There are many ways to fit wood table ideas into modern and contemporary designs. Wooden tables are timeless pieces making them one of the most sustainable furniture choices, especially simple and minimalist table designs that stay in style for generations.
To narrow down your wood table ideas, consider how to create visual balance in your room. You will need to account for the room size, seating capacity you want, seating space per person, and other variables, such as other furniture in the room or mat size. We explain below how to calculate the space needed for visual design, to help you choose the best wooden table for your space.
Quality is also an important factor: solid wood tables last much longer than low-quality wood composites, and are more environmental as composites usually contain harmful products, like glue and synthetic materials. Some question whether the extra cost of solid wood is worth it, especially with today’s market flooded with cheaper, low-end alternatives, such as veneer, metal or plastic furniture. Solid wood furniture, however, is the only material that ensures longevity, due to easy maintenance. Signs of wear and tear or damage to a wooden table can be easily sanded out, and maintenance is as simple as reapplications of oil. It is also the most sustainable furniture choice when compared to plastic or metal furniture.
Below are some tips for narrowing down your wood table ideas, plus images showing wooden table ideas incorporating modern design. You can also read how to calculate the right dining table size for your room, standard table and chair heights, or counter and bar stool heights for a modern look.
Wood Table Ideas & Images
Wooden tables can be made with natural wood slabs or panels of solid wood (see image below), and modernized with a range of sleek wooden bases or metal structures.
When calculating your ideal wood table size, you should allow a minimum size of 32–36 inches (80–90cm) between your table and the wall or any obstructions. This is also a comfortable size needed for someone to push back their chair. If you have furniture along the wall, start your measurements from the edge of the furniture instead. Other obstructions to consider are door frames, fireplaces and windows.
The ideal distance for an elegant look, however, is estimated at around 42 to 48 inches (107–122cm) from the wall or furniture. It is advised not to exceed a maximum of 70 inches (180cm) between the wall – instead choose a larger table to fill the space for better visual balance.
In terms of seating space per person, the minimum space required is around 24 inches (60cm), although up to 30 inches (80cm) per person allows more elbow room. If you choose a rectangular table, you also need to add a minimum of 12 inches (30cm) up to 24–30 inches (60–80cm) at either end, to allow enough leg room for two extra spaces.
You will need a minimum space of at least 24 inches (60cm) behind a chair when it is pushed in, which is the minimum amount needed for someone to pass.
Your total table size should also account extra space for table leg width. If you have a smaller room, opt for wooden table ideas that have thin legs or a central pedestal base.
Solid Wood Table Top Ideas
Natural cuts made from solid wood create truly one-of-a-kind wooden table ideas, relying on the unique patterns and live edge borders that only Mother Nature can provide. Solid wood tables are sometimes associated with rustic-style furniture, however, PAROTAS uses a variety of design bases to modernize wooden table top slabs.
When calculating the ideal height for your base structure, allow room for at least the standard chair height, typically around 18 inches (45cm) – from floor to chair seat – plus lap room. A comfortable fit between the chair seat a wooden table top is calculated at around 12 inches (30cm).
If you’re choosing between a round or rectangular natural wood table, you should consider the room size and the desired seating amount.
Rectangular table tops work better in long narrow rooms to create visual space. If you need to save space, you can add a wooden bench on at least one side, or both, which can be pushed under the table to allow more walking room.
Circular tables are ideal for small spaces for allowing better flow around the table, plus more people can fit without corners, especially if the table has a pedestal base.
Some people prefer oval or rectangular tables for seating large groups, as wide circular tables can make it difficult to reach food in the middle – although a built-in lazy susan can resolve this.
In a square room, a round or square table creates the best visual balance, as well as allowing a more intimate dining atmosphere as everyone is the same distance apart and facing each other. Similar to circular tables, however, large square tables can make it difficult to reach for food.
Modern Wood Dining Table Ideas
If you’re specifically looking at dining table ideas, you should first calculate the amount of people you want to seat and the kind of plate setting.
The minimum depth to fit a dining plate and cutlery is around 15 inches (38cm; without glass space), or 18 inches (45cm) for a full cutlery and plate setting with glasses. You should ideally add an additional 10–12 inches (25–30cm) to fit serving dishes, although 6 inches (15cm) is the minimum and sufficient if you move glasses. This puts the ideal table width at around 41 inches (105cm), with 47 inches (120cm) being a more comfortable width.
A walkway of 36 to 42 inches (91–107 centimeters) around the entire table is the most comfortable space needed when chairs are occupied and people want to pass. However, if your table will be in an open plan room with circulation routes, then leaving from 48 to 60 inches (122–152cm) beyond the edge of a table is suitable for this type of layout.
If space is an issue, using chairs without arms or swivel seats will be more comfortable for guests. Another tip to make a small area seem more spacious is to use transparent, acrylic chairs.
Round tables are also one of the best choices for small space. With no sharp corners to bump into, round tables can fit into tight spaces and typically squeeze in more people. Round tables also create the most intimate atmosphere, as everyone can interact without having to lean over anybody. But for entertaining big crowds, large round tables are not as ideal as sound doesn’t travel as well as across a huge diameter, in which case rectangle tables can be ideal.
Wood Coffee Table Ideas
The same basic spacing principles for dining tables applies to wooden coffee tables, making sure you leave enough space for people to pass and that there is enough space between your coffee table and the closest obstruction, such as a sofa.
The easiest design rule is to keep the proportions similar between your table and the room. Long, narrow rooms work best with rectangular tables while round and square tables fit best with a square rooms.
If you have a very large room, try to also allow a more generous clearance space, even up to 48–54 inches (122–137cm).
Wooden Table Leg Ideas
Solid wood tables generally require sufficient support to withhold the weight, although minimalist base designs are still possible. Choosing a lighter wood – for example, parota is almost half the dried weight of oak – can provide more flexibility in designing table legs.
You also need to account for the ‘apron’ – the panel hanging underneath the table top. If you have a low apron, guests might not be able to cross their legs, or you would need to choose lower chairs. Aprons, however, can be beautifully incorporated into your table design idea. At PARTOAS, we custom design table aprons so they add to overall modern design idea.
The position and size of your metal or wooden table legs also influences the space you need. Larger or obstructive table legs naturally limit the seating space. If space is an issue, pedestal bases in the center are an idea choice for offering the most legroom, and you might be able to squeeze in an extra seat.
Custom Wooden Table Ideas
Every space is different. Custom wood furniture is the ideal solution for achieving perfect visual balance in a room, allowing you to match natural wood cuts to fit unique spaces in your design. For custom home furniture and contract projects, PAROTAS’ team of carpenters, architects and designers bring together their expertise to turn custom wooden ideas into reality, offering advice on the best solutions for your space and viability of your design. If you have a wooden table idea or design project, contact us for a quote.
PAROTAS brings together carpenters, designers and architects to find sustainable ways to produce custom wooden furniture. Our carpenters employ specialied techniques to reduce wood waste during production. All wood is certified. Contact PAROTAS to ask about your custom wooden furniture or design project.