Skip to main content
Decorating Advice

Round or Rectangle Dining Table: Yay or Nay?

By 02/18/2012January 29th, 201733 Comments

I have had a round dining table forever! I was so happy when we moved into a space big enough to accommodate a rectangle! Round tables are so boring when it comes to decorating. All you can do is plunk something in the middle and it’s over.  This image below is the most creative one I could find.


And there’s no question. A round table is a lot more versatile if you move a lot or rent. Depending on how big it is of course.  I had a 42″ round table and it always fit in every space I’ve lived in.


There are so many ways to dress a rectangular shaped table, I vote for this versatile shape. Over to you. Which one do you prefer?

Have you seen this Target ad? Colour Changes Everything? So much fun! Thanks to one of my favourite readers, Stu Stiller for sending it to me!

Hope you are having a great weekend my lovelies! xo Maria

Related posts:

Should you buy a Microsuede Sofa? Yay or Nay

Carrara Marble for your Kitchen? Yay or Nay

Dining Table with Matching Chairs: Yay or Nay

0 pins


  • Stephen Bryer says:

    The thought I have to add to the discussion is whether it is round, rectangular or otherwise, often it is the case that the style, color, details and proportions are just not quite right for your purposes. Sometimes you do find that perfect signature piece that suits the space perfectly….but, in those times when the project requires a solution that cannot be located it is nice to have craftsmen resources that can create a custom piece to your exact specifications. And that might be building it from the ground up or possible modifying a found piece that needs just a bit of tweaking. In either case you won’t have to settle for anything less than what you have imagined for the setting.

  • I have a rectangular table and want a round one. Here’s why, I think we feel cozier when faced to each other, it’s a circle, the energy flows better! 🙂

    By the way, I’ve been missing you, Maria. But I’m so incredibly busy w/ my baby (3 month old) and my 2 older kids. Yes, I’m a busyyyy woman!

    Wishing you a very blessed weekend.


    Luciane at

  • Shawna says:

    I think you would love the commercial for Lise Watier cosmetics. It is all about how colour makes everything better and there is a bright sunny yellow, swingy A line coat on a very chic woman walking her dog. The commercial makes me think of you.

  • Jennifer Johnson says:

    I saw a huge round table in Italy I swore I’d buy someday if I had the money. It would seat maybe 12? I just love the intimacy of a round table.

    Thanks for the link to the Target ad. It is a new FAVORITE! And it’s SO YOU!

    I bought your ebook and I really enjoyed it. HIGHLY Recommend to anyone else reading this post! Just do it you won’t be disappointed! It sums up everything Maria has been blogging about for years (saving you from having to go through everything, ha ha, like I have), and puts it in a logical, easy to understand format. And you get a lot of insight into other things as well as those great BONUS colors!!! If you’re at all into design it’s like a Color seminar for 99% off! 🙂

    And a plug for a color consultation… I have had 2 and they were worth every penny. (No, I’m not getting paid to say these things!) 🙂

  • Maribeth says:

    I have had both, round and rectangle tables. I love a round table and have one that seats eight. All the diners can see each other and the conversation seems to flow much better. That being said, I agree that rectangle table settings are more versatile and usually more pretty/interesting.

  • Cathy says:

    I have both and like both of them for different reasons. Our round one is usually in the kitchen and the rectangle in the dining room. I can decorate the rectangle table in so many ways, but it lacks the intimacy that the round gives you. So that is as clear as mud!

  • Bonnie says:

    Round, because everyone is seated equally and you can see everyone’s faces.

  • Had a round kitchen table for years and loved it because it was so flexible – could stick it in a corner with the chairs tucked in the back for a small gathering, but pull it out and add more chairs around for a big family dinner. But esthetically I prefer a rectangular table as most dining rooms are not square enough to handle anything else.

