The dining table is the main essential for the room where you gather with your family and friends, so not only do you want to make sure it is a good fit for the room, you will want it to fit your style and enhance the design of your home.

When choosing the right size table you need to first consider the size and shape of your space.  Is your dining room a traditional space or are you carving out space in an open concept kitchen and family room?  Dining tables come in many shapes and sizes, so let's explore a few and narrow down one that is right for you.

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Rectangular dining tables are the most common because most dining rooms have a rectangular shape. If you need to seat more than four people at a time this would be a good choice.  Ideally, rectangular tables should be between 36 to 42 inches wide to ensure enough room for place settings and food.

Design Tip:  Use benches for tight spaces. Simply use long benches instead of chairs.  This allows you to push each bench under the table when not in use to create more space.  



Square tables are a good solution for apartment dwellers or anyone living in a small space.  They are also perfect if you are only seating two to four people.

Design Tip: Square-shaped rooms look best with a square-shaped dining table.  If entertaining more than four people opt for a table that you can expand with extensions.  Or group two square tables together to create a larger seating arrangement for special occasions. 


Round dining tables look good in any shape room and are perfect for small gatherings. They feel casual because there is no head of the table and they allow everyone at the table to easily converse with one another.   We recently switched out our rectangular dining table for round and we are loving the cozy vibe it provides.

Design Tip:  Just like the square table, round tables can be purchased with extensions for when you plan on seating more than four people. 


Oval dining tables will bring a unique visual interest to your room.  Their rounded corners create the illusion that they occupy less space and their curves help to counter angular lines on other design elements in the room.

Design Tip:  If you have a narrow or small room and occasionally need to seat more people, you might want to consider an oval dining table.



After deciding what shape dining table you want you will need to pick a size.  Here is a reference guide to help you. 

Size                                               Rectangular & Oval                        Round & Square          

 4 feet (48 inches)                          4 people                                             4 people

 5 feet (60 inches)                          6 people                                             6 people

 6 feet (72 inches)                          6 people                                             6 people

 8 feet (96 inches)                          8 people                                             not a typical size

10 feet (120 inches)                     10 people                                             not a typical size

Two feet is the amount of table space needed for each person at the table to eat comfortably.  The table needs to be at least 36 inches wide to allow enough space for food and place settings.

It's important to measure the table-to-wall space when deciding on your table dimensions and size.  Try to leave at least two feet of space between your dining chairs (pushed out) and the walls of your dining room.

Pay attention to proportions. Dining chairs should be proportional to your dining table.  You don't want your chairs to be too large or too small.  If you have dining chairs with arms, the arms should fit easily under the dining table when the chairs are pushed in.  This will guarantee that your dining chairs can be properly stored under the table when not in use.

Deciding on the right dining table doesn't have to be complicated or stressful.  Choosing the right size and shape dining table for your home only requires a few basic measurements that are ideal for your space.

I am excited to announce my brand new Fine Art Photography PRINT SHOP!  I am releasing my first collection in a series of ocean-inspired photography called "The Discovery Collection". 

The ocean evokes many emotions, for some, it's a place of excitement and thrill.  For others, it's a place of relaxation, wonder, and discovery. There is something about the ocean that brings peace and washes away pain giving hope that better days are coming.  This collection was created for those who need light to lift them in dark times.  I hope when you look at my images, they bring you comfort, peace, and encouragement that there is happiness on the other side of pain.  As you look at these images feel the warm sunshine beaming down upon you, feel the soft grains of sand beneath your feet, taste the salty sea as it splashes over you, and feel the wind in your hair giving you hope for your journey ahead.  {At the end of this post I made a short video just for you so you can see and listen to the soothing waves of the ocean.}


One of the reasons I love the ocean so much is I feel I always come home a new person.  The ocean has always brought a sense of renewal, joy, and comfort to me since I grew up on the water.  The salty air and water always cured whatever might be ailing me, and has also inspired me on my journey of personal discovery.

I hope that those who may not be able to take a trip to the ocean can find comfort and encouragement by displaying my images in their homes and are moved the same way I was when I was creating them.


James Joyce

Hi friends,  do you have a laminate top dining table that you want to paint but are not sure how to paint so it will withstand spills and messes?  I can help by showing you step by step how I painted mine.  This DIY project was easy to do but takes some patience!


I was looking for a round table that would fit the small nook in my kitchen. I thought this laminate top dining table purchased at a yard sale would be the perfect candidate for a makeover with a beautiful new finish of bright white paint.


Laminate Tabletop Material List:

Step One: CLEAN

The first thing you need to do is wash the table off.  Use a soapy sponge with water to clean all the dirt, oil, or grime off the tabletop and base.  Use a clean dry towel to dry it completely.

Step Two:  SAND

The purpose of sanding is to give the paint/primer something to grab onto.  Use a palm sander with 220 grit sandpaper and sand the top in the direction of the grain.  You don't need to sand too much, just enough for the paint to stick to.  After sanding, clean the surface again with a soft clean cloth.  If the base of your table is in poor condition go ahead and sand it too.   (You might find it easier to hand-sand the base of the table.)

Step Three:  PAINT

A table that will be used daily needs paint that is durable and can withstand spills. I recommend BEHR Premium Plus Ultra in an Eggshell enamel finish.  (You don't need an entire gallon, one quart is plenty.)  This paint is stain-blocking and is paint & primer in one.  For a super bright white, use Ultra Pure White.

Apply four thin coats of paint with a foam roller.  Wait two hours between coats.  Don't let the first few coats discourage you.  They will show the laminate underneath. Be patient, the end result will be a beautiful smooth finish.

This is what the table looks like after one coat:

Here is the same table after four coats: (Smooth as Butter)

If you are painting your base, use a paintbrush to paint the legs and other parts of the table that are not easily accessible with the roller.

Step Four:  SEAL

The final step to keep your table beautiful and help it stand up to spills is to seal it!  Use at least three coats of Minwax Polycrylic Clear Satin to seal the top of the table.

Using a synthetic paintbrush apply one thin coat and let it dry overnight (patience).  Then lightly hand sand with 320 grit sandpaper.  Clean off the surface and add another coat, wait two hours and apply the final coat (or more coats if desired).

Allow the sealer to harden for at least 48 hours.  Then start eating at your beautiful new table.

Would you believe this table was an ugly laminate tabletop if had not seen the before pictures?

That's it, I hope this tutorial was helpful!


Make your mom smile on Mother's Day with one of my ridiculously easy DIY crafts!  Best of all... No crafting skills required! 

1. Make a bottle of bath salts and personalize it with her initial

    2. Make a heart moss wreath to show your love for her

       3. Make mom smile with this colorful burlap wreath


         4. Make up-cycled cans filled with her favorite herbs


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