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Custom Made Furniture | FAQ

What Is The Process Of Ordering Custom Made Furniture From Hardman Design?
What Is The Lead Time On A Custom Made Piece Of Furniture?
Which Pieces Of Furniture Can Hardman Design Custom Build?
Which materials can be used in a Hardman Design Custom Build Piece Of Furniture?
What type of oil is used to finish off a Hardman Design piece?
Does My Custom Built Piece Come With A Warranty?
Does my custom made piece come flat packed or ready built?

Size Guide:

So, you want to buy a dining table. It might sound obvious, but one of the most important things to consider is the size of your desired piece, and how it will look in your room.

There are numerous factors which can shape your decision, such as the size of your space, the positioning of your table, how much space the legs take up and where they are positioned, and how you plan to use your table - from small family meals to large social gatherings.

It’s certainly not a decision which should be taken lightly; picking the right dimensions is fundamental to creating the best visual and practical balance for your room.

Hardman Design can custom build tables to provide you with a bespoke piece for your needs. 

This guide will provide you with some key information to help you pick the right sized table.

The Size Of Your Dining Table: Number Of Seats

One of the biggest considerations is knowing how many people will generally be sitting around your table, and how many seats you want to accommodate.

As a general rule of thumb, these are the rough sizes depending on the number of seats:

2

Seater

4

Seater

6

Seater

8

Seater

10

Seater

12

Seater

Minimum
60 x 70cm

Minimum 120 x 70cm

Minimum 180 x 80cm Minimum 220 x 90cm

Minimum 270 x 90cm Minimum 330 x 90cm

These dimensions are based on rectangular tables. Hardman Design’s dining tables are hand built in this shape, but we can custom-build tables for a bespoke shape, size and finish.

Rectangular tables have multiple benefits; great for their practicality, functionality and comfort.

A rectangle table generally fits well into the design of a room, and can typically accommodate more people and more space for dishes - especially compared to a circular table.

Benches, too, work well with a rectangular table and are a great idea to maximise this space, as they enable people to squeeze up, if necessary.

A rectangular table can also be a versatile solution within a room, looking great against a wall or window, or taking pride of place in the centre of a room.

Rectangular tables tend to have their legs positioned on the four corners - instead of in the middle like many circular tables - helping to give each diner more comfortable leg room underneath the table.

Generally speaking, a standard table is 71 to 76cm in height, so when it comes to seating, opt for a chair or bench from around 43 to 58cm from floor to seat.

Hardman Design handcrafts a range of dining benches and chairs. Visit our seating collection to find your perfect seat for your table.

Choosing The Right Size Table For Your Room

Knowing how the table will fit in in your room is another key consideration. For instance, how it will work in relation to other pieces of furniture, its proximity to doorways and walls, and allowing enough passing space.

As a general rule of thumb, you will need a minimum of 30 to 36 inches (76cm) for clearance space, measured from the nearest obstruction - whether it be a wall, door, window or furniture - to your chairs.

Where relevant, allow 120cm square for an entrance or doorway. If you’re putting your table into an open-plan area, this isn’t something to factor in.

To ensure you do not choose a dining table size that is too small, don’t leave more than 6ft (183cm) from the edge of the room, at least on one side.

How To Estimate The Size Of Your Dining Table

Perhaps one of the best ways of selecting the most appropriate-sized dining table for your room is mocking up how your furniture will look. This will really help you experience the feel of your table and how it will work in your space.

There are a number of ways that this can be done, including using masking tape or cardboard to replicate the size of your desired table.

For a more complete picture, you can even fill this space with books/newspaper to gauge the height and mass of the table.

Aside from recreating the look and size of your table, you can also map out the room to scale on paper, including walls, walkways and other furniture.

It is important that you don’t just measure the size of your table; instead, think about how it will work in practice. Questions you need to be asking include, have I left enough room for doorways and drawers to open? Have people got enough space to push their chairs out? Can they walk behind pushed-out chairs?

This type of planning will create a clearer picture and help ensure you select the right-sized table for both the look and functionality of your space.  

