Click here for Step 1: Start with the chairs.

Hopefully, you have your dining chairs selected and in good shape, and you are ready to move on to the next step of getting your dining room perfect before Thanksgiving. Your dining table is next up, and this is probably the toughest decision to make for your dining room. I spend a lot of time at market looking for dining tables. Here I am checking out a table by Mary McDonald for Chaddock.


Photo by Ed Fleuren

I will let you in on a secret: I rarely get asked to select dining tables, and that frustrates me enormously. I have designed a lot of dining rooms. But invariably, the client says, “Oh, we have our dining table, and we want to incorporate it into the space you design.”

Sigh. Big sigh.

To be clear, I incorporate existing furnishings into designs all the time. That is not the problem. The problem is that most people have NO idea how to select a dining table, yet it is one of those items people love to impulse buy. They can’t see that their treasured find is actually a hinderance to getting what they want from their dining space, and that the RIGHT choice would  make their goals much more attainable. Here are 6 major DON’Ts to avoid when selecting a dining table:

  1. Don’t select a massive table with a lot of visual weight.
  2. Don’t select a table with a big, clunky leg.
  3. Don’t select a table with a distressed, matte finish to “hide” scuffs or marks.
  4. Don’t select a table with a trestle base.
  5. Don’t select a table that is too trendy.



Photo by Chris Smith

Your table should:

  1. Be Elegant, with tapered legs.
  2. Have an interesting finish that either adds color or shine to the room.
  3. Have ample space between legs to slide chairs into place.
  4. Have a skirt that is high enough for women to easily cross their legs at the table.

I see SO MANY grossly heavy tables. JUST DON’T! Instead, pay attention to my TOP 10 DINING TABLES. These certainly aren’t all the tables I like, but these are go to choices that complement most spaces.



  1. Chaddock’s Rue De Lillie Dining Table by David Easton. There are endless finish choices and it comes in a 68” round or 86” oblong with extension leaf. The apron and the leg are recessed for easier access, and there is a beautiful banding for interest. This table is gorgeous. Call us for a quote.


Photo from

  1. Thibaut’s Hexagon Dining Table. Available in several sizes and endless colors. The grasscloth is completely sealed for easy care. I love using a colorful table with so much texture, especially with a beautiful stain finish on chairs.

Photo from Thibaut

  1. Curate Home’s Knot Table. This table was discontinued when Century bought out Curate Home. I ordered one of the last available tables for a client’s Atlanta high rise. The organic freeform base is fantastic against the hard geometric lines of the skyscrapers in the view beyond the room. It’s gorgeous and I will share a photo the room is finished.


Photo from Curate Home

  1. Ballard’s Saratoga Extension Table. At $1399, it is a lot of style for little investment. I love the Chinese Chippendale reference in the lines. It’s a table that has visual weight without being clunky!

Photo from

  1. Chaddock’s Maxine Table. 54” round with optional 2 24” leaves. This table is stunning and sophisticated. The finish options are endless and the banding is available in antique brass or nickel. I love the ball foot below the ferrule. Modern, yet timeless. It’s well done. Call us for a quote.


Photo from Chaddock

  1. Curate Home’s Creme or Caramel Extension Table. Again, it was discontinued when Century bought out the company, but we ordered the last available pieces. The tables are PERFECT for intimate settings without the leaf. They are roughly 40” square and the 20” leaf brings them to a still cozy 60”. Great for puzzles or card games or morning coffee for 4 people, when you add the extension they can accommodate a small dinner for 6. These tables are a great choice for a row house where space is tight, but you want great style. Also, I love that they are solid wood, which is really hard to find.

40 x 40 or 40 x 60 with leaf. Perfect as a desk! Unique solid wood top
Was $2105 now $938



  1. I am sorry, but Italian marble topped antique tables are always perfect. That’s all that needs to be said.


Photo from DesignAFI

  1. Technically, this dining table is a set of 2, but its uses are endless! I designed this custom table for a wine importer who is also a fabulous chef! It’s a historic Charleston single house, so the kitchen is small, barely 10×10! I decided to make a “breakaway” table system to maximize the use. Its counter height, which is perfect for food prep. It forms a square to make seating for 8 or a T for a night of tapas with guests mingling. The best part? The pieces separate and stow away under the staircase and in the laundry niche—just in case this super cool couple want to use the kitchen as a dance floor!


Photos by Patrick Brickman


  1. My mom’s dining table is definitely in my TOP 10. I think I was with her when she bought it. It has a beautiful inlay veneer banding on the soft matte top, and a French country base with a painted wash finish. Yes, it is a matte finish, but it is very elegant. Every meal is an event on a table like this! And of course, I love the people surrounding it!


Photo by Tad Fleuren

  1. Every now and then, a client has a perfect table. This client’s table has a better pedigree than I do! The claw foot double pedestal is elegant and slim, and the size is appropriate for the dining space. The soft curve at each end is a great alternative to an angular rectangle. I loved designing this space years ago. It still is perfect!


Photo by DesignAFI


Which dining table appealed to you?

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