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.
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.
They also have an uncomplicated design suitable for most schemes, although, pleasingly, many country tables feature elegantly turned legs that support the tabletop.
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.