Apart from your kitchen, your dining room and its table is the focal point of your home. It’s where you do homework, gather for meals (obviously), celebrate birthdays and where you have those first awkward meetings with your children’s significant others. Needless to say, choosing your dining table is a serious decision as it can make or break the look and feel of this important room, so here’s how you make a success of it.

Make sure the table is the right size
You need to measure your dining room and also take into account its shape. Ideally, you need at least two or three feet of clearance around the sides of the table so people can move in and out, as well as serve those seated. The shape of the table should also loosely follow the shape of the room, with round or square tables being best for really small spaces.

Your table shouldn’t overpower the space
If you have a smaller, more minimalist dining room, then you don’t want a great big, bulky dark wood behemoth in the centre. Choose the size and “weight” of the table so that it fits in with the room – it’s a focal point, but it shouldn’t dominate the space.

Think about how you usually eat
When it comes to dining tables Australia is different from Northern Europe in that people eat outside a lot more. If you don’t need a huge table inside all year round, then one with drop-leaves might suit you better – just extend it when you have the entire family gathered.

Materials matter
Keeping your dining table clean and fresh is important, especially if you have younger children in the family who like to draw and paint (sometimes with their food)… Making sure you can wipe the surface down easily is a good idea which means the finish on your table is important. A solid timber table is also preferred as it will stand the test of time, ensure durability and give you a chance not to worry constantly about potential damage made to your table! There is nothing wrong with a few marks on a dining table – they are like scars, they tell the story of who you are…and that’s what matters at the end of the day.