Due to the shape of our long and skinny dining room, we have a rectangle dining table. When we entertain, the table opens up to seat 10 and it fills up the room quickly and makes it instantly festive (okay, we are crammed in). Depending on who we are entertaining, we offer open seating like Southwest Airlines (first come, first served) or if all the guests don’t know each other, I plan a quick seating chart to make sure that there is a balance of personalities to keep the conversation flowing comfortably.
I’m always on the prowl to make entertaining effortless and one of the drawbacks to a rectangle dining table is that it forces side-by-side conversations and you literally lose the “round table discussion.” Another advantage to a round table is that there is no head or foot to denote the host/hostess and I like the sense of informality. I’ve collected some images of beautiful dining rooms with round tables and included a helpful diagram (at the end) that shows how many people can fit comfortably around different sized round tables.