Get your dining set up sorted with the 4 S's

Posted on March 04 2021

Caladan Limited Edition - Dining Table

We ask so much of our homes. They not only need to function as a place for our families to come back to at the end of the day, but they may also need to function as a workplace, a restaurant, an entertainment zone, a pseudo school or (heaven help you) a kindergarten. 

The dining areas of our homes are particularly high-use areas and it is really worthwhile to take the time to consider how you can optimise the space you have. As with all areas of design you first need to consider how the space is used and what you want from it. Once you know the who, when, and what of the function you can begin to consider the four S’s of dining set selection: Size, Space, Style and Seating Options.


Dining tables are often marketed to consumers relative to the number of seats they can accommodate. So a 4, 6, 8 or 10 seater. This can be confusing as it doesn’t give you an accurate indication of the size of the table. In all honesty, there is no standard sizing (as there is with beds), but we can give a guide. The table below will give you a rough idea of the dimensions of the types of tables you might find. 


Rectangular (length)

Circular (diameter)


120 - 150cm

100 - 130cm


150 - 190cm

130 - 150cm


190 - 240cm

150 - 170cm


240 - 300cm

170 - 200cm

*Please note that the rectangular tables take into account seating one person at each end of the table.


We all want to maximise our space, so how do you know what the right sized table is for the space you have? The general rule of thumb is to allow 100cm on each side of the table for people to get in and out of their chairs and to move around the table with ease. As an example, our new Von Daniken dining table has dimensions of 210cm x 105 cm. Assuming you have no other furniture in the room, the smallest sized room you would want to put that table into would be 310 x 205 cm. If you do have a buffet or other piece of furniture in the room, you should factor this into your calculations and allow 100cm between that and the dining table. 


You might think you want a particular style of table, maybe a Scandinavian or an industrial style. But of utmost importance is that the whole piece works for your lifestyle and the demands that will be placed on the table. You need to think about the type of legs and the type of finish you want the table to have. 

The finish on the tabletop is probably the biggest consideration when buying a dining table as it is the most obvious and seen part of the table. Some people want a very smooth finish.  Others are after a more rustic finish that won’t show up all the dints and scrapes of family living. Another consideration is whether you want a live edge finish, meaning each table is unique and bumps and knocks will be less obvious. To see an example have a look at our Xavier dining table

Table legs now come in many varieties with varying impact on the functionality of the table. If you want the flexibility to move seats around the table where ever you like then you want table legs that are very centrally located relative to the tabletop. Great examples of this include the Wellington range and Xavier range (in either the rectangular or circular options). Perhaps you want a very clean simple leg design that allows lots of empty space under the table. Then you want to look more at our Frasier dining table and our Chamberlain dining table.


The final, but crucial, consideration is how many and what style of dining chairs to get. Do you have to get the dining chairs from the same range as the table? What’s the deal with bench seats? 

To begin we need to come back to our initial design question, who is using the space and for what. If you have elderly family or friends you might like to consider their needs, they might prefer a seat with armrests to help them get up and down or a fabric seat for comfort. Fabric seats might not be suitable if you are expecting regular spills from kids. In fact, if you often have to feed a gaggle of kids then a wipeable bench seat is the perfect solution. Kids rarely sit still at a meal for long, comfort is not a concern, and you can seat 4-6 kids along one side of the table. 

In terms of style, you do not have to buy the chairs from the same range as the dining table you have chosen. At Johnny’s we want you to love your home and you should choose the table and chair combination that you love and that best suits your needs. When you are in the store we will do our best to show you the options you have and how different pieces work together. 


Decision Time

Now that you’ve answered all the difficult questions of design, form and function you are ready to make the decision that is right for you and your home. At Johnny’s we want you to be happy in your home. If you are going to buy online please use our chat feature if you have questions about our pieces. When you’re coming into a store, one great idea is to bring your dining room measurements with you so that our staff can help you choose the right option.