A dining table's simplicity — its time-honored form, basic material construction, and lack of upholstery — leaves it open to many styles and types. From dining sets at mass-produced chain stores to pieces handcrafted by independent woodworkers, here are some good resources for every budget.
High-End: Low Thousands and Up
Located in the UK, Another Country makes contemporary craft furniture. Chairs and tables are inspired by "the familiar and unpretentious forms of British Country kitchen style, Shaker, traditional Scandinavian and Japanese woodwork."
Emeco's most iconic design is the Navy Chair, which they created in 1944 to be a virtually indestructible piece of furniture that would hold up to wear and tear on US Navy ships. Made from 80 percent recycled aluminum, they make great dining chairs.
Founded by Hans Knoll in 1938, this modern store was the original retailer of chairs and tables by Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and other 20th century icons. They continue to make modern heirloom-quality furniture in the US and Canada.
While not available in the US yet, the buzz has already started around Truck Furniture. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company has developed a cult following around its spare metal-and-wood wares influenced by retro hospital chairs and garage-sale finds.
Brooklyn-based design firm EcoSystems creates some seriously cool furniture pieces, including a dining table that converts into a sofa. The "BADA" table is made from a choice of reclaimed wood or post-consumer recycled teak with natural oil finishes.
California-based Environment Furniture, Inc. has showrooms in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Orange County. Priding themselves on their environmentally-friendly, sustainable practices, EFI combines the reclaimed woods with responsibly harvested mahogany.
Mike Ayers, an architect, and Raquel Anderson, an interior designer, run this small company from Savannah, Georgia. Tables are made from salvaged wood, and — while there are visible Shaker, traditional and mid-century influences — the furniture is distinct and unique.
This Soho store tends to play it safe with style, but their furniture is "real furniture" and extremely well built. It's a great place to look for large, hefty dining tables and chairs made from wood, metal, and glass.
Mid-Range: $500 to Low Thousands
In 1995, Dennis & Denise Blankemeyer opened shop with an eye towards preserving the "ingenuity and craftsmanship" of American rust belt manufacturing. They lwork in Columbus, Ohio, where they create heavy-duty chairs and tables made from salvaged wood and steel.
Vermont Farm Table
Owned and operated by J. Dustin Glasscoe, this boutique woodworking studio builds custom tables, windsor chairs, and benches from reclaimed or sustainable wood sources. Their specialty is complete customization, from the wood down to the finish.
Located in Arlington, Massachusetts, this is an affordable source for high-quality