Large Family Friendly Dining Table

When we purchased our dining room table, there were some features we wanted because of our large family and the expectation that we would be seating even more in the future:

  1. Wide enough to seat two people at each end.
  2. Pedestal style so people could sit near each of the four corners. Previously our table’s legs were on the corners, making sitting close to them uncomfortable.
  3. Rectangular so we could put high chairs on each corner. (Right now we need five high chairs!)
  4. Expand with leaves to the largest size our dining room would accommodate.

We purchased the table from an Amish furniture store a couple of hours from our home. At this store, they had several table styles on the showroom floor. They were willing to customize the table width if we were willing to wait for it to be built.

The expanded table is 12 feet by 54 inches and comfortably seats 14 with the maximum seating being 18. It is 8 feet long without leaves and comfortably seats 8 with 12 being the maximum. We have four 12 inch leaves.

To handle the table’s weight with the length of the added leaves on a pedestal base, there are drop down legs on each end that we draw up when the leaves are not in use. Because of those drop down legs and the number of leaves, the leaves don’t store in the table itself so they need to be fetched from a closet each time we open up the table.

The meek shall eat and be satisfied:
they shall praise the LORD that seek him:
your heart shall live for ever.”

Psalms 22:26

18 thoughts on “Large Family Friendly Dining Table”

  1. I have many times admired how you can get so many around that table. Thanks for the information as my family is growing too and love having family gatherings. Blessings to you and your family. Ann

    1. We do squish as many as we possibly can around that table. But now we have the blessing of not being able to fit and expanding to another table when everyone is here.

  2. What a great post! We have a very similar table, although not as long even with the all leaves. When we outgrew our previous table we started looking and were discouraged by the prices. God, of course, provides! We found a used one for sale from a charity who receives furniture donations for people in need. They had this huge, solid oak table donated, but it was way too big for they families they usually try to help. They decided to sell it and raise some money instead. I can’t remember what we paid, but it wasn’t much – a few hundred dollars. It came with 2 end chairs and 4 benches. At first I thought it was too wide, but as we added adults by marriage I began to see the wisdom of being able to seat 2 additional people on the ends! We upgraded to additional chairs a few years ago for the kids remaining at home, it’s more comfortable for “older” backs. We still have the benches stored away to use as needed (so many littles can fit on a bench!). We have had the table over 10 years and have no clue how old it is. It is just starting to show its age and a refinish is on the list of things to do this summer!

    1. That’s a great story of God’s provision of a table for your family and its usefulness over these past ten years. Thank you for sharing it with us. Perhaps it will encourage others to look for a used table to meet their particular needs in a table.

  3. I like the idea of seating two people at each end! We always had round tables growing up, but when we would go out or visit a place that had long rectangular tables no one ever wanted to sit at the “head” or the “foot” because it felt kind of isolating and awkward/lonely.

    This post also came at the perfect time because my husband and I are shopping for a dining room table right now. I love that you were able to purchase from a local craftsperson/small business, and am inspired to do the same. Thank you!

  4. SUCH A BEAUTIFUL TABLE but having the family around the table is even MORE BEAUTIFUL!! I’m sure you enjoy that much!!

  5. I always love seeing your family around that big table. Our table and chairs are almost exactly the same, except our table is more oval and we don’t have the extra leaves. It’s funny that it looks like we also have the same kitchen floor. I had to put little coverings over each of the legs of the chairs because they made such an unpleasant screeching sound whenever we moved the chairs. I looked closely at one of your pictures and it looks like you must have something fastened into the bottom of each of the legs to make them move smoothly. I like whatever you have because it looks much nicer that the coverings we used. The Amish furniture is such nice quality.

  6. How to you keep the wood finish looking so shiny and nice? Am interested in your “upkeep” steps and what specific products you use for cleaning, polishing etc.
    We have a wood table top in the kitchen too, so I am diligent about using placemats and/or tablecloths but inevitably end up with little scratches, diminished shine on some parts of the table top, etc. with the heavy use a kitchen table typically gets. Thanks.

    1. We don’t do anything to it. Form what you are saying, the Amish furniture makers obviously put a good finish on their tables. There are some scratches on it if you look closely, but overall, it has held up well. Our previous oak table, we needed to oil once a week to keep it nice. We used Howard Weed n Wax on it. That table didn’t have the polyurethane finish on it that this one does. It was a more natural finish – maybe tung oil.

  7. What a nice, helpful post. Thanks for sharing that information. I have a question. In the picture, I can see that the plates have food, but there isn’t any food on the table. Do you do buffet style? We have recently switched to buffet style….I’d love to hear how your family handles that part of serving food to a large group.

    1. Usually when we fit at our table unexpanded, we put the food to be served on the table and pass it. When we have a larger group, we do buffet. Besides the initial serving being easier with the buffet, I also like that whenever anyone wants more, he can just go back for it without disturbing a conversation to ask someone to pass what is needed.

  8. Something we do when we have family visit is bring in a piano bench to the head of the table and have all the little ones who don’t need a high chair sit on it. It easily fits 4 kids, but if we used chairs, it would only fit 2. The bench is covered in cloth so I just put towels down on it for easy clean-up. 🙂

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