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Custom Made Furniture | FAQ

What Is The Process Of Ordering Custom Made Furniture From Hardman Design?
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Which Pieces Of Furniture Can Hardman Design Custom Build?
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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:













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.  


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.


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.  


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.


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.


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 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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

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Where and how to place your dining table set

If you're planning on designing or redesigning your dining area, one of the most crucial elements to consider is the placement of your dining table set. Regardless of whether you're hosting family dinners or having friends over for a party, a well-placed and beautifully designed dining table can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your space. In this blog post, we'll provide some useful tips and tricks for placing your dining table set, which will help create an inviting and functional dining area.


The placement of your dining table set will depend on several factors, including the size and shape of your room, the style of your dining table, and the number of people you need to accommodate. To ensure that you get the most out of your dining space, here are some general guidelines to follow when placing your dining table set:

Some details on choosing the right shape and size

Choosing the right shape and size of a dining table is important to ensure that it not only fits well within the room, but also accommodates the needs of those who will be using it. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Size of the room: The size of the dining table should be proportional to the size of the room. A table that is too large can make the room feel cramped, while one that is too small can make the room feel empty. As a general rule, there should be at least 3 feet of space around the table to allow for easy movement.
  2. Shape of the room: The shape of the room can also influence the shape of the dining table. A rectangular or oval best wood dining table may work well in a long, narrow room, while a round dining table set may be more suitable for a square or circular room.
  3. Style and décor: The style and décor of the room can also influence the shape and size of the dining table. A modern, minimalist room may call for a sleek, rectangular mid-century modern dining table, while a traditional room may be better suited for a large, ornate best wood dining table.
  4. Functionality: Finally, the functionality of the table should also be considered. A table with built-in leaves can be extended for larger gatherings, while a table with a pedestal base can allow for more legroom and easier seating. Additionally, consider the height of the table, as well as the height of the chairs or benches that will be used with it, to ensure comfortable seating.


Tips on where to place the table based on the size and shape of the room.

The placement of a dining table within a room can have a big impact on the overall flow and functionality of the space. Here are some tips on where to place the table based on the size and shape of the room:

  1. Rectangular rooms: In rectangular rooms, the best place to position the table is in the center of the room. This allows for easy flow around the table and creates a focal point in the space. If the room is particularly long, consider placing the table on the shorter wall to create a cozier feel.
  2. Square rooms: In square rooms, a round table can work well as it maximizes the use of space and provides ample seating. Alternatively, a square table can also work, but be sure to leave enough space around the table to allow for easy movement.
  3. Small rooms: In small rooms, consider placing the table against a wall or in a corner to maximize floor space. A drop-leaf table can also be a good option, as it can be folded down when not in use.
  4. Open-concept spaces: In open-concept spaces, consider positioning the dining table in a central location that allows for easy access from multiple areas. If the space is particularly large, consider using a large rug to define the dining area and create a cozy feel.
  5. Unconventional spaces: In spaces with unconventional shapes or layouts, such as L-shaped rooms, consider using a modular or extendable table that can be configured in different ways to fit the space. Additionally, consider using other pieces of furniture, such as benches or side tables, to create a cohesive look and maximize the use of space.


How to maximize the space in the dining room

Maximizing space in a dining room can be a challenge, especially in smaller homes or apartments. Here are some tips on how to maximize the space in your dining room

  1. Choose the right furniture: Choosing the right furniture is key to maximizing space in a dining room. Opt for furniture that is the appropriate size for the space and can serve multiple purposes. For example, a dining table with leaves that can be extended when needed, or a bench with built-in storage.
  2. Use wall space: Wall space is often underutilized in a dining room, but it can be a great place to add additional storage or display items. Consider adding floating shelves or a wall-mounted cabinet to store dishes or display decorative items.
  3. Lighten up: Lighter colors can make a small space feel larger and more open. Consider painting the walls a light color or adding light-colored furniture to the room. Additionally, using mirrors or other reflective surfaces can also make a space feel larger.
  4. Use multi-functional pieces: Multi-functional pieces can help maximize space in a dining room. Consider using a storage ottoman instead of traditional chairs or a dining table with built-in storage.
  5. Consider the layout: The layout of a dining room can have a big impact on the space. Consider arranging the furniture in a way that maximizes space and flow. For example, placing the dining table against a wall or using a round table instead of a rectangular one.
  6. Keep it simple: Finally, keeping the decor and accessories in a dining room simple and minimal can help maximize space. Choose a few key pieces to add personality to the room, but avoid cluttering the space with too many decorative items.


General dos and don’ts

Here are some general dos and don'ts to keep in mind when designing a dining room:


  1. Do consider the size and shape of the room when choosing furniture and decor.
  2. Do choose a dining table that is the appropriate size for the room and can accommodate the number of people who will be using it.
  3. Do consider the style and decor of the room when choosing furniture, lighting, and accessories.
  4. Do think about the flow of the room and how the dining area fits into the overall space.
  5. Do add personality to the room with artwork, decorative items, or unique furniture pieces.


  1. Don't choose furniture that is too large or bulky for the space.
  2. Don't overcrowd the room with too many pieces of furniture or decorative items.
  3. Don't choose a dining table that is too small for the number of people who will be using it.
  4. Don't forget about lighting – it's important to have adequate lighting in the dining room for both practical and aesthetic reasons.
  5. Don't forget about the practicality of the space – consider things like storage, ease of cleaning, and durability when choosing furniture and decor.

Final Words

Your dining area is a central gathering place in your home, and the dining table set is the centerpiece of this space. It's where you share meals with family and friends, and where you create memories that last a lifetime. That's why it's essential to have a dining table set that not only looks great but also serves its purpose.

A well-designed and well-placed dining table set can transform your dining area into a welcoming and functional space that you'll love spending time in. It can create a focal point in the room and enhance the overall look and feel of your interior. Moreover, a well-placed dining table set can make it easier to serve and enjoy meals, making your dining experience more enjoyable.

At Hardman Design, we offer a range of dining table sets that are not only stylish but also functional and durable. Ouroak or walnut dining chairs, are made from high-quality materials and designed to stand the test of time. They come in a range of styles, from classic to contemporary, so you can find the perfect fit for your home.

Investing in a Hardman Design dining table set means that you're not only getting a stylish and functional piece of furniture, but you're also investing in the longevity of your dining area. Our Marta solid oak dining table and bench are designed to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use and will provide you with years of enjoyment.

In summary, a well-designed and well-placed dining table set is an essential element in creating a welcoming and functional dining area. At Hardman Design, we offer a range of dining tables, including the oak, ash, or walnut dining chairs, that are stylish, durable, and designed to elevate your dining experience. Invest in a Hardman Design dining table set today, and take your dining area to a whole new level of elegance and sophistication.