Extendable Dining Tables

Extendable dining tables are a great option.

In fact, this type of furniture has enjoyed something of a revival in recent times.

And when looking at the benefits, it is easy to understand why extendable dining tables are en vogue.

Highlights include:

  • Dynamic Use Of Space: One of the biggest advantages of an extendable dining table is its dynamic change in size, starting in a smaller form before easily increasing in size, when needed. This functionality is a big space saver and means that a larger dining table does not dominate your room; but can be expanded, when needed, and can be easily put back to its original form. Of course, take the size of the extension into consideration when deciding which option to go for, and factor this into any measurements pre-purchase.
  • Plenty of space: Hosting a social gathering or entertaining extra family members? Then extend your table for extra space. And that’s the great thing about this type of furniture, extending dining tables enable you to expand the table when you need a couple of extra seats. And the dynamic increase in space isn’t only beneficial for meal times or gatherings. It can also be useful for other functions, such as if you require your table to double up as a desk as part of a home office, or if the kids need extra space for homework/hobbies.
  • Available in different sizes: Hardman Design’s extendable tables are available in a range of sizes, providing you with plenty of versatility. When picking the size, consider how many you want to seat and how often you are likely to extend the table. For instance, our Mira Dining Table can have extension leaves of 60cm or 70cm - or can be custom built - so the size of the extension depends on your needs and your space.
  • Beauty: Extendable Dining Tables are attractive additions to the house. Typically, the leaves or extension panels are either hidden within the fabric of the table, or can be added by sliding the leaves into place at each end of the table. This is certainly the case with Hardman Design’s extendable dining tables. What’s more, our signature collection tables can be built to convert into an extendable table, ensuring you benefit from the aesthetic beauty of our handcrafted, best-selling pieces, as well as the functionality of an extending dining table.

How To Choose The Right Sized Dining Table - Summary

Selecting the best-sized table takes some well thought-out planning, considering how you plan to use it and the space you wish to place it in.

But with some quick calculations before purchase, you can ensure you choose the correct piece which really sets off your room and becomes an important focal point of your house.

View Hardman Design’sdining table collection, with all pieces handcrafted from locally-sourced and sustainable materials. Each item can also becustom madeto provide you with a bespoke solution for your needs.

Alternatively,contact usto speak to our team for some advice.

Best Wood For Dining Tables

At Hardman Design, we take pride in building handmade quality dining tables from locally-sourced and sustainable wood. 

Our furniture is most commonly crafted from oak, walnut, and ash, although we do custom-made pieces, too.

These three natural wood types are quality choices in their own right - combining strength with gorgeous aesthetics - but which one is best suited to your needs?

It is an important question. After all, a dining table is a big purchase: a long-term investment, a focal point of your dining room or kitchen, and a gathering spot for your family and friends.

To help you decide, this blog explores the unique characteristics of oak, walnut and Ash.  

Oak

Classic, strong, versatile, and naturally beautiful - you can’t go wrong with oak.

This renowned wood has long been associated with use around the home, dating back many centuries, and is just as popular today.

As such, oak’s timeless nature looks as comfortable in contemporary settings as it does in traditional décor.

Durability

One of oak’s most distinguishing features is its durability; renowned for its strength and resistance to decay, liquids, heat, and surface blemishes. These characteristics make it a firm favourite, especially for people looking for a long-term investment. Oak is also a particularly good choice for families, and ensures maintenance is minimal.

Oak’s durability is a result of the trees’ slow growth, making the wood extremely dense, adding to its quality. 

In fact, oak performs well in the Janka hardness test, which charts the resistance of different wood types to denting and wear. Or to be more specific, it measures the force required to partially embed a small steel ball into the sample of wood. 

The results of this test show that oak is more resistant than woods such as walnut, teak, and cherry.  

Colour

Natural oak can take on virtually any hue, from light beige and yellow through brown and red. This colour diversity makes it easier to match the colour palette of your dining room and kitchen.

