For years, I thought we needed a giant rectangular dining table instead of a round dining table. That’s what’s in the Rockwell pictures, right? You know, with everyone seated for Thanksgiving around one of those looooooong tables with two people designated to sit at “the head” of each end. It looks so full and warm and we love that!
And so, when Matt and I were first married (over 15 years ago! goodness knows we’ve learned a lot since then!), we bought a rectangular dining table and put it in our “formal” living room. We used it rarely, instead opting for the cozy round kitchen nook table in our first house.
Then, that big table sat in storage for over four years while we moved to New Zealand and didn’t unpack it until we moved into our fixer upper in California. After living with a large table in our one dining area (plus two kids) for awhile, I realized something.
Decision to Go to a Cozy Round Dining Table
What I realized was that we didn’t need a giant rectangular table, for several reasons. (Let me clarify: I’m not anti-large tables by any means. This is just what works for our family right now and we’re excited about it!)
I know, I know…big farmhouse tables are so popular (and they can be lovely; some of my favorite people have done it well and NEED something long and big!)…however…I can’t explain why, but I seem to prefer the look of a round dining table. I noticed that all my favorite dining rooms I’d ever bookmarked or saved photos of had round tables, in all sizes. I finally got the memo!
I loved the idea of being all cozied up together at a round table, both while our kids are young and still as they get older.
With big rectangular tables, I also noticed that (unless it was completely full when people came over), someone in our family always felt or looked like they were “on the outside” because they were sitting further down, without anyone across from them. With a round table, we love that we can space everyone out perfectly, evenly. Love that!
With babies-turned-toddlers-turned-young-children at the table, adult supervision is a must. With a round table, both Matt and I were able to help each child from either side. (Teamwork makes the dream work!)
In our space, we tested out a round table we already had and loved how traffic flowed around it between the rooms. (And yes, with small children I’m calling it TRAFFIC! They’re racers!)
Up in our homeschool/art room, I had been wanting a BIG table to spread out all our projects on. This way we wouldn’t have to buy another one. Cha-ching!
6. No extra cost:
We already had a round dining table which was being halfheartedly used elsewhere, but it would work perfectly, so no new purchases were needed at all! Now instead of being barely used, it’s used CONSTANTLY! Little table is HAPPY! (Yep, I’m giving some of our furniture personalities now. Or maybe I’ve been reading “The Little Engine That Could” too often to my 3-year-old and am rooting for the little guy.)
We were just a family of four eating there 99% of the time. Two adults and two small children. We didn’t need a giant table for every meal!
And so, for a mix of all the above reasons, we switched to the smaller table and haven’t looked back!
What About Seating More People?
“But what about Thanksgivings and large gatherings?” someone will ask me.
No problem! Two easy answers to that for us and our situation:
- Our table has two inserts, which extend the table into a looooong oval shape and can seat 10 people, which we’ve done when we’ve had people over to eat inside, because…
- …we do live in California (and we have pretty fantastic year-round weather), so we love to eat outside as much as we can! If you’ve seen our backyard makeover, you’ll remember we have a number of different seating areas. We use those a lot when we have people over because the kids can still run around outside, supervised—plus it’s just usually better being outside anyways!
So while one day we may change this up again and need a different size or shape for our future needs, right now we are 100% content and 1,000% happier with our round dining table. I feel like our smaller table has both literally and figuratively brought us closer as a family! So we wanted to share our experience and encourage those of who you have been toying with this idea: it’s totally okay to go with a cozy round table as your main family table! Try it out. You may just love it as much as we do!
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