Hi I'm Josh Loewen and I love oval dining tables. There I said it.
I think it's important to start with that, I'm not unbiased. I think oval tables are wonderful. That being said, they do have both pros and cons. I'm going to talk a little bit about why I love oval dining tables and what situations they're great for. I'll also talk about when they might not be the best choice.
First, there are 2 different kinds of oval tables. A racetrack, and an ellipse. The racetrack is in the shape of a racetrack or a pill, rounded ends with flat sides. The ellipse is rounded all the way around, a little more like an egg. The racetrack functions a little more like a rectangle, while the ellipse is a little more like a circle.
So let's start with the pros. Ovals are great tables for conversation. Whether it's sitting along the curve of an ellipse or the end of a racetrack, it's easy to chat. The table shape allows for a lot of eye contact, and easy conversation. This is all because of the curves, when you're sitting around a curve you can see the people next to you. This means that everyone feels close. No one is every sitting around the corner. It doesn't feel quite like someones on the other side of the table, they're just around the bend.
Ovals also allow for a great flow around the table. The way you can move around your table is so much more free with an oval. Again, the curves, and especially the lack of corners, make this possible. When you walk you can curve, it doesn't have to be a sharp corner to get around the table. This helps traffic flows in the entire space feel easier.
They're also very soft in a space. This is a bit more of a design piece, but they don't define space like a rectangle. With the space moving around them so well, an oval dining table is a softer touch in a room.
So when are ovals good? If you have a space that requires people to walk around the dining table often, I would highly recommend an oval dining table. I would also recommend an oval dining table for spaces with a focus on conversation. They're also a good environment for games, as everyone feels close.
But what are the cons of an oval table? There's one main one. There are no corners. This is the exact same thing that makes them great though, I don't understand? A table without corners is smaller than a table with corners. It has to be. There's less space on the table for dishes, or to spread out puzzle pieces. It makes it harder to squeeze extra people at a dinner table. (this is especially true for ellipses, which can sometimes struggle for space on the table.) Without the corners they don't take up as much space and so they don't define space as well. This can be a pro in some spaces, but in others it is certainly a con.
So where is an oval table a bad fit? Any table you need to maximize your table space. Also anywhere you need to define space.
But all in all, I'm a lover of Oval Dining Tables. I think the pros outweigh the cons in a lot of situations. But it really all depends on your specific space, and your specific needs.