Over time, oak pieces have a tendency to change colour, adopting more darker, amber tones. This is caused by exposure to oxygen and UV light. However, this shift is subtle, and can, in fact add to the character of the piece and even enhance its appearance over time. Depending on your preference, we can apply a UV protection finish to our oak tables, when requested.

Hardman Design also builds smoked oak tables, such as the Carolina Smoked Oak dining table. We use a special manufacturing process to fume the oak; causing it to darken and draw out the rich detail of the grain.

Finish

Thanks to its natural beauty and hard-wearing nature, oak is gorgeous in its natural state, especially with character pieces filled with knots.

However, oak’s light tones make it great for adding a variety of finishes; whether that is stained or with a clear, natural finish. This makes it ideal for both modern and traditional furniture. 

Grain And Detailing

Oak has a swirling or striped grain. It also rates as open-pored, as it has wide, large cells, and many pores.

Oak can vary in detailing, with wild oak, for instance, having plenty of knots in varying sizes.

Eco-friendly

Oak trees grow in abundance, with around 450 species worldwide. Oak wood is generally considered to be an eco-friendly furniture choice because it is durable and long-lasting, helping to prolong its usability and keeping it out of landfills.

Hardman Design has also committed to a tree planting campaign, to ensure sustainability, and we use locally-sourced wood, where possible.

View the Hardman Design oak dining table range.

Walnut

Walnut is one of the most highly-sought after types of wood; prized by woodworkers and revered by fine furniture lovers.

Indeed, walnut adds a touch of class and style to any décor, and as such, it generally comes with a higher price tag.

Its strength, grain, and rich tapestry of colours make it a popular choice.  

Hardman Design handcrafts its furniture from two types of walnut, European walnut and American walnut. 

Durability

Walnut is a strong, hard and durable wood that carves well and holds a good shape for much longer. This makes it ideal for statement furniture that requires a high level of craftsmanship. 

Both North American Walnut and European walnut are more durable than cherry, but not quite as resistant to denting and wear and tear as hard ash or white oak, for instance.

Colour

One of the most distinguishing features of walnut is its vast and textured colour palette, stretching from light brown to dark chocolate. American walnut tends to have a darker, richer colour, while European walnut is lighter in tone, sometimes interspersed with wisps of delicious blonde, cream, or yellow, and the occasional note of red.

The middle of the walnut tree (known as the heartwood) produces the darker wood and the outer layer of the tree, just beneath the bark and known as the sapwood, produces the lighter wood.

The distinctive tones of walnut is perfect for making a statement and is ideal for a modern and contemporary look.

Finish

Walnut polishes to a very smooth finish.

A natural walnut piece is rarely stained, as this process tends to wash out the grain and remove bits of character. However, walnut furniture is more likely to receive a clear coat finish; such as a wax or oil.

The walnut tables handcrafted by Hardman Design tend to be finished with a matt hard wax oil. This enhances the natural colour of the wood, intensifying the walnut tones and drawing out the grain detail and the varying shades of brown.

Grain And Detailing

Walnut wood can be straight grained, but can also have waves or curls, helping to enhance the character of the piece and creating a lively, textured look. Our walnut tables tend to be handcrafted from wavey-grained wood. 

This beautiful grain pattern can be further enhanced by pairing it with furniture with clean lines or unique details. 

The grain pattern makes this the perfect choice for a room where the furniture can take the centre stage.

Eco-friendly

Walnut is ideal for investment pieces and furniture you want to stay in your family for generations; therefore reducing the burden on landfill.

That said, while not endangered, the number of walnut trees around the world has certainly reduced and they can take a century to mature. That’s why we select our walnut from local and sustainable sources.   

View the Hardman Design walnut dining table range.

Ash

A light-coloured, straight-grained hardwood, ash is a very attractive option for fine furniture, especially Mid Century Modern pieces.

Highly versatile, it is renowned for its durability, strength, workability, light weight and ability to absorb wood finishes well.

As such, ash, with its aesthetically pleasing colour and uniformed grain pattern, is a very popular wood choice for home furnishing.

Durability

Ash is durable, tough and shock-resistant. In fact, it is one of the more durable varieties of wood, topping the likes of red oak, walnut and cherry.