  • Laura Jens Sisino says:

    Ohhhhhh, this is a tough one. WIthout question decorating a rectangle or oval table has so much more decorating possibilities and I love doing so with the one I have (especially during the holiday times).
    But the intimacy and conversations provoked around a round seem to be different. When I had a round table it would be decorated with layers of multiple things, off to the side. Just as if it was a library table (in that dining room was bookshelves flanking a fireplace and reading chairs on either side, w/a round dining table) and worked well for what was mostly dinner for two. Dinner parties, the layers removed, simplicity of flowers in the middle, good people, drinks and food always made for a lovely evening for lingering longer.
    So, with that being said, I totally agree, better to do decorate rectangle than round. But, if it is about the company and conversation, round is better.

  • Laura Jens Sisino says:

    Saw 50 Fabulous Designer Decorating Ideas that offer some ideas (plain and some a little different) over at House Beautiful:

  • carol says:

    I wish I had a large round table I have 2 rectangle tables. One in the kitchen, and one in my DR. My little 2 year old granddaughter always hits her head on the corners. I think round tables are very cozy and intimate. I hate when Im seated at my table and i have to look to my side to see who I’m talking to!!!Not very cozy or comfortable. Who needs a bunch of chackees in the center anyway. A simple Beautiful potted herb or 2 is enough.

  • Sarah says:

    I love both kinds of tables. We have a round table which I loved in our old house but since moving into our new house we have left the extra leaf in the table to make it a rectangular table with round ends. I love it this way too and agree that it is much easier to decorate and accessorize than a round table!

  • Bert says:

    I have two rectangular tables….one in the kitchen and one in the dining room. I’m getting rid of the one in the kitchen and getting a round pedestal table (with leaves if possible for extra space if I need it). I like the idea of having the extra leg room with a pedestal table and as several people mentioned, it’s nice when everyone can see each other.

  • Lizzie says:

    I have a rectangular table and would ditch it in a second if a round table would fit into my narrow space. I’ve had them both in different houses and I much prefer the round for all the points made by other posters. It’s so much more fun an intimate to have a meal at a round table. And i like the way a round table breaks up the lines of a room. It’s softer I think. LOVE your blog.

  • Hands down, round. There is nothing like getting the family together around a round table for any meal. I love a square cloth on it and simple flowers and a few candles for entertaining. I have both and will always use the round, space permitting.
    Love the target spot too! It’s very happy!

  • ellen Rush says:

    What a great question! My all time favourite table was a Ikea table that had two leaves and without the leaves it was round, cozy and cute. When the leaves were in, it became a ’rounded rectangle’. The table was so versatile – so I vote for a table with both options!

  • Linda Beam says:

    I’m a round table girl (for all the above mentioned reasons). For decorating, (my table does not float in the center of the room) I use the back third. This allows more flexibility for interesting tablescapes.

    Love the Target ad!

  • Schalene says:

    Maria, I think a round table with one or two leaves that can be inserted when needed gives you the best of both worlds. So a Yay! vote for round tables.

  • Denise says:

    I have a beautiful Louis XVI-style dining table that perfectly suits the room it’s in. It is decorated with an amazing piece of table coral, a yellow phalaenopsis orchid in a rusted urn, a terracotta sphere and a barnacle cluster under a glass cloche. In terms of beauty, I don’t think it matters whether the table is round or rectangular. What matters is the amount of thought a person is willing to put into decorating it.

  • Bonnie says:

    Recently I was asked to help a builder with paint and finishes in a townhouse unit. It was a north facing unit and small. I was a little unsure if my choice was going to be too dark. Your words kept running through my mind “a light colour never comes to life in a dark room”, so I held my breath and chose shaker beige ( to go with the countertop). Thank you, thank you Maria. It looks wonderful and gives a common builder townhouse personality and sophistication. Bonnie

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Denise said it so well as far as decorating the table!!
    My husband is Italian & a gourmet cook. Family meals are everything at our house. We have 2 round tables in our dinning room, one large-seats 6-8 (sometimes we squeeze more) and one 40″ round over by a large window overlooking a garden and a bird feeder. We sit at that one when we’re by ourselves. It’s intimate & romantic. But….my all-time favorite would be an oval shaped banquette with cushions & an upholstered seat, if I had the chance to have one built with windows surrounding!!! In my dreams….

