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4 Tips to Choose a Breakfast Table for Busy Families

A breakfast table is an important part of every day functioning in a busy family kitchen. Used multiple times per day, it is most likely used for coffee, meals, homework, crafts and bill paying to name a few. It is wise to choose a table that will stand the test of time while handling lots of spills and crazy family projects like the volcano my husband concocted a few years ago :) A good kitchen table should last 10 years or longer. Here are 4 tips to consider when shopping for one.

#1 Construction

I recommend choosing a solid wood table with a distressed natural finish, at least on the top, to help disguise the wear and tear it is bound to receive. While I do love painted finishes, a smooth painted top will blemish much easier and is more challenging to keep clean. Painted legs with a natural wood top seem to be the perfect combination.

Image Steven Shell Living Hemingway Table

#2 Size and Shape

Let's talk about choosing the right table size and shape for your kitchen. I mentioned in last week's post all about choosing Family Friendly Kitchen Rugs that your chairs should have about 2' of room to be comfortably pulled in and out and that your table should be about 3' from the walls to allow for traffic. Rectangular and square tables are the most popular but some people like oval or round tables to soften the space. One big advantage of a round table is that the shape makes for easy group conversation.

Image Steven Shell Living Round Goucho Table

#3 Base Design

You also want to consider what type of base your kitchen table will have. Obviously style is an important factor but don't forget to consider how well the table will function once your family and chairs are gathered around it. The goal is to have plenty of knee room and possibly being able to add additional chairs when you need them. A basic four leg table usually accomplishes this well but consider pedestal bases too. Pedestal base tables are great for freeing up leg room and adding extra chairs. A trestle base table is one of my favorite but gets a little trickier with limiting the number of chairs. If you are tight on space, a trestle table may not be the best option.

Image Steven Shell Living Bramble Trestle Table

#4 Leg Design

There are a lot of leg styles to choose from and each carry a design aesthetic and bring a distinct style to your kitchen. My personal favorites are spool legs with varying thicknesses that have a fun modern feel to them. Choose legs that speak to you and reflect your design style. Lastly, consider what other furniture pieces you will also have in your breakfast room. I don't like for spaces to become too "leggy". If you have a sideboard or chest, does it have short or tall legs? You want to balance leg lengths by contrasting furniture pieces. If you have a sideboard with long legs, I would suggest a table with a single pedestal base or chunky legs to contrast. If instead you a furniture chest on short legs, choose a table with long legs. Use this same concept when choosing chairs to work with your table. If lots of legs are going on choose a skirted slipcover or upholstered chair to counteract and soften the lines.

Image Steven Shell Living Boules Table

If you haven't heard my new FB group Kitchen, Baths and Mudrooms by Design is growing! Each week I solve one member's design challenge on a FB live for the whole group to see. Click the link to join today and submit your questions!

If you are working on designing your own kitchen grab my Free Guide while it's available! Happy weekend :) -


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