When it’s time to refresh your dining room, are you overlooking counter height tables as an option? While standard height tables are a safe bet, counter height tables might be the ideal multifunctional piece that ties your space together.
Counter height dining tables are usually between 34 and 36 inches high while standard tables are between 28 and 30 inches. Bar height tables are taller than both, standing around 40 to 42 inches tall. Each type of table has its purpose and place, so read on to determine if a counter height table is the best dining table for your home.
Is a counter height table right for your space?
To determine whether a counter height table will work in your home, there are a few top things to consider.
First of all, how often do you entertain? A counter height table may become your most-used piece if you tend to have guests over. It’s just the right height for placing snacks and drinks while guests are arriving. It’s also ideal if your guests stand around talking and congregate informally rather than sitting in one space. Bar height tables are a bit below standing level, so in this case they wouldn’t be as functional.
Secondly, not every space calls for a formal dining table or dining room set. A counter height dining table may infuse a more casual feeling into the space. Beyond that, these slightly taller tables fill a room with a higher ceiling in a more proportional way than a standard height table. Another way to utilize a counter height table is to create a secondary dining space in your home, like a breakfast nook or coffee bar.
Of course, you will also need to consider the usage of your table. Is it going to be a functional space where you sit daily, or will it be pulled out for special occasions and gatherings? The size, materials, and cost of your counter height table will all depend on how frequently you’ll use it and where you’ll place it.
Lastly, how much room do you have for a dedicated dining area? If your eating space is combined with your counters in the kitchen, measure the space to see if bar height stools or counter height stools like this backless driftwood and metal option are a better fit. Likewise, bar stools may end up being the right height for your countertops.
A counter height table gives you a bit of extra seating or prep space that costs less than a traditional kitchen island. It’s also more mobile than a kitchen island if your built-in countertops are limited.
Best counter height tables for small spaces
Although it may seem like counter height tables are more suitable for large rooms, they’re quite useful in small spaces as well.
For instance, rectangular tables like the Mindo in chestnut and matte black or the Marmot chrome and white marble table work well behind a sofa for an added dining or staging area but don’t take up too much precious floor space. Not only does this expand options for daily dining, but it also creates an excellent makeshift buffet during a dinner party.
Smaller, round pedestal tables like the Arkell round pedestal table are ideal for breakfast nooks, corners, or other makeshift dining areas. Paired with backless stools that fit underneath when not in use, counter height tables can turn a neglected space into a fun, dedicated dining room.
If you have a slightly larger dining area, opt for an expandable table for when you have company. There are a few different types to choose from, but some common options are tables with a drop leaf or a butterfly leaf.
A drop leaf table has two hinged sides that fold down when not in use, whereas a butterfly leaf table has an extra section underneath the middle of the tabletop that can be put in place to expand the table.
Drop leaf tables like the Athens round table are ideal for multifunctional needs. If you don’t have room for a large dining table but still like to entertain, you can fold it down and use it in its rectangular form to save space.
Butterfly leaf tables like the Redbridge counter height table look more like a traditional dining room table, even when the leaf is not in place.
Depending on how much space you have, you may opt for a dining room set or choose to mix and match your counter height table with various counter height stools and chairs.
Choosing the best counter height table for your home
While counter height tables or bar tables are a bit more casual than standard dining tables, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personal style. Depending on your preferences and needs, there are several different shapes, finishes, and materials that can amp up your space in style.
Round counter height tables work perfectly in a few different settings. If the tabletop is small enough or the table has a pedestal base, you can use them to create a separate dining area in other areas like the living room. Counter height stools can easily be pushed under the table to save even more space. However, a counter height dining chair like the Lampton can serve as additional seating in your living space that may be a bit more comfortable for guests.
In a dedicated dining space, you have even more options. A round or square table is ideal for square dining rooms because the circle works well with a symmetrical layout. Meanwhile, a rectangular counter height table is great for filling long, narrow rooms.
When choosing a table, determine what materials and finishes your dining furniture calls for. If your counter height table will serve double-duty as a homework or office space, materials like marble or glass tops won’t be as durable or comfortable as a solid wood table. You’ll also want to invest in comfortable, soft dining chairs like this arched back, upholstered option if your family plans on spending a lot of time there.
When it comes to finishes, put the fun back in functional. The Lavon light chestnut and espresso table mixes and matches dark brown and light brown finishes for an eclectic vibe. It’s a great opportunity to break away from the table set look and mix and match your dining chairs. The Parkersburg square table goes a step further and mixes materials for an ultra-chic, modern feel.
Making the most of counter height tables
Counter height tables are an ideal dining furniture choice for a variety of spaces and practical uses. They can create more counter space in your kitchen or a buffet area in the dining room and beyond. They’re also ideal for small spaces because of their multifunctional uses.
Not only can they be used as a dining table, but they’re also the ideal height for a sofa table as well. Drop leaf or butterfly leaf tables expand your dining area in small spaces without the tabletop taking up too much space for daily use.
Lastly, there are plenty of shapes, materials, and finishes of counter height tables to suit a variety of home decor, from mid-century modern to farmhouse style. Find the one that’s perfect for your space by browsing the options from Coaster.
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