid and functional, not just pretty.

ANSWER: The Willow Hill Dining Table (below) is a traditional, family-size dining table with a great, white, clean-lined look, in kiln-dried (strong and sturdy) poplar hardwood – it’s super fresh and updated. It feels like your home’s new happy place, by design. We see Thanksgiving turkey. We see a major Christmas bake-sale wrapping session on its surface. We see homework spread out on it, and a meeting of your fundraising team seated around it. We see its four drawers filled with anything from placemats and an extra corkscrew to project items like tape and crayons. We see all real, traditional, busy life that always seems to end up in the dining room in between friendly dinner get-togethers. Sound about right? This is your table.

We need something small, but mighty!

QMy daughter’s in her first little apartment, and needs a table she can use for breakfast, or carry-out with friends, and as a desk, even a kitchen island when she needs one. But her vintage-style space is tight if she has guests over. Can we get it all done with one piece?

ANSWER: Super easy. Our mobile Max Multifunction Table (below) will be the best gift you ever give her. It starts out small and compact, with shelves and little storage cabinets she can access, and can function as a side table next to a chair or futon bed. Wheel it out wherever you need it, and fold out the wings and it’s the small dining table you need (just put some stools around it for guests) or a desk. The sturdy, supported surface extends to 71″W x 29-3/4″D x 30″H. She’ll find a hundred ways to use it. You will too, so you might want to order two (craft table, gift wrap station, extra kitchen space, guest room table). Watch our quick, stop-motion video here to see amazing Max in action.


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