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Table talk


October 2014

Nod to tradition

This dining table by Hooker Furniture is in the more traditional style, yet gives a nod to the 1940s. While not a literal remake of the past, the curved lines of the chair and table design, glasswork on china cabinets and buffets take inspiration from that stunning era. Woods tend to be in midbrowns and the chairs range from wood to upholstered. Chosen by Michael Carter, Ken Michaels Furniture


Both nonconforming traditionalists and modern design diehards can agree that dining tables are still a necessary component in todayís homes. Even in traditional spaces, dining tables are serving multiple functions. They are the spot where we gather with family and friends, where kids do homework, and where you work on your laptop and even fold laundry.

As its uses have evolved, so have table designs. "In general, people are dropping the traditional dining room set where everything had to match and be part of a group, and replacing it with chairs and tables that are mixed in style and wood tone, light against dark, traditional against contemporary," says Michael Carter, a designer with Ken Michaels Furniture.

So, how do you choose a dining table for modern lifestyles? "Naturally, youíre eager for family and friends to admire your beautiful table, but youíll also want them to be comfortable when they sit down to dinner," say Mario and Cathy Costantino of La Lune Furniture.

Accordingly, itís important to ensure that your table is not only large enough to accommodate the number of diners you intend to seat, but is also a size that will leave adequate space for walking around it. Plan a minimum of 24 inches for each place setting. If you have the room, 30 inches is ideal and much more comfortable. Be sure that the chairsí arms are low enough to slide beneath and not bump into the table. Provide at least 24 inches of space behind each chair when someone is sitting in it. This is the minimum space needed for people to pass by when serving or leaving the table. 

Mixed materials

Both rustic and industrial, this table from A Americaís Kenzie Ding Collection embodies the trend of using natural materials. The top is bluestone, which resembles acid-washed concrete but is considerably more elegant. The natural cream tone marbling ensures that each piece is one of a kind. The body is solid poplar that is distressed and wire-brushed to create an antique feel. Chosen by Dawn Still, Steinhafels

All-weather versatility

All 10 players on the softball team are celebrating with a barbecue at your house? No problem! La Lune Collectionís trestle table is custom-crafted for both indoor and outdoor use. The rustic and solid chairs provide comfortable and beautiful seating for all. Chosen by Mario and Cathy Costantino, La Lune Furniture

Going round

This modern shaker table is made by the Amish of Ohio. The finish is baked on rather than air-dried, providing an extremely durable finish. With its transitional style, this solid cherry table is at home in the dining room or the kitchen. Chosen by BiltRite Furniture

Functional art

The Cross Round Table from Design Within Reach has sculptural qualities that make it another piece of art in the room. It works great in a square room or a smaller space: "Put it in the center with a love seat against the wall and you have the perfect place to spend a leisurely Sunday morning reading the paper," says Stephanie Quinn of Modern Edge Design.



This story ran in the October 2014 issue of: