Selecting the right size of dining table requires careful planning. It is important to know the dimensions of the dining room and also the location of windows and doorways. Consider any furniture other than a dining table that you plan to use in the room. Once all the factors are added together, you will know how much space is left for a table.
A dining room that measures 11 by 12 feet is considered moderately small at only 132 square feet. Before deciding the size of table that will fit in the room, first account for pathways and movement around the room. A minimum of 24 to 28 inches is needed for a seated person only with no passage behind. Allow 36 to 38 inches between the table and wall if space is needed to walk behind, or 48 inches from the table to a cabinet.
A total of 21 to 30 total feet of linear shelf space is needed to store dishes, glasses, cutlery and table linens used in the dining room. This may sound like a lot, but can be easily met with multiple shelves in a buffet or china cabinet. The measurements for a piece of accent furniture can vary, but many pieces are approximately 3 to 5 feet long by 15 to 21 inches deep.
With pathways and accent furniture accounted for, a room measuring 11 by 12 feet can accommodate a table size of 36 by 48 inches up to 40 or 48 inches wide by 72 inches long. Each standard dining chair needs 24 inches of table width around an oblong or rectangular table to allow each diner adequate elbow room, so these table sizes will fit between four and eight people.
If the table and accent furniture you have do not allow enough space for comfortable movement, substitute a large cabinet for a smaller cabinet and a corner cabinet. Or consider utilizing vertical wall space with a tall cabinet that takes up less floor space. If you only entertain groups of eight once or twice a year, purchase a table with an extension or removable leaves in a smaller size for more comfortable use most of the year .