Relatively dense, ash has good working and finishing properties. When combined with quality craftsmanship, ash furniture will last for generations, requiring little care or maintenance.

As well as its durability, ash is flexible, making it a popular choice for furniture which requires curves.

Colour

Simply put, ash is extremely pleasing to the eye.

Light in colour, ash often takes a beige-to-creamy-brown hue, giving it an understated and refined feel.

Ash is known to darken over time, but this is a natural and prolonged process.

Finish

Hardman Design uses an OSMO Matt Hardwax Oil to maintain the natural blonde tones of our ash pieces.

Ash absorbs wood stains well and can be finished in numerous ways, including varnish, wax, lacquer and oil.

It can also be stained without losing its original grain or texture.

Grain/Detailing

Ash is known for its straight and smooth grain. As such, it is smooth to the touch, and has a uniformed look. 

A big appeal of ash furniture is that it looks very similar to oak - sharing the same functionality and colour - and can therefore complement homes which are already styled with oak decor.

Eco-friendly

Ash is one of the most sustainable natural wood options: It is fast-growing, self-seeding, and is in plentiful supply.

Summary

Oak, walnut,ash and elm are all great choices for a dining table, offering the perfect mix of durability and beauty. 

As all three for quality options, the type of wood you choose will likely come down to preference.

At Hardman Design, we involve you throughout the production process, including sending you samples of your preferred wood, to help ensure we build you the perfect table. For more information, contact us.

THE HARDWOOD SAMPLES | Our Range of wood and finish options

£29.99

I would like to order a standard product. Which sample should I order?

In the table below you will find a list of which types of wood and surface treatments are used as standard for the designs.

design

Surfaces-

treatment product image website

Surfaces-

treatment standard

Wood type standard

Surface treatment made to measure

Wood type made to measure

AEMILIA,  EMILIE, EVELIE, All chairs, AMBER, AMBER S, BUTTERCUP, CAROLINA, JULIA, MILANO, XANTHA



Frosted

Matt and semi-gloss

Oak, European walnut

White oil, teak oil. Other surfaces possible on request.

Ash, Smoked Oak, American Walnut

CAROLINA

Frosted

Matt and semi-gloss

Oak, Ash, European Walnut, Smoked Oak,

White oil, teak oil. Other surfaces possible on request.

American walnut


EVE

Teak Oil and Half Gloss

 

Matt and semi-gloss

Oak, European walnut

 

White oil, teak oil. Other surfaces possible on request.

Ash, Smoked Oak, American Walnut


MARTA,  MIRA


Frosted 

Matt and semi-gloss

Oak, Ash, European Walnut

White oil, teak oil. Other surfaces possible on request.

Smoked Oak, American Walnut

ORPHELIA

Frosted

Matt and semi-gloss

Oak, Ash, European Walnut,  American Walnut

White oil, teak oil. Other surfaces possible on request.

Smoked oak

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How To Pick The Best Extendable Dining Table

How To Pick The Best Extendable Dining Table 


Versatile, functional and practical: Extendable dining tables are a great option for contemporary living.


Having enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, extending tables make for a worthy investment.


Through a combination of intuitive design, smart mechanisms and master craftsmanship, these dynamic furniture pieces enable the table’s length to be easily adjusted, expanding and decreasing surface space when necessary.


This versatility is perfect for every-day living, but gives the option to accommodate extra guests during family gatherings, parties, or for other practical uses. 


By their very nature, extendable dining tables are a great space saver, meaning a larger table doesn’t dominate your room, but can be expanded temporarily, when required.


Inspired by Bauhaus furniture, Hardman Design’s collection pieces are available as extendable tables - hand-crafted in oak, walnut, maple, ash, or elm. Find out more about the characteristics of each in our Best Wood for Dining Table guide


Available in a variety of sizes, our tables can be extended to up to 290 cm in length, enabling space for at least 10 people. Each piece can also be custom built.


What Type Of Extendable Dining Tables Are There?

Extendable dining tables can be expanded in numerous ways. This includes the addition of side panels, or utilising a centrally-positioned leaf which folds in and out of the table.


