The Round and Square of Dinning

Round versus square a common debate when choosing tables for an event. 

To settle and allay present and future arguments, here is the good, bad and the ugly for both types of seating and why I would nine times out of ten go for square (and the one time I would select round).


Knights of the round table anyone?  Just as the name suggests, the table has no head and is the most fair way to seat people.  But at an event, worrying about what is fair is only relevant for honouring a head table.  Everyone else is there to have a good time and is not worried about who is at the head when there is open bar.   Let’s face it, using round tables to seat guests is oldschool thinking when it comes to seating arrangements and should be left to England and the 13th century.  It may be convenient to organize in this fashion but unless the event is a traditional Chinese wedding held at a Chinese banquet hall where a round table is optimal for serving, round is boring.  The other issue I have with round tables other than being aesthetically conservative, is the fact that round tables are not condusive for conversation.  At most you can speak to four of the ten people at the table comfortably and six at most if you are yelling.  The seat positions are awkward and all it takes is a center piece over 30 centimeters and wave goodbye to the hope of engaging with people opposite your seat.  (Now that I think about it, one could use this awkwardness to one’s advantage if there is an unwanted guest sitting at your table).  The moral of the story is event design is an artform in and of itself- to dazzel the eyes, ears and tastebuds of guests.  Round works, however, when hosting a small intimiate event, such as a bridal shower or tea.  Small, round tables of four to six people are intimate to carry on a conversation and when repeated throughout a room, look cafe quaint and organized.


Square tables are great.  They are clean, geometric and offer guests something different as most people come to expect round.  Whether you are using tables of 12 (three on each side) or tables of 14 (two sides of four and two sides of three), there is no debating that square tables make a statement. 

Long rectangular tables are even better for glaming up a room or making a dramatic statement.  Communal eating is trendy, think of international Belgian chain, “Le Pain Quotidien.” Working with square or rectangular tables better highlight decor colour, centrepieces and are more effective for promoting conversations among guests.

Below I have included several rooms done up in square or rectangular tables and a few round tables.  Please post your comments and let me know what your thoughts are in the matter.


lisa gorjestani decorlisa gorjestani decorScott Corridan reception tablespreston bailey designalternative reception setting

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One Response to “The Round and Square of Dinning”

  1. Nadia says:

    I am pro Square tables! They make a bigger statement and I personally find them more stylish!

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