If you’re in the market for new Garden Furniture this summer, then we want to help you decide what size garden table should I buy for your outdoor space?
This is a subject we’ve covered on this blog before, however, it’s the time of year homeowners turn their attention to their gardens, so it’s always nice to come at it with a fresh pair of eyes at the start of each summer season.
The most common mistake we see is people buying a garden table that’s too small or too big. Too small for their needs, too big for their patio or the free outdoor space they have available…
Our Garden Tables: A Buying Guide article is a great starting point for those new to garden furniture and unsure what size garden table should I buy. It will also help you establish what shape and what type of garden table is best for you and your garden
In that post, we did touch on the question of what size garden table should I buy, and we highlighted a few hints and tips on how to best measure the free space you have available
Our how many garden chairs do I need? article on the other hand looked at this from a seating perspective but we’ll include some of the helpful diagrams and tables from that article in this post too.
What we wanted to try and do with this article is look at the ‘working space’ as we dubbed it in that post but focus more on table size and shape.
Table size is what will ultimately dictate how many chairs you can ‘comfortably’ fit around it. The Lazy Susan Shop is segmented by Garden Chairs, 10, 8, 6 seater and so on, and then you can also select by table shape. But we wanted to try and help you determine what size and shape of garden table are best for the space you have available.
At Lazy Susan we often talk about treating your patio/garden as an extension of your home, design it like you would a room inside. So, we thought we could maybe try and approach it as you would a dining room if that makes sense?
I can’t speak for all at Lazy Susan, but for me personally, I think our gardens function better if they are ‘zoned’. In other words, different functions are allocated to different parts of the garden and/or patio.
Your outdoor space as a whole should flow like a journey, leading the eye (and you) through it from one zone or function (be it planting, lawn, storage, dining, relaxing, water feature, grow-your-own plot, etc) to the next. Inviting you out of the house, maximising every inch of space you have available, and drawing you into the whole design scheme.
At Lazy Susan our core product offer is Garden Tables & Chairs, so it makes sense to think of your patio or a ‘zone’ in your garden as an outdoor dining area, to lay it out for that purpose. And much like any indoor dining room, having the correct size and shape Garden Table is critical to making it a space that works and is a joy to use.
What size garden table can you fit in your garden will determine what size garden table should I buy?
As you can see in the table above, we have various shapes and sizes of Garden Table available. Each is sold with our recommended number of chairs. And by recommended we mean the amount you can fit around the table with plenty of elbow room/wiggle room for people to sit comfortably.
Now, of course, this is a guide, you can always squeeze additional people around if the need arises. This is the best fit. It gives each person sitting at the table ample room. Additional Garden Chairs can be purchased separately if required (with many stackable for easy storage).
One of the popular things we see many of our customers doing is purchasing 4 seater or 6 seater Garden Tables along with a coordinating Garden Bench. The bench will often be placed in another part of the garden/patio but they are light enough to pick up/pull up to the table when you have some additional guests. This is shown in the customer photo of our white Jill Garden Table Set paired with our Jasmin Garden Bench below:
The table above also lists the approximate floor space you need for each of the different sizes of Lazy Susan Garden Table. From this, you can easily calculate how much space you will need to fit each set (table and chairs) on your patio.
Again, the above figures are a guide only. Table sizes, patios, garden shapes, etc all vary. Please carefully check the dimensions section for each set in our shop before you purchase and always measure carefully (twice).
The diagram below shows the recommended floor space we suggest for our best selling June 6 Seater Garden Table while the dimensions as found in our shop are shown above.
Will you have the space you need for the table, to sit comfortably and enough left for the patio to still function? This is what we refer to as ‘working space’ in the diagram above. It is the space needed for you and your family/guests to comfortably pull chairs out, to sit/get up and freely move around when people are seated.
Now the floor space diagram is again just a guide, you may feel you can work with a little less working space for example. As we say, each patio and garden is different, just take these measurements and apply them to the ‘free’ outdoor space you have available/where want the set to fit when used.
How do you calculate what size garden table should I buy?
When it comes to deciding what size garden table should I buy, start by measuring the length and width of the outdoor space you have free for dining, that zone in your garden or on your patio/decking that you want the Garden Table & Chairs to sit.
If you subtract 150 cm from both the length and width to allow for the ‘working space’ and Garden Chairs, that is the size of Garden Table we would recommend you purchase.
Now of course every space is different. There could be planters, a BBQ, fire pit, pizza oven, wall, other pieces of outdoor furniture such as a sofa, different shapes of patio/decking, etc. All factors that need to be taken into account.
However, this measurement assumes free space where the table and chairs can be placed and used. By following this guide you will get a set that best ‘fits’ that free space in terms of scale (not too big or small) and function (comfortable to sit with space to get up and walk around when in use).
If we take our June Garden Table as an example again, on its own it is 150 cm long by 95 cm wide. Add onto that 75 cm for the Garden Chairs and 75 cm of Working Space and you need free space on a patio or in your garden of 300 cm by 245 cm for that set to work.
