Selecting the right dining room table for your holiday gatherings


thanksgiving table

Believe it or not, the holidays really are just around the corner.  And, for many of us that means large gatherings of family and friends for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas meals.  And, for many of us, that also means finding a table large enough to accommodate all those friends and family members.

Just like the holiday turkey, dining tables come in all sizes and shapes.  You can select a round table that encourages meal time conversation that everyone can participate in.  Add a custom hand-painted design and your dining room table will be as memorable as the wonderful holiday meal you prepared.

Pedestal table and chairs from Painted Furniture Barn

Pedestal table and chairs from Painted Furniture Barn


Or you may prefer a rectangular dining table that offers plenty of room for comfortable dining with side chairs on either side and lovely host and hostess chairs placed at either end.  These tables can often be expanded through the addition of a leaf or two that can be hidden away when not in use.

Countryside dining table from Cody Road Workshops with leaves for several sizes and available at Painted Furniture Barn.

Countryside dining table from Cody Road Workshops with leaves for several sizes and available at Painted Furniture Barn.

Maybe your holiday meal consists of a romantic candlelit dinner for two while seated at a pretty drop leaf table that spends most of its time pushed up against the wall in your small home.  Whatever your dining table needs are, don’t waste any more time making that decision as retailers and manufacturers require plenty of ordering lead time during this busy season.

Tips for a successful dinner party:

  • For maximum comfort experts suggest a minimum of 24″ of table and leg space per guest
  • Take the opportunity to use your prized “good” china or treasured family heirlooms.  Don’t worry if you do not have enough place settings–mix and match vintage with new for an inviting and eclectic look.
  • Keep centerpieces low and, if you are using fresh flowers and candles make sure the scent will not overwhelm or conflict with the aroma of good food.  Fresh fruit, branches and berries from your own yard and a simple color scheme are budget friendly ideas.
  • Self-serve is easier.  Set up a bar station so guests can pour their own drinks.  Keep most food on a separate buffet table within easy reach for seconds and place easy to pass items like bread on the table.
  • Place cards are always a fun addition and will eliminate the musical chair situation of deciding who will sit where.  Keep personalities in mind when seating people next to each other and be sensitive of not only right and left hands but also any personality conflicts etc.  Place cards can be something as simple as a leaf with the guest’s name written in Sharpie, a piece of twine with a name tag attached and tied around the napkin or something crafty the kids made.

Happy Holidays and Bon Appetit!

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