Are Dining Tables Relevant Anymore?

Dining tables were once considered the most important part of an eating space with multiple designs, shapes, and materials out in the market. They were hubs of communication and bonding, where the entire family gathered for meals three times a day. However, with the introduction of kitchen islands, and other modern interior designing concepts, dining tables have gotten outdated. The bigger question, however, is whether dining tables are still relevant or not.

Why Are People Leaving Dining Tables?

Smaller Living Areas

Back in the 1900s and the early 2000s, people had large homes and estates. As such, they had the space to make a separate dining room. This meant that the dining table was a must. However, these days, apartments have become more common than houses. People don’t have enough space to keep a dining table. This is why people prefer kitchen islands. They take up less space and need less maintenance too. 

An example of a small home is a studio apartment. Since Studio apartments don’t have any walls inside the home, a separate dining room or living room is non-existent. 

A classic dining table in Germany

People Don’t Gather on a Dining Table for Dinner Anymore

While dining tables used to bring the whole family together, this isn’t the case anymore. With the introduction of TV dinners, the act of eating isn’t reserved for a dining table. People started eating on the couch, in front of the TV, and the dining table became a useless commodity that was just gathering up dust. 

Also, in many parts of the world, dining tables are very uncommon. In places like Asia, Africa, and even some Nordic parts of Europe, people have their meals sitting on the floor. This is because of the cultural trends that have resided in the mindsets of people belonging from these areas for many centuries. In fact, dining tables are now more commonly used when a student wants to study with a mess of books. The concept of a “dining table” isn’t quite valid.  

People don't gather around at dining tables anymore

Open Kitchens Are Trending

The latest trend in home designs is open kitchens. The Open Kitchen concept means that there is a countertop beside the kitchen where the whole family gathers to eat together. The kitchen is not restricted or in an odd space. Since these kitchens aren’t barred off by walls, they are better ventilated and lend any house a bright appearance. Open kitchens also provide homeowners a chance to show off their kitchen designs.

Usually, a kitchen island is used to provide a slight separation between the kitchen and living room. They are short in height so they don’t block the view of the kitchen. Since people already have a kitchen island, having a dining table on top is a waste of money and space. 

Open kitchens have become the new trend. 

Dining Tables Are Expensive

Dining tables are really expensive. Good quality wood is very costly and craftsmanship is also pricey. In the case of glass dining tables, there are two types of glass available. You can either choose an annealed glass or a tempered glass. An annealed glass is fragile, and won’t last long. Tempered glass is glass that has been made stronger, and can bear a lot of force. This glass is more long-lasting. In a nutshell, you can get the desired dining table but if you are not going to use it for the purpose it is intended for and it is just there as a showpiece, is it really worth the investment? We don’t think so.

Building a whole dining room including a dining table is quite expensive.

Kitchen Islands Are Easier to Maintain

Dining tables can be very difficult to maintain. If you have a glass-top dining table, it will need to be regularly cleaned. The glass may also be dangerous if it is broken. Anything hot can cause the table to crack.  In the case of wood, it will have to be constantly covered with a plastic or cloth table mat, so it can be protected against spills. Wood will easily stain and if water gets spilled on top, the wood will swell. Also, wood will need to be polished every few years. Termites and other insects will also eat away at the table. 

Kitchen Islands are less problematic. They are made of concrete, with marble countertops. Marble tops are not only easy to clean, but they are also very resilient. They can take a lot of heat, and don’t stain. The marble and concrete either don’t break or wear away. People simply want kitchen islands for their convenience and the fact that a lot more modern designs of houses come with kitchen islands. 

Kitchen islands have become easier to maintain. 

Why Do People Still Love Dining Tables?

Dining Tables Are Moveable

Unless you’ve decided to spend the rest of your life in the same house, a dining table is a perfect option for you. You can spend hundreds of dollars on making the perfect kitchen Island, but you would have to leave it behind. As such, too large of an investment in a kitchen island is impractical. 

On the other hand, a dining table is a moveable investment. You can buy the best wood, or glass on the market, with the surety that you can take it with you. This is perfect for people that rent or like to move around a lot. You won’t have to compromise on the quality of your eating space in fear. 

Can Accommodate a Lot of People

While dining tables occupy a lot of space, they also seat a lot of people. A kitchen island may have enough stools for your family, but on festivals and holidays, they simply cannot deliver. For people that love hosting parties and having family dinners, a dining table is still irreplaceable. Also, if you have a family of more than 4 people, a kitchen island would not be able to accommodate you. A dining table will then become a necessity for your family. 

Dining tables can accommodate a lot of people.

Dining Tables Make Great Working Spaces

It doesn’t matter if you’re an office worker or student, a dining table caters to all. It’s a place where everybody in the family can sit and get work done. This is perfect if you don’t want to invest in a separate study table. Also, while a study table is usually for a single person, a dining table can seat a whole group. 

Some People Like Having Their Eating Spaces Separate

People choose kitchen islands to save space. However, there are some people out there that prefer to have a separate eating space. This is for multiple reasons. Some people don’t like to eat on kitchen islands, because they use them for work. The kitchen can be a messy place, and empty dishes and pots can accumulate on the kitchen counter. 

On the other hand, for some people, a dining table is something to decorate. People like to decorate the space, with table mats, centerpieces, coasters, flowers, and fancy upholstery. For these people, a dining table is more for decoration than use. A dining table is the perfect piece of furniture to make a statement, in a dining room. 

Dining tables create a statement of their own. 

Dining Tables Offer More Style Options

While a lot of aspects of these tables have made them fade out, there is something they still win at. A large variety of designs, materials, and styles are available in the market. Dining tables with bold designs, asymmetric patterns, and innovative shapes are the new trend. People are moving back towards small, round or oval tables, instead of large rectangles. This not only saves space, but round tables look less harsh. They are perfect if you want to go for a modern or contemporary design for your home.

Dining tables have more style options.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, whether or not a dining table is relevant, depends on your circumstances. If a dining table serves your purpose, it is a very good investment. However, if it isn’t in your use, you can skip it. Dining tables will never truly go out of trend; they will always be a statement piece of furniture. In general, modern interior designs have fewer concepts of dining tables while different new pieces of furniture are being considered more relevant.