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.
Color is cool but beware the trendy hue. Today’s on-trend shade is tomorrow’s fashion fail, so choose wisely. Classic colors, such as the primaries (red, yellow and blue), usually have staying power, mainly because they are so unapologetically basic.
Wood veneer is often a more affordable alternative to solid wood. Here a very thin layer of solid wood or material printed to look like wood is glued to a plywood or other wood core. To identify good veneer, look for tables with clearly-labeled core interiors, like kiln-dried hardwood. One way to spot cheaper veneers is to look underneath the table at the store.
To visualize how a bigger piece of furniture will look, take the time to block out the length and width on the floor, and also the height of the table. I usually stand on my tape corners with a tape measure, then try to fill in that space with furniture of a similar size, and take a step back to see how it’ll feel. It also helps to have a friend stand there with the tape measure while you have a look.