How to buy the right shape garden table

If you want to know how to buy the right shape garden table, then we have a few simple design principles and tips that will help you decide if a rectangle, square, round or oval table is best for your patio.

We recently published a customer case study that highlighted one of our most common issues in ordering the right size garden table from Lazy Susan. It is one many get wrong but one where we can easily provide practical help and advice in terms of measuring and the working space you should leave to move around when in place.

This month we want to look at a subject that’s a little more tricky and explore how to buy the right shape garden table. It is not one that comes up as often but our Customer Service Team do get asked. It is definitely a little less scientific than size and more open to creative interpretation though. 

How to buy the right shape garden table

However, there are a few design principles and tips we can share that will help you decide from the shapes we sell what could work in the space you have available. Now, of course, the two primary factors when deciding which garden table set to buy are:

  1. Size of the area you want to put the garden table.
  2. The number of people you want to seat.

We discuss those all the time but the garden table shape is also one that is worth considering in a little more detail.

At Lazy Susan we have a range of Oval, Round, Square and Rectangular tables, and whilst you might think a table is a table, each of those shapes lends itself better to certain conditions and is better suited to different types of dining and/or use.

If you purchase a garden table, then it is likely it will become one of, if not the, most important component in your garden too, a focal point even. It is the spot you and your family will be drawn to when the sun shines, spend time with friends, and somewhere to enjoy a meal, BBQ or drinks. 

Getting the right size of table set will always be critical to both form (how it looks) and function (how it works), but getting the right shape garden table might just help it fit and function that little bit better. 

What garden table shape is best?

First off, let us stress that there are no right and wrong answers to this question, just a few things you might want to consider. What’s more important is that the set fits in the free patio space you have and fits with your lifestyle. In other words: 

  1. When you pop that table and chairs on your patio, there is room to sit comfortably, pull chairs in and out and move around safely, etc.
  2. That you have the right table set for how you like to use the space, so if it's a BBQ for 6, you have a table big enough to comfortably sit 6 people.

We’ve said it before on this blog but the shape is often overlooked, but it can have a big impact in terms of both floor space/how you intend to use your garden table. 

For example, round and square tables often fit and function best on a smaller patio or for those who like a more intimate dining style with casual conversation. 

If on the other hand, your patio is long and narrow, such as is often the case with many new build properties, then a rectangular or oval garden table might fit and flow in the space better.  Longer/narrow shapes are also better suited to entertaining larger groups of people in a more formal setting/style too.

The number of seats you want will also have a bearing on the shapes available to you. For example, if you want a 4-seater set then it makes sense with a square table but 4 chairs around a rectangular table would look unbalanced/a little odd.

And, of course, your own personal style preferences are important too. If you like round tables better than square, then you buy what you like and make it work. After all, as the saying goes; “good design is as little design as possible”.

However, if you’re looking at our range and unsure which shape garden table is best for you and your garden, then let us look at each one from a basic design perspective:

Rectangular Garden Tables

Vanessa Rectangular Garden Tables

Whilst a rectangular table is probably the most common shape inside the home, at Lazy Susan we generally sell more round and oval/elliptical-shaped garden tables.

This is probably because most patios and/or gardens feature curves. The shape works with space, and it suits a more casual/informal style of dining.

That said, a rectangle table is still a great shape for the garden and it has a number of advantages over the other shapes we sell. 

If you want to sit more than 8 people at large gatherings, then we find that rectangular tables are often more flexible as we offer them with an extension mechanism as shown on our Vanessa Garden Table in Slate (above).

The longer, narrow form of our rectangular garden tables is also perfect for large-scale entertaining patios with the hosts sitting at each end creating a semi-formal feel (again, as shown wonderfully in the photo above). 

Madison Rectangular Garden Tables

The simple, linear shape of these often larger garden tables like our 8-seater Madison Rectangular Garden Tables (shown above in white) tend to provide good scale and fit best on a larger more open patio.

A rectangular table will also help to “emphasise” or create a more streamlined look. By pairing it with a rectangle-shaped and square paved patio, you can create a very sharp, uniform design with strong lines. 

Square Garden Tables

A square table will always look good on an L-shaped, square or rectangular patio but it can be difficult to make it work on anything round or curved. Not impossible but definitely tricky.

Lucy 4-Seater Square Garden Tables

It is also a great solution when you have a smaller guest list, such as another couple round for drinks and nibbles. A larger rectangular table can be a little off-putting as it doesn’t balance right. Square will create a more intimate setting for 4 or fewer people as it gives you all equal space.

One big advantage you also get is that square garden tables such as our Lucy 4 Seater Garden Tables (shown above and below in our Antique Bronze finish) are the perfect option if you want to maybe push one side against a wall/in a corner or position on the front edge of a straight paved/decked patio area too. 

