Nitty Gritty Furniture Design and Restoration


Size does Matter!

When it comes to dining and kitchen tables, there are a number of common questions asked, including, what is the right size and shape of table for a given space, and for the number of people to be seated. 

A few quick rules of thumb are:  For comfortable seating plan a minimum 24” per person along the side of a square or rectangular table, and 27” along the edge of a round table (men generally take up about 24” in width, women about 20”).  Of course, for special family events, like Thanksgiving, we can always squeeze in a few more.

Size of table is impacted by the size of the room, shape, position and size of other furniture in the room plus needed access or thorough-fare.

In a tight space, we like to see a minimum 24” clearance for a side chair to be pulled out, 30” for a half arm, and 36” for a full arm.  You can test this by sitting in a chair and moving it back to get out from the table, then measuring how far out from the table you moved the chair.  If you’re small, think of a large guest doing the same!  If there is a traffic corridor or a sideboard used for serving on one or more sides of the table, add at least one extra foot if not two to the minimum spacing measurement above.

We believe that the best table size is the form that deals with day to day needs, particularly in a small space.  You can always add leaves or other forms of extension when needed.  We build leaves in 7 different ways and are happy to discuss which option might work best for you.

The decision to go with a particular table shape has both practical and aesthetic considerations.  We have some customers who are adamant that round is more effective, and other who say rectangular or oval is the best.  We believe each has it’s merits, and there is no clear winner, just the right table for each client.  Please note that while some feel you can fit more people around a round table, the space given is pie shaped with the pie narrowing for every extra person.  If the chairs are all knocking into one another, it is unpractical.

The legs versus pedestal & trestles debate also has divided supporters.  Certainly a table without legs provides unlimited movement in and around the table.  Generally, though, they are a more fragile table, so you can’t lean on the edge nor sit on it, as you generally can with a 4+ leg table.  Also pedestal and trestle tables tend to have a greater structural component, that often makes them more expensive.

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2222216 Ontario Inc.

Nitty Gritty


We sell and restore antique and hand carved carousel animals, antique English rocking horses and other carousel art.

Nitty Gritty


We design and build beautiful handcrafted furniture and cabinetry from solid woods and fine veneers, in all styles.

Nitty Gritty



We are furniture refinishing specialists.  We expertly restore, repair, refinish, update and rejuvenate antiques,and other fine wood furniture of every style.

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