When it comes to dining tables for inside the home, you tend to find that square and rectangular tables are the most common. The same is probably true with the more modern-looking outdoor tables too. However, we tend to find that round and oval shaped garden tables tend to be a more popular choice. They provide a more timeless/classical look and feel.
That’s not to dismiss square and rectangular, it is just that the round and oval tables provide a little more space to move around as there’s no corners but you still has a good amount of surface area to work with. However, shape also has a big impact on how the table functions in terms of social interaction. If you’re unsure of which shape will work best, then we’ve summarised each one below in terms of the scenarios in which they tend to work best.
1. Square Garden Tables
Square garden tables are a great option if you want to maybe push one side against a wall or the front edge of a paved/decked patio area
Square tables are also the perfect shape for smaller patios and gardens… If there’s just two to four people in your household then they’re the perfect choice in terms of function. The main benefit of purchasing a square table is that they help to create a real intimate setting for 4 or less people, giving all equal space. Another trend we have seen emerge is for customers to purchasing 2 x 4 seater square garden tables to pull together when the need arises. You can have one table for those in the household but then push them together to create a larger rectangular set for BBQ’s or garden parties.
2. Rectangular Garden Tables
The longer, narrow design of our rectangular sets lend themselves perfectly to larger-scale entertaining patios. You can position yourself as hosts at each end. The simple, linear shape of these often larger garden tables tend to provide scale and fit best on a larger more open patio. However, the big advantage they have with the large seater sets is they’re perfect for generating free flowing open conversation from all sides of the table. A rectangular table will also help to emphasise or create a more streamlined look, pair it with square paving, planters etc and you can create a very sharp, uniform design scheme with strong lines.
3. Round Garden Tables
For a curved patio or small garden or even a patio/garden where you want to zone it and serve multiple functions, then a round table is often the best option. The curved edges give it a smaller footprint that takes up less space and is easier to walk around.
The round and oval shaped garden tables are often best if you prefer informal family dining too, as there’s no head of the table.
Round and oval garden tables both have the advantage of no awkward corners but they still provide a good amount of table top surface space. They’re great for socialising and entertaining, and you can usually squeeze a few more people at them if need be a little easier (nobody has to sit at a corner). The only thing to think about is that conversation can become tricky with a larger round table, harder to talk to those opposite, so diners are restricted to those they’re sat next to. This is when rectangular tables are probably the better option.
4. Oval Garden Tables
If that space is more rectangular but still tight and you again want to divide it into zones, then a set of oval garden table might work best? It will fit with proportions and just like a round table it will allow for easy movement around the ‘working’ space. If you’re deliberating between a rectangular or round dining table, then my advice would be to consider an oval-shaped garden table. I suppose they’re a best of both, combing the linear of a rectangular with the intimacy and flexibility of a round table.
Personally speaking, oval garden tables really do fit well on a larger patio and in a larger garden. You can use them for both informal and formal style dining but the rounded edges are great for complimenting the curves we often find in our gardens or contrasting against a straight edged patio/deck. If you have quite an angular space, then an oval garden table can often help to soften your outdoor space whilst still fitting perfectly in it. And if you need to open up a narrow patio or garden, make it feel bigger, then a slimmer table will help to create the illusion of more space.
How to decide what shape garden table should I buy?
This is all just rule of thumb of course, a guide, only you can decide what you think will work best. Look at the shapes in your garden, try and work with them rather than fighting them if you’re unsure of what will work. That, or use them to contrast, make a statement.
Don’t be afraid, buy what fits, and what you like!
It is also important to remember that garden tables aren’t always just about dining too… We’re drawn to them for many reasons when the sun is shining, from coffee with friends to a spot of crafting with the kids. Dress them as you would a table inside the home. They are beautiful objects in their own right but you can enhance with decorative elements such as a cluster of potted plants or outdoor candles.
If you opt for a round or oval table then think about placing round planters on and/or around the table to soften it, if square or rectangle keep things more uniform with clean straight lines. When deciding between a square, rectangle, oval round garden table, your choice should be proportional to the shape of the patio or free space in your garden you want to put the set. Of course it is also important you have enough seating for the amount of people you want to regularly seat.