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Modern Dining Table Buying Guide

By Alex Konrad | December 28, 2021

Whether you’ve just moved into a new space and are looking to outfit it with furniture, or are simply attempting to update your home with a fresh new look, selecting a new dining table can instantly set the style for your space and make it feel more welcoming and inviting. 

Even if your space is a studio apartment, the functionality and beauty of a dining table should never be overlooked. Not only will you be adding a dedicated space for meals, but you’ll also be cordoning off an almost sacred space where smartphones don’t exist, and conversation is highly treasured. 

The question is then how to select the perfect dining table for your home. If you’ve been eyeing modern furniture and would like to incorporate a modern dining table into your space, we can definitely help.

Modloft offers dining tables that feature a classic modern design with a contemporary feel. Our tables are constructed from unexpected materials like concrete, opaque glass, wood, and steel. Our tables are built to last and add value and beauty to your home. 

We’ll help you find the perfect modern dining table for your space and suggest a few of our favorite options. 

Modern Dining Tables and How They Differ from Other Styles

If you’ve never given much thought to style and design, you probably wouldn’t be able to pick out a modern dining table in a lineup. Although you’d know it looked different from the other tables, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to explain how

There are numerous different styles of dining tables (and furniture styles, for that matter). For our purposes, we’ll examine the four most popular and compare them to one another. 

1. Traditional

Traditional dining room tables are the most recognizable and the ones you likely remember from childhood. They are usually rectangular or round, crafted from heavy, solid wood, polished or finished with a gloss, and are heavy on details. 

It isn’t uncommon to find traditional dining tables with hand-carved designs in both the table legs, pedestal, or chair backs, and often the perimeter of the tabletop features an engraved or carved design. 

Traditional dining tables are formal, elegant, and often found in deeply stained colors.

2. Modern

Modern furniture is simplistic in design and focuses on beauty in design and structure. The functionality of a piece is equally as important as the clean lines and symmetry of these pieces. Modern furniture dates back to a post-World War II era when the focus of living shifted from opulence and extravagance to achievable simplicity, minimalism, and conservative use of available materials. 

Because of this minimalist and conservative focus on materials, modern furniture sometimes overlaps with contemporary furniture. Modern furniture is not contemporary furniture, but if a more minimalist look is the current trend, contemporary furniture will take on a modern look and feel. 

Modern dining tables will be easily recognizable by their clean, geometric angles, sturdy material, and class. 

3. Mid-Century Modern

At the onset of modern furniture came the emergence of what we now call mid-century modern design. This style, reflective of the 1930s-1960s, is highlighted by simple shapes, few patterns, geometric lines, and a contrast between the use of bright colors and neutrals. 

Mid-century modern furniture will almost always be crafted from less expensive metals, heavy plastics, and natural wood. 

What separates mid-century modern furniture and modern furniture is simply time. Because mid-century modern furniture is a style of modern furniture that modern pieces still pull from, they can sometimes be interchangeable. However, it’s important to note that true mid-century modern pieces will be antiques. 

Mid-century modern dining tables are often oval, rectangular, or circular, crafted from natural wood, and have coordinating chairs. 

4. Contemporary

Contemporary furniture refers to whatever style of furniture is currently popular at the time. Contemporary furniture is completely fluid, changing from year to year and decade to decade. 

Because contemporary furniture changes, it can morph and absorb other styles at any given time. Contemporary traditional furniture may feature some of the same structural ideas that traditional furniture has, but with less dated woodworking and artisanship. 

Contemporary modern furniture will be made from popular materials of the time and feature clean lines, simple shapes, and colors specific to the particular time period. 

Today’s contemporary dining tables have a very modern feel. Increased demand for environmentally sustainable materials has helped make modern furniture a go-to. Crafted to maximize functionality and beauty while minimizing materials, these tables are understatedly elegant, never ostentatious. 

How to Buy a Modern Dining Table

The fact that contemporary design currently features modern style makes it easy to choose a modern dining table that will look great in any space. You can decide on a modern dining table easily by following these four easy steps. 

  1. Know your home. Your home already exudes a sense of style, and that style will dictate the appropriate kind of modern dining table you need. If your home features mostly contemporary pieces from the past five years, finding a modern dining table that blends perfectly will be a non-issue.
    If, however, your home features a more traditional style, it can be a bit more difficult. Choosing a concrete slab modern dining table may not be the most cohesive choice in a room that sits adjacent to your traditional sofa and Shaker coffee table.
    If you are blending two very different styles, allow one to dominate and the other to accent. For instance, you can add traditional or modern touches anywhere, but one design style should overbear the other. 
  2. Know your people. The people who eat at your modern dining table are the most important. Whether they are your family members, guests, or both, considering who you host at your table and how frequently will help you determine what kind of material will work best.
    If you have small children or active pets, for instance, a glass tabletop may not be the best option. Although glass tables are elegant, airy, and often constructed with tempered or titanium glass, it can be a disaster waiting to happen in a very active household.
    On the other hand, if you have a messy crowd, glass might be the perfect option for easy clean up and avoiding stains.
    Another thought to consider is how long you expect your table to last. If you want a table that will last for decades, consider that your family and guests will grow along with it. 
  3. Know your space. Your space will be a huge determining factor in purchasing a modern dining table. If you’ve fallen in love with a large marble-slab dining table but have more of a dining nook than an actual dining room, it may not be the best decision to purchase such a heavy piece of furniture.
    To help you determine how much space you need, calculate at least three feet of walking area around the entire perimeter of your table and chairs. For eating space, you should allow for two feet per guest so that they may eat unobstructed and have a conversation that flows easily and naturally without feeling too close to the next guest. 
  4. Know your shape. Your dining area may lend itself to a shape easily. For instance, if you are working with a particularly small, rectangular room, you may find a rectangular table easiest to accommodate.
    Round tables are generally more intimate and allow for increased legroom, so if those are important features for you, a round or oval table may be something to consider.
    Another consideration is additional dining room furniture. If you select a rectangular dining table, it is important to make sure the chairs you select will comfortably seat one guest next to another without feeling cramped.
    If you’d like to add a sideboard to your dining room decor (which is a great idea for housing additional flatware, stemware, and china if your kitchen cupboards are full), you’ll need to take that into consideration as well. 

How To Put it Together

You can always opt for a modern dining room set that has already been preselected for you. Practically any furniture store will offer a dining suite that includes a matching table, four chairs, and possibly an optional sideboard. However, if you want to focus on individual style and achieve more of a custom look, the best way to shop is by purchasing your table, chairs, and sideboard separately. 

Modloft offers numerous different table, chair, and sideboard options, so the look you create is unique to you and expresses your personal style. We obsess over our designs, and it shows. Our pieces are carefully constructed from the highest quality materials, and no detail is overlooked. 

Make shopping for your modern dining table easy. Use this guide and head to Modloft to find the styles that suit your taste and needs perfectly.

 

Sources:

The Importance Of The Family Dining Table | BeautyHarmonyLife

Furniture Design History | OnlineDesignTeacher

Guide to Mixing Interior Decorating Styles | The Spruce