Hardman Design utilises a range of technology and craftsmanship to build extendable tables which are not only functional, but also maintain the aesthetics of our collection pieces. 

Removable Leaf Extendable Dining Tables


Extendable dining tables with removable leafs are a popular choice.


Extra space is provided by sliding panels into the end of each table. These additional leaves can be fully removed and stored away when not in use.


Hardman Design’s best examples of removable leaf tables come from our signature Marta, Mira, and Amber collections.


All pieces can be tailored for individual requirements, but standard extension leaves are 30 or 35 cm each, extending the tables by a total of 60 cm or 70 cm in length.


The below guide highlights the typical dimensions for our Marta, Mira and Amber S extendable dining tables.



Marta / Mira

Amber

120 ext 180 x 60 cm

140 ext 200 x 70 cm

120 - 190 x 60 cm

140 - 210 x 70 cm

140 - 200 x 70 cm 

160 - 220 x 80 cm

140 - 210 x 70 cm

160 - 230 x 80 cm

160 - 220 x 80 cm

180 - 240 x 80 cm

160 - 230 x 80 cm

180 - 250 x 80 cm

180 - 240 x 80 cm

200 - 260 x 90 cm

180 - 250 x 80 cm 

200 - 270 x 90 cm

200 - 260 x 90 cm

220 - 280 x 100 cm

200 - 270 x 90 cm

220 - 290 x 100 cm

220 - 280 x 100 cm

220 - 290 x 100 cm

 


The picture below - taken from the Marta range - is a close up of the side panels. Notice how the connection between the extension leaf and the main table is strong and sturdy. 

Removable Leaf Extendable Dining Tables


And this image illustrates how the side panels seamlessly slot into place, maintaining the integrity of the piece through a continuation of the table top’s grain pattern.


Removable Leaf Extendable Dining Tables

Butterfly Leaf Extendable Table

Another firm favourite is a butterfly leaf extendable table.


Combining clever craftsmanship and beautifully subtle technology, the extensions are positioned underneath the table, unseen until needed. 


The table is extended by pulling apart its ends to reveal a central leaf which lifts up and adds additional surface room.


Removable Leaf Extendable Dining Tables


As these types of extensions are self-storing within the table, they are extremely space efficient and are particularly suited to people who do not have the room to store removable extension leaves.


The extendable tables in the Hardman Design Buttercup collection feature a butterfly leaf extension, expanding the table by up to 90cm. 


Butterfly Leaf Extendable Table


The extendable Buttercup dining tables are available in the following sizes: 120 ext 170 x 80 cm; 140 - 200 x 80 cm; 170 - 240 x 90 cm; 200 - 290 x 90 cm.   


Meanwhile, our elegant extending Carolina tables are handbuilt with an alternative form of a butterfly leaf extension. Instead of concealing the extension panel in the centre of the table, the Carolina collection reveals the leaf when extending the frame on one side.


Butterfly Leaf Extendable Table


The extendable Carolina tables are available in the following sizes: 140 ext 190 x 70 cm; 160 - 210 x 90 cm; 180 - 230 x 90 cm; 200 - 270 x 100 cm; 220 - 290 x 100 cm. 


Butterfly leaf extending dining tables are an attractive and functional addition to the home. And just like our side panel extension tables, Hardman Design handcrafts every butterfly extension to retain the aesthetic qualities of the table and ensure a continuation of the grain across the wooden table top.


Tips For Buying Extendable Dining Tables


Selecting the right extendable dining table centres on two key points: The size of your room and how many extra guests you need to cater for.


Both of these factors will determine the footprint of your table, both with and without an extension.


Another important consideration is seating. Hardman Design hand-builds a variety of contemporary chairs to complement our extendable dining tables. Benches are also a great option - providing an easy solution to maximise the space by enabling people to squeeze up, where necessary.  

 

To find out more about how to pick the best sized table, read our Dining Table Size Guide.


Contact us to discuss any of the tables discussed in this blog, or complete this form if you would like a custom-made table.

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