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Scripps Howard News Service
Ask yourself some simple questions when picking a table for your dining room. For example: How many people must it fit?

Dining companion

The holidays are just around the corner, and you’ll be filling your home with friends and family. Where will you seat all those hungry guests? If you’re dining table isn’t up to snuff, this is the perfect time to consider something new.

A dining table is an investment, and you should pick one that fits you, your home and your lifestyle. Here are a few things to ask yourself when shopping.

Will the table be used every day or only when you entertain? If your table will be in constant use, you’ll want one that can take a lot of abuse and still look lovely. I’d steer you one with a more distressed top, so any nicks or dings won’t be as noticeable.

If your dining table is only used a few times a year, you can pick a table that is a bit more fine. However, I still encourage you to get a table that can handle the rigor of a robust dinner party.

How many people do you need to seat at the table? If possible, select a table that can seat everyone even during the holidays. That may mean one with extra leaves.

What is the style of the room where you’ll dine? Your dining table needs to harmonize with the room’s style. Notice I didn’t say the table needs to “match.”

Pinpoint the room’s style. Is it traditional, contemporary or transitional? Formal or informal? What about your home’s overall style? You want the table to look like it belongs.

What size table and chairs will fit? One of the biggest mistakes is getting a dining table that’s too large for the space. At minimum, you need to allow a berth of 36 inches around the table just to pull out standard-sized dining chairs. If you’re using larger chairs, you’ll need even more room.

– Mary Carol Garrity, Scripps Howard News Service