Kitchen Table vs. Dining Table
What’s the Difference?: Kitchen Table vs. Dining Table
Choosing the right furniture and decor items is an important part of decorating a new home or revamping an existing setup. When it comes to establishing a place for preparing and enjoying home-cooked meals, a kitchen or dining table that fits your space and accommodates your whole family is an essential piece of the puzzle.
Although some people use the terms interchangeably, a kitchen table and a dining table are two different pieces of furniture. Once you understand what sets these pieces apart from each other, you can determine which one has the designs, dimensions and style elements that will suit your needs and tie your layout together.
Consider the following factors to figure out whether a dining table or a kitchen table would work best for your home:
- Common kitchen and dining table placements
- Typical uses of dining room and kitchen tables
- Standard kitchen and dining table dimensions
- Style options for dining and kitchen tables
Kitchen and Dining Table Placements
People often wonder what makes a kitchen table different from a dining table. While there are several small attributes that are unique to each item, the main distinction is which room you place them in. As the names suggest, a kitchen table is a staple of an eat-in kitchen, while a dining table usually takes center stage in a grand formal dining room.
Even though these are the typical kitchen and dining table placements, it’s important to remember that every home is different. You may live in a studio apartment or condo that’s too small for an eat-in kitchen, or you might have an open-concept home that lacks a formal dining area. In these cases, your choice between a dining or kitchen table may depend on the type of layout you’re working with.
Dining Table and Kitchen Table Uses
Kitchen and dining tables often serve different purposes. In homes that lack a built-in kitchen island, kitchen tables may provide spaces for food prep, completing homework assignments and enjoying the occasional quick bite to eat. Your kitchen table might also become a temporary catch-all for groceries and dishes in homes with limited counter and cabinet space.
Meanwhile, dining room tables tend to serve as a place for friends and family to gather during dinner parties, holiday meals and other special occasions. Rather than holding mixing bowls, recipe books and various ingredients, these tables give you a spot to set linen napkins, table runners, antique serving dishes and silverware, creating a stunning ensemble for each formal affair.
Sizing for Kitchen and Dining Room Tables
Again, the layout and dimensions of your home play an important role in your decision between a kitchen table vs. a dining table. Kitchen tables tend to be slightly smaller than dining tables, though exact sizes vary by design. Keep the following measurements in mind if you need a table for a small kitchen, a large dining room or vice versa:
Kitchen Table vs. Dining Table Dimensions
|Kitchen Table||60″x 36″||38″-54″||42″-52″|
|Dining Table||78″x 36″||36″-72″||36″-72″|
Of course, these sizes will differ depending on what type of kitchen or dining table you choose. For example, a small dining table that seats two people may only be 30 inches wide. Meanwhile, a dining or kitchen table meant to seat 10-12 people could be anywhere from 96 to 120 inches long. Table sizes also vary between standard-, counter- and bar-height options.
Dining and Kitchen Table Styles
Your chosen interior design can influence which of these two table styles would work best for your home, too. Since kitchen tables are usually work surfaces, they often showcase a priority of function over fashion. Details like solid light or dark wood construction, simple frames and a lack of flashy, eye-catching elements make these pieces an excellent addition to a casual or modern-style kitchen.
On the other hand, dining tables tend to have extra embellishments that make a stunning impression on your dinner guests. Features like glass table tops, scrolled metal work, ornately carved designs, glossy cherry finishes or distressed detailing help enhance the contemporary, traditional, rustic or farmhouse look of your layout.
Want a table that serves as both a kitchen and dining table? Consider adding a transitional table to your space. Pieces in this style feature a mix of fashionable and functional design elements, such as solid wood surfaces for making your favorite recipes and extension leaves that lengthen the table so more guests can pull up a chair.
Although many people believe that dining room and kitchen tables are essentially the same, there are slight differences in their typical placement options, sizes and designs. Keep these details in mind as you shop for your ideal kitchen or dining table. If you have the space, consider bringing both pieces home to establish chic and practical setups for making and serving food.