1. Choose white for easy coordination
Sometimes all-white is just right, and the Ingatorp table would work in pretty much any living space or open-plan kitchen diner. It is also adaptable, as it extends out to accommodate up to six people. It costs £260, Ikea.
2. Pick pine for a country kitchen
This pine six-seater is what every country kitchen or dining room needs. Crafted in France, its rustic vintage-style pine top will bear the brunt of hot dishes and spills – plus the distressed grey painted finish is shabby-chic at its best. £775, Cox and Cox.
3. Choose polished oak for a formal feel
Inspired by the formal but practical look of the late 19th century Arts and Crafts movement, the Hemingway table is made from oak, and is hand-polished with wax lacquer. This one’s a whopper, seating up to 10 people when extended. It costs £2,399, John Lewis.
4. Look for pedestal table legs for plenty of legroom
This capacious Redmire table can accommodate quite the feast – eight to 10 people – so is practically made for big dinners. Carved from recycled oak, the sturdy pedestal-based legs are the real stand-out feature. It costs £1625, Barker and Stonehouse.
5. Choose a round table for a small space
Round tables are first-rate because not only do they seat odd numbers of people, but they are more likely to encourage conversation, too. Plus, they're perfect for small dining rooms or kitchens. You could squeeze up to eight people around the Karlstad, and it would even suit a kitchen. It costs £1,395, Oka.
6. Create decorative detail with an intricate design
The Hungerford dining table is inspired by Victorian designs – it features a gorgeous traditional ‘veranda’-style decorative skirt. Up to 10 people can tuck into their roast dinner around it – and, as seen here, it works pretty darn well as a buffet table, too. By India Jane.
7. Choose an extending table for flexibility
This reclaimed elm dining table is a strong contender for any social butterflies out there. It extends to an impressive 280 cm long – that’s right, this friend will host a party of 12 people. You'd better get inviting... It costs £1,715, Graham & Green.
8. Dine out – or in – with a tough finish
Consider this St Mawes refectory table something of a flexible choice. At 3m in length, it can accommodate up to 10 chairs. Better still, its chunky appearance and tough finish makes it ideal for not just large kitchens or dining rooms, but for a large patio, terrace or decking area, too. It costs £1,200, Garden Trading.
9. Picking an investment buy? Stone will last forever
Made from reconstituted stone, the top of the Callanish dining table sits atop a spherical dual pedestal base, and boy oh boy does this beast have presence. Unsurprisingly, the Callanish is suitable as an outdoor table – that bit of extra leverage helps to justify the slightly steep price tag. Plus, it’s a colossus, seating 10 without trouble. By Oka, it costs £2,885.
10. Customise your table to suit your colour scheme
One of the terrific things about this six-seater oak Harrogate table is that you can customise the base to your liking. Choose from 40 lovely hues – Pink Peppercorn, Chestnut, Teal or Paprika – go as muted or as bold as you like. Pair it with benches instead of chairs and you might just fit a couple of extra guests round it, too. By Neptune, it costs £1,000.