If you want a table to last through years of dinner party wear and tear, choose a table made from a hardwood, such as mahogany, walnut, maple, oak and teak. Tables made from engineered or composite woods, which include plywoods and MDF, are durable and economical but are never as strong as a hardwood.
Settle on a shape that will work in most rooms. Round tables look good in compact rooms and living areas that have square dining zones. They also offer flexible seating.
As a longtime apartment-dweller, I’ve found that the visual weight of a piece of furniture can really influence how big it feels in a room. It may technically fit, but it’ll seem huge if it’s a dark or bulky piece or if it’s too close to other furniture.
A secondhand wood table with a farmhouse or industrial heritage has already passed the test of time. Any scratches and nicks in the tabletop surface have mellowed into design details, becoming features to admire.