Picking out furniture for your home can be an overwhelming experience with thousands of products available in various colours, shapes, sizes and prices. Often times we don’t know where to start or we buy the first thing that we think we like. But what it should come down to is finding a table that fits with your family’s specific needs. For our family, we have two young boys who are very rough and a little on the messy side. The solution? Find something that is tough enough to outlast these boys and their rambunctious years, and also big enough to fit more family members as our family could potentially grow!? Keep in mind the main purpose for the table you’re shopping for and with these steps you will learn how to make shopping for your home a success!
I’m going to share my experience when it came to finding a new dining table for our kitchen…
I would like to start by saying I’m the most indecisive person ever. I have to go through a long process of looking at inspiration, seeing the product, imagining the product in my home, measuring and referring back to my original inspiration. When it came to picking a new table I knew I wanted wood because I knew it would hold up against two little boys. I also wanted something that could collect a few rough marks and not look so obvious. All along I had my heart set on the Clara Table from Leon’s. Viewing online, I loved the classic X-beam base. But once I went into the store and saw more of the assortment in person it was really hard to make a decision and I was back at square one. The Kingston Table with baluster legs was gorgeous and reminded me of a traditional table- it would have looked stunning in our home as well; it was my Mom’s favourite. Thinking back to my style, I love simple straight edges and as beautiful as the Kingston table was, I knew that it wasn’t 100% me but yes I have could made it work. I started mixing and matching chairs knowing that I REALLY wanted to incorporate the Stockton Side Chairs into our home, so I paired them with most of Leon’s wood tables deciding which would look best together. The Helix Table really stood out with its warm heavy oak top, clean lines and metal supports. I knew that this table was very versatile and I could picture it in our home. Another dining set I considered was the Urban Splendor Table which is filled with so much rustic and industrial detail and heavy dusty build, it’s definitely a showstopper! With these 4 dining tables, all strong and kid tested (yes I brought my kids into the store and sat them at each table) I soon narrowed it down…
A few tips to consider when trying to find the perfect dining room table.
DEFINE YOUR STYLE. How do you define your style? Take to Pinterest, Houzz and even Instagram for endless inspiration. What I like to do is pin dining room areas which look similar to my house. If I can see the table in my home and it’s something I love, I’ll pin it and refer back to it when I go to shop for tables. As I mentioned before there are so many different styles, it makes a decision that much harder, so keep in mind what you were originally drawn too and the sole purpose and need of the table.
SIZE MATTERS. Where will that future table go within your home? A formal dining room, a breakfast nook or a open layout kitchen/dining area combined? In a formal dining room you’ll likely want to consider something a bit bigger with leafs so you can add or remove depending on the number of people sitting at around the table. A round table is perfect for a corner /breakfast nook or a smaller dining area within the kitchen. Maybe you need a table that acts as a barrier between the kitchen and family room, therefore a super long table is ideal. Consider how many people will be sitting at the table daily. Do you have children and how easy is it for them to help themselves up and sit at the table? Always, when mixing and matching chairs and tables, make sure you measure both the height of the table and chair, allowing for the height to compliment one another. This was key for me when pairing the Stockton chairs with the Helix table.
FIT FOR PURPOSE. If you have children or plan on having children, you will need a table that is durable and functional; I’d suggest a thick table like the Helix or Urban Splendor because they are heavy and with every ding it will only add character over time. Look at the chairs, does the seat base have leather or fabric, are they easy to wipe down? You know you’ll be faced with those wicked spaghetti nights and that stuff isn’t always the easiest to clean! We used to have a bench and we loved it! A bench gives kids so much room to move, you can pile more people around the table with one, it hardly takes up space and it’s easy to keep clean. What was also great about having a bench is that it is such a versatile piece of furniture. When we switched it out of the dining room, the bench made it’s new home in our master bedroom by the window!
MAINTENANCE LEVEL/ QUALITY. A dining table should sit firmly on the floor without wobbling and the legs should be stern. Do the leafs of the table insert easily? Sometimes tables are built to hide the leafs underneath the base of the table, hello storage saver! I find that with kids I don’t want a table top that is going to scratch easily or have deep seams/grooves where food can get crammed. A table top that is thick and very easy to wipe down on a daily basis is a practical choice.
DOES IT COORDINATE? Referring back to define your style, a dining table needs to flow with the rest of your house. Look around your home, what tones of wood do you see on repeat throughout your home, do you accessorize with black, galvanized or brass? Sometimes you’re not just investing in the table, it’s the accessories like the chairs, sideboard, even lighting that will all define the table that fits best within your home. Make sure it’s something you want to stick around for the long haul, this is an investment piece that you’ll most likely be getting a lot of use out of!
I narrowed it down to two tables, the Kingston and the Helix, both beautiful tables but completely different styles. What it came down to was the mixing and matching of the Helix table and the Stockton chairs. I really loved the Stockton Side Chairs and I loved the idea of them be very easy to wipe down and keep clean. Speaking of that, the boys have already spilled so much on those chairs you wouldn’t believe it, another reason why I do not regret my decision! I also know that the Helix can ultimately handle rough kids without looking beat up- do you know how many tractors have been rammed up against this table!? Now that the Helix and Stockton chairs are sitting in our dining area, the black metal chairs compliment our kitchen and the warm oak table picks up from our ledgestone backsplash and kitchen countertops. Not only are they the perfect addition to our home, but they both can handle the stage(s) of life that our family will endure. Already our table is the place to be- from folding laundry to the boys colouring, our table is something that gets used SO much, it was so important to find a piece that would serve it’s purpose in more then one way! From Christmas gatherings to science projects, I know this table is going to be around for a very long time. Ultimately, what is most important about finding the perfect dining table is that the ones you love will be sitting around it, sharing stories and making memories. Finding a table that matches your family’s needs can make all the difference within your home!