You’ll see in the Space Requirements table above the column Recommended Floor Space, and this dimension is listed for each Garden Table in the Lazy Susan Collection. And of course, as we’ve already said this is a guide, but it will help you to establish if once the set is in place, the space will still function if you can make it work.
What shape garden table should I buy?
The next question mark once you’ve determined what size garden table should I buy is what shape? Round, oval, rectangular or square?
Often overlooked but the shape has a big impact in terms of both floor space and how you intend to use your garden table. For example, round and square tables often fit and function best on a smaller patio and for those who like more intimate dining.
If on the other hand, your patio is long/narrow such as is often the case with many new build properties, then a rectangular or oval garden table might be the best fit? Those shapes are also better suited to entertaining larger groups of people, so the shape can impact on function too.
Our Garden Tables are designed with recessed slimline legs that are positioned at the corners to allow for comfortable seating and stability. Even our round and oval tables have a similar configuration as shown in the customer photo of our Catherine Garden Table above.
Many round and oval tables have a pedestal style base but our design configuration is similar to our square and rectangular tables. It ensures that wherever you’re sitting at the table you won’t knock knees and the table has better stability/rigidity.
Square Garden Tables
Square garden tables such as our range pictured above are a great option if you want to maybe push one side against a wall or the edge of a paved/decked area.
They are also the perfect shape for smaller patios and gardens. If there are just two to four people in your household then they also make for a great choice in terms of function.
Rectangular Garden Tables
The longer, narrow design of our rectangular sets lends itself perfectly to larger-scale entertaining patios, with the hosts positioned at each end.
The simple, linear shape of these often larger garden tables fits best on a larger patio, but they are perfect for generating free-flowing open conversation from all sides
Round Garden Tables
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 is often the best option.
The curved edges give it a smaller footprint that takes up less space and is easier to walk around. The round and oval-shaped garden tables are often best if you prefer informal family dining too, as there’s no head of the table.
Round and oval garden tables both 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). Plus they pair perfectly with our revolving Lazy Susan Turntables.
The only thing to think about is that conversation can become tricky with a larger round table, harder to talk to those opposite, so diners are restricted to those they’re sat next to. This is when rectangular tables are probably the better option.
Oval Garden Table
If that space is more rectangular but still tight and you again want to divide it into zones, then an oval table might work best? It will fit with proportions and just like a round table, it will allow for easy movement around the working space.
If you’re deliberating between a rectangular or round dining table, then my advice would be to consider an oval-shaped garden table. I suppose they’re a best of both, combing the linear of a rectangular with the intimacy and flexibility of a round table.
Personally speaking, and I know many of the Lazy Susan team agree (but not all), oval garden tables really do fit well on a larger patio/in a larger garden. You can use them for both informal and formal style dining but the rounded edges are great for complementing the curves we often find in our gardens.
Even if you have quite an angular space, then an oval garden table can often help to soften your outdoor space whilst still fitting perfectly in it. And if you need to open up a narrow patio or garden, make it feel bigger, then a slimmer table will help to create the illusion of space.
How to decide what size garden table should I buy?
Again, this is all just rule of thumb, a guide, only you can decide what you think will work best (in terms of fit and function) and answer that all-important questions of what size garden table should I buy?
Look at the shapes in your garden, try and work with them rather than fighting them. That, or use them to contrast, make a statement. Don’t be afraid, buy what fits and what you like.
Visualise what the set will look like when in place, you could even use one of the many garden design apps such as iScape or myGarden (pictured above) to help make a more informed decision, get a better feel for how it will all flow.
Don’t let a lack of a real ‘room’ mean your garden table can’t bring character and flair to your outdoor dining room. Let it be the star-like it would inside. The focal point. A place to sit down and enjoy a meal with family and friends. Don’t be afraid to experiment, accessorise it, add a splash of colour with our Parasols and Garden Cushions.
If you opt for a round or oval table then think about placing round planters on and/or around the table to soften it, if square or rectangle keep things more uniform with clean straight lines.
When deciding between a square, rectangle, oval round garden table, your choice should be proportional to the shape of the patio or free space in the garden you want to put the set. Of course, it is also important you have enough seating for the number of people you want to regularly seat.
A Lazy Susan Garden Table should be the focal point, the place on your patio or in your garden where your household spends their outdoor time when the sun is shining, be it a morning coffee or evening meal.
In terms of what size garden table should I buy, ask yourself how many people usually eat together and how often do you entertain guests?
You need to consider how comfortable it will be to sit for long periods of time and whether the material it’s made from will get damaged from frequent use?
This is the reason that all Lazy Susan furniture is constructed from cast aluminium. We made that decision from day one. We have sold other materials but cast aluminium just suits the climate, the style of our homes, and how we use our gardens in the UK. It's a great option as it’s durable, looks beautiful, and is designed to stand up to the British weather.
Whatever the purpose of your furniture, establishing "what size garden table should I buy?" is crucial. You must always consider the space required for the Garden Table, Garden Chairs and that all-important working space!
And if you do purchase a new Garden Table from Lazy Susan this summer, then we would love for you to send us some photos for our Do Some Good charity campaign.