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By Lisa Schryver, Brand Publishing Writer
Without a doubt, the centerpiece of every dining room is, of course, the dining room table. With so many designs and sizes available, shopping for one can be surprisingly challenging. Luckily, Anita Catsman, an interior designer with Baer's
Furniture, a family-owned group with 15 stores throughout Florida, recommends following a few steps when you're on the hunt for the perfect table and chairs.
Ultimately, the shape of your dining room should determine the shape of the table, says Catsman, who is based at Baer’s North Palm Beach store. For example, if you have a rectangular dining room, the table should also be rectangular.
Next, get out the measuring tape. Catsman recommends leaving about 2 1/2 to 3 feet between the edge of the table and the wall.
“Let’s say you have a 6-foot round dining room table that you’re going to put in there, just hypothetically, you’re going to have to add another 3 feet of circumference for your chairs to go in and out so people can be comfortable,” she explains. “The same applies if you have a rectangular table.”
Additionally, take into consideration other pieces of furniture that will share the space such as sideboards or china cabinets. You want to maintain that 3 feet of space between the table and other pieces of furniture so it’s easy to maneuver around the area even when guests are seated. If you can’t visualize it, consider using tape, newspapers or even a folded blanket on the floor to block out where the table will be.
Step 2: Pick a style
Catsman recommends taking a cue from your home’s architecture when narrowing down the style of your table. For example, midcentury modern homes lend themselves to midcentury modern furniture — think angular simplicity. Meanwhile, traditional furniture works well in traditional style homes — think decorative woodwork and classic pieces.
With so many style options, there seems to be an equally overwhelming number of materials of which dining sets are made. The most popular dining table materials are glass, stone and wood. Of course, each of these three materials has seemingly endless possibilities when you factor in all the variations of color and type.
“Stone is a heavier feel, but there are beautiful stones and you can get them in a variety of colors,” explains Catsman. “It’s a natural product, so no two stones will ever be the same.”
Wood is a classic material and easily coordinates with other furniture pieces in your home. Wood also is an ideal material for families or homeowners who like to entertain because such tables almost always come with extension pieces.
“So in the event that you’re having a dinner party for Thanksgiving and Christmas, that would best suit your needs,” she says.
Catsman adds that dining tables with glass tops give a lighter, airier feel to a room — with allows a small or confined space to feel larger. Note: Be sure the glass is tempered so it will be lessprone to breakage.
Step 3: Consider upkeep
Another important factor to consider if upkeep. All materials have unique properties and require special care and maintenance.
Glass is easy to maintain with a simple vinegar solution or store-bought cleaner.
For wood tables, Catsman advises using a higher end wood polish. Additionally, avoid putting hot foods directly on the table’s surface and keep acidic liquids like vinegar away.
Stone tables require a bit more work. For unfilled and unfinished stone, it’s imperative to have a sealant applied. Travertine, a popular type of stone from Italy, is extremely porous: One good spill of red wine will stain it. Look for finished and sealed stone and be sure to have the tabletop resealed every year to year-and-a-half, she says. And when in doubt, ask your salesperson for his or her advice.
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