Before you purchase a dining room table, measure the available space to choose an accommodating size. Think about additional pieces, such as a sideboard, buffet, china cabinet or serving cart, you may incorporate into the room, which could mean less available space and a smaller dining table. Plan for ample space to comfortably get in and out of the dining chairs surrounding the table and leave sufficient clearance for major walkways to avoid bumping into furniture pieces or walls.
Furnish your dining room with an accommodating table shape and size to fit the available space and seat the number of guests you'd like to entertain. Rectangular-shaped dining tables work well in long, narrow rooms. A 30-by-66-inch rectangular table typically seats four to six people; whereas, eight to 10 guests can comfortably sit around a 42-by-120-inch table. You can typically seat an extra guest or two around the curved corners of an oblong pedestal table. Choose a round dining table for a square room to maximize the available space and break up the angles. Select a small 48-inch round tabletop for four to six diners and a 73-inch round table for eight to nine guests.
Make your dining room more functional and aesthetically pleasing by allowing a minimum of 24 inches between the table and the wall behind it to make it easy for guests to slide their chairs out from under the table. Expand the wall-to-table distance to 38 inches if you intend for guests to walk behind seated diners.