Kitchen Tables

Kitchen table sets to match any interior

No piece of furniture is more crucial to a home's atmosphere of warmth and friendliness than the kitchen table. It's where kids do their homework, friends gather to eat and families meet after a long day. Even if you're eating takeout food or leftovers, the kitchen table is the place where meals (and laughter and stories) are shared and memories are made.

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Kitchen tables come in a variety of sizes, materials and styles. Select a table set that fits your lifestyle as well as your decor. Retro kitchen tables with plastic, Formica or other synthetic surfaces look great in modern kitchens, while tile or glass tabletops are more contemporary. Try wood for a warm, homey atmosphere, or aluminum for a sleek, industrial feel.

...and Function

Each material has its pros and cons; be sure that you're realistic about what you need. Plastic tables look funky and unique but have very little resistance to heat and sharp objects. Glass tabletops are classy (and more durable than you'd expect) but will show every fingerprint and streak. Wood tables, such as common oak kitchen tables or more elegant cherry dining tables, can also be damaged by heat or scratches. Plus, some wooden furniture is hastily and cheaply assembled, so you will pay more for strong, top-quality construction.

Size Does Matter

When you've decided on a material, think about how much table you actually need. Do you have a large family or host frequent dinner parties? Is the space in your dining room limited? How many table extensions, or leaves, will you need? There's no need to purchase a table for 16 when you rarely feed more than 4 people at a time.

Of course, don't forget to consider seating, as well. Kitchen table sets, which include both kitchen tables and chairs, are probably the easiest way to go. Most include 4, 6 or sometimes 8 chairs, with the option to purchase additional chairs if necessary. A set is the best way to ensure that your table and chairs match, and sets tend to be cheaper and more convenient to purchase.

When purchasing kitchen chairs, whether alone or as part of a set, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How high is the seat — can your kids easily get on and off?
  • How much room is between the top of the seat and the bottom of the table?
  • How wide is the chair — can you squish them close together if you need to fit more people at the table?
  • Are the chairs too heavy to easily push in and out?

These may not seem like burning questions, but you'll probably use this piece of furniture every day (and likely more than once a day), so you'll want to make sure it's a good fit — literally!