A mid century dining table is such a popular piece of furniture right now. It seems that everyone wants a retro dining table in their home. And why not! – Everyone needs somewhere to eat and to entertain family and friends. And what could fit the bill better than a stylish British or Danish dining table designed and manufactured during the mid 20th century.
So, here’s a useful little list of things to consider before beginning your search for the vintage dining table that will work best for you –
Shape – Your mid century dining table will most likely be one of three shapes – circular, rectangular or ‘D’-ended (often misdescribed as oval). A circular retro dining table can be a great space saver. These tend to seat 4 people but can often be extended to sit 6 or 8. If space isn’t an issue then a rectangular table is probably the ideal option. These normally seat 6 but can often be extended to seat 8 or even 10 people. ‘D’-ended tables are similar to rectangular tables but, if your room space is just a little limited, these tables save some space by, essentially, shaving off the corners.
Extendibilty – This factor is where your vintage dining table can come into its own. Most mid century dining tables will have at least one extra leaf that can be slipped into place to extend the table’s length. Some of the best tables have two extension leaves. The leaves are very often integrated, meaning that they fold away easily underneath the table top. With some tables the leaves are separate pieces. Normally these can still be stored underneath but occasionally, depending on the style and size of the table, the leaves will need to be stored separately when not in use.
Legs – If you go for a Danish dining table, the chances are that the legs will be designed and fitted in such a manner that they will be detachable. The legs tend to be fixed in situ on most British mid century dining tables. Other factors to consider here are leg shape. More often than not, a Danish dining table will have round tapering legs whereas British tables have more varied leg shapes and styles. You also have the option of choosing a table with a central pedestal base rather than 4 separate legs. Pedestal bases remove any issues around seating positions being limited by the position of a table’s legs and these pedestal tables are more commonly Danish.
Wood – If you’re buying vintage, the choice will probably be between a teak dining table and a rosewood dining table. Rosewood dining tables are rarer and have more expressive grain patterns. Teak dining tables are lighter in colour tone and normally come at a lower price point than their rosewood equivalents.
Origin – British or Danish? A Danish dining table will tend to be of a higher quality than its British counterpart, will be more likely to have two extension leaves and more likely to have attractive banding around the edge of the table top. Let’s not write-off our British mid century dining tables though. One of my own personal favourites is a rectangular vintage dining table in teak that comes with super styling and beautiful banding and was designed by Victor Wilkins for G Plan.