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The History of
Dinning Room Tables


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The History of
Wood Dining Room Tables

The History of
Trestle Dining Room Tables

The History of
Glass Dining Room Tables

How to Choose
Dining Room Furniture


Where did the word ....Table come from ?
Derived from the Latin word tabula, which means a board, a plank, or a flat piece.

The dining room table wasn't always near the kitchen....
In modern times a dining room table is usually adjacent to the kitchen for convenience in serving, although in medieval times it was often on an entirely different floor level. Historically the dining room is furnished with a rather large dining table and a number of dining chairs; the most common table shape is generally rectangular with two armed end chairs and an even number of un-armed side chairs along the long sides. It was refereed to as a "Trestle Table".

The first dining room tables were long, and portable, to accomidate all those in the castle.....
In the Middle Ages, upper class Britons and other European nobility in castles or large manor houses dined in the Great Hall. This was a large multi-function room capable of seating the bulk of the population of the house. The family would sit at the head table on a raised dais, with the rest of the population arrayed in order of diminishing rank away from them. Tables in the great hall would tend to be long trestle tables with benches. The sheer number of people in a Great Hall meant it would probably have had a busy, bustling atmosphere. Suggestions that it would also have been quite smelly and smoky are probably, by the standards of the time, unfounded. These rooms had large chimneys and high ceilings and there would have been a free flow of air through the numerous door and window openings.

The Plauge ...Black Death caused the dining room table to become smaller?
It is true that the owners of such properties began to develop a taste for more intimate gatherings in smaller 'parlers' or privee parlers' off the main hall but this is thought to be due as much to political and social changes as to the greater comfort afforded by such rooms. In the first instance, the Black Death that ravaged Europe in the 14th Century caused a shortage of labour and this had led to a breakdown in the feudal system. Also the religious persecutions following the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII made it unwise to talk freely in front of large numbers of people

Over time, the nobility took more of their meals in the parlour, and the parlour became, functionally, a dining room (or was split into two separate rooms). It also migrated farther from the Great Hall, often accessed via grand ceremonial staircases from the dais in the Great Hall. Eventually dining in the Great Hall became something that was done primarily on special occasions.

Why dining tables took on a more masculine look...

Toward the beginning of the 18th Century, a pattern emerged where the ladies of the house would withdraw after dinner from the dining room to the drawing room. The gentlemen would remain in the dining room having drinks. The dining room tended to take on a more masculine tenor as a result.

Table legs were considered Victorian times?

Did you know that in Victorian times, people were so repressed, that not only was the sight of a female ankle considered scandalous, even the sight of table legs was considered unseemly and indecorous! So it was that table legs were also required to be kept covered and out of sight; they were legs after all!

Modern dining rooms in North America

A typical North American dining room will contain a table with chairs arranged along the sides and ends of the table, as well as other pieces of furniture, (often used for storing formal china), as space permits.

In modern American homes, the dining room is increasingly used only for formal dining with guests or on special occasions. Informal daily meals are often taken in the kitchen, breakfast nook or family room.

This was traditionally the case in England , where the dining room would for many families be used only on Sundays, other meals being eaten in the kitchen. Often tables in modern dining rooms will have a removable leaf to allow for the larger number of people present on those special occasions without taking up extra space when not in use. In Australia , while the use of the dining room is still prevalent, family meals are also often eaten at a breakfast counter or in front of the television in the lounge.

Although the "typical" family dining experience is at a wooden table or some sort of kitchen area, some choose to make their dining rooms more comfortable by using couches or comfortable chairs.

Some Modern Styles of Dinning Room Tables

Ravenna Dinning Set

A modern day version of the trestle table.

Chester Drop Leaf Table

Here is an example of a table that you can enlarge when you have company.


Cottage Dinning Set

Here is an example of a pedestal table so no one fights the legs
of a table with 4 legs or a trestle table.


A Free Report on How to Choose a Dining Room Table

• What size do you need

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Dining Room Table Buying Guide



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