Lucy 4-Seater Square Garden Tables

Another trend we’ve seen emerge in recent years is for customers to purchase 2 x 4 seater square tables that they can push together when the need arises (as the customer has done in the photo above). You can position them apart to create different seating zones to catch the sun at different times of the day and then push them together to create a larger rectangular set for BBQs or garden parties.

Round Garden Tables

Tulip Round Bistro Tables

We tend to find that round table work best on small patios and balconies (as shown with our Tulip set above), and they are perfect for smaller intimate gatherings of 4 or fewer. They add a cosy Parisienne Café feel that you just don’t seem to get with other shapes. 

On the flip side of that, a large round table is great for parties where you want to keep the conversation flowing between all guests and they make it a little easier for everybody to see each other and pass food and drinks.

6-Seater Frances Round Garden Table in White

For a curved patio or small garden or even a patio/garden where you want to zone it and serve multiple functions, then a round table such as our mod-sized 6-Seater Frances Round Garden Table in White (pictured below) is a great option too.

Round garden tables have the advantage of no awkward corners but they still provide a good amount of tabletop surface space. They’re great for socialising and entertaining, and you can usually squeeze a few more people at them if need be a little easier (nobody has to sit at a corner) than a square or rectangular table. 

Plus, they also pair perfectly with our circular revolving Lazy Susan Turntables and Parasols, so make for a great intimate dining experience when the sun is shining.

The only thing to think about, when compared to an equivalent seater rectangular or oval table, is that conversation can become tricky with a larger table. It is harder to talk to those opposite, so diners are restricted to those they’re sat next to. 

Oval Garden Tables 

An oval-shaped table is very similar to a rectangular shape table, and whilst the patio footprint is similar, visually it uses up less space because of the rounded corners.  

Rosemary Oval Garden Tables

Oval tables such as our Rosemary Oval Garden Tables (pictured above in Antique Bronze) are a great fit on the narrow or shallow patio popular with house builders, so it makes sense the shape is our best seller. Plus oval perfectly balances the semi-formal seating of a rectangular with the more casual dining style of a round table.

June Oval 6-Seater Set

You essentially get the best of both rectangular and round-shaped garden tables. It has no awkward corners but it will still provide a good amount of tabletop surface space and squeeze in a few seats if necessary and nobody has to sit at a corner (all our legs are recessed so this isn't an issue). 

And as with our round tables, they pair perfectly with our circular revolving Lazy Susan Turntables and Parasols too (as shown with our June Oval 6-Seater Set in Antique Bronze above). 

What shape garden table should you buy?

The million-dollar question. And this is all rule-of-thumb stuff really. Every patio is different, we can guide you, but what works best in the space and in terms of how you use the space is often just down to personal preference. What you think will look good.

If you’re unsure of what shape garden table to buy, start by looking at the other shapes in your garden, try and work with them rather than fighting them. 

What shape garden table should you buy?

Alternatively, don’t be afraid to create contrast, a round table for example can help soften a small angular patio space (as the customers have done above).

The important part is to make sure it fits, it is in a style you like, it will seat the number of people you need it to, and it works/fits with how you like to use the space.

We are drawn to our patios for many reasons when the sun is shining, from drinks and food with friends to a spot of crafting with the kids in the school holidays.

A good garden table should be the main feature on your patio as much as a highly multi-functional piece of furniture. You can even style the rest of the space around it, accessorise it, and accent it.

The Lazy Susan Garden Table Collection

The Lazy Susan collection features a comprehensive range of square, rectangle, oval and round garden tables all constructed from our trademark weatherproof cast aluminium.

Our Rectangular Garden Tables

10-Seater Rectangular Garden Tables

Shop our 10-Seater Rectangular Garden Tables

8-Seater Rectangular Garden Tables

Shop our 8-Seater Rectangular Garden Tables

6-Seater Rectangular Garden Tables

Shop our 6-Seater Rectangular Garden Tables

Our Square Garden Tables

8-Seater Square Garden Tables

Shop our 8-Seater Square Garden Tables

4-Seater Square Garden Tables

Shop our 4-Seater Square Garden Tables

Our Round Garden Table 

8-Seater Round Garden Table

Shop our 8-Seater Round Garden Table

6-Seater Round Garden Table

Shop our 6-Seater Round Garden Table

4-Seater Round Garden Table

Shop our 4-Seater Round Garden Table

2-Seater Round Garden Table

Shop our 2-Seater Round Garden Table

Our Oval Garden Tables

10 Seater Oval Garden Tables

Shop our 10 Seater Oval Garden Tables

8-Seater Oval Garden Tables

Shop our 8-Seater Oval Garden Tables

6-Seater Oval Garden Tables

Shop our 6-Seater Oval Garden Tables

4-Seater Oval Garden Tables

Shop our 4-Seater Oval Garden Tables

If you’ve got any photos of our furniture in your garden, then we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or email them to us at [email protected].

Share this article
Please enter these characters in the following text field.

The fields marked with * are required.