  • Ellen Rhett says:

    The best configuration I have seen lately is a long dining table in the room, with silk settee on the window wall. A much smaller table for two was pulled close in front of the settee, providing perfect seating for intimate dinners for a couple, while still in the formal dining room. It allows both diners to slip in and out easily, unlike those horrid residential banquettes.

  • Claudia says:

    I have both – a round table in my kitchen eating area, and a rectangular table in my dining room.

    I think sometimes the space needs to dictate the shape of the table. For example, in my dining room, because of where the sliding glass door is situated, and the pathway to it, the rectangular shape is the better fit.

  • Doris Davis says:

    I have to go with the round because of seating comfort! Ours is always in use so I don’t really think about decorating it much!!

  • Kathi says:

    love both of my tables for different reasons,the large oval dining room table is a lot of fun to decorate, but I notice when i have only 4 or 5 people over for dinner, we have been eating more and more
    in the kitchen next to our stone fireplace and we seem to spend twice as long there eating & drinking, there is no comparison to the 48 in round table dinner experience, its just so much more intimate!

  • The table shape you have pictured is the best, where the ends are oval shaped, in the furniture industry it is called oblong. Be sure and watch the leg placement. Best to have two pedestal supports underneath instead. Then, you can seat guests all around without someone being caught in the crosshairs of a table leg!

  • Donna Frasca says:

    Hmmm, I don’t know! I have a high gathering table that is 53″ x 53″ and love it. The chairs are higher to (easier on the knees) and everyone is equal distance from each other. Rounds table don’t have as much room and rectangles have some quests too far away.

  • Marlo says:

    I have both – rectangle and round. I prefer the round for entertaining. Our round table is 54″ and when the leaf is added the table width is wide enough to accommodate serving platters in the center of the table whereas on the rectangular table there is not enough room.

    I agree that a rectangular table is more versatile to dress but I also like the simplicity of a round table where one pretty piece can look beautiful too.

  • Sara Smith says:

    So many interesting comments!

    My vote is: depends on the space ;). I think the size and shape of your dining area/room really has a big impact. I knew someone who had this beautiful round-shaping dining nook and she put a square table in it! It looked and felt weird, and didn’t emphasize this unique architectural detail.

    I love round tables for the social reasons, but think they feel odd in narrow rooms (like our dining room). I agree with the commenter who said round that with leaves, turns into a long oval is the most versatile and best!

    My dream is to someday have a large enough space to fit a table that expands to fit 12 or more.

  • It’s too funny, but I never once thought about differences in decorating the centre of the table when it came to table shapes – even though I love to change up the table decorations at home. We have a rectangular table which, I agree, is easy to decorate. The reason I have always wanted a round table (one that had extensions to put in the middle so it could be turned into an oval) is that it accomodates more people. You can have people sitting at the curves and fit in more than you could with a rectangle. I just might have to change my opinion now though.

  • diane says:

    Wow..dont think I have ever heard anyone say a round table is boring….I prefer round both to decorate and to eat at. It is so intimate during a dinner party and you can always squeeze one more person (depending on the base shape , of course). But some spaces just cry for a rectangle or a square (almost impossible to find) so I guess it just depends on the space.

  • Cheryl says:

    Round or rectangle? Depends on the space totally and how many people can comfortably sit at the table. I’ve had a round table most of my long life and never once thought it was boring to decorate. I’ve learned a lot from blogs on tablescapes for round tables.

  • June says:

    As most kitchens have have rectangular counters with square corners, I usually prefer a round table. It breaks up all those straight lines!

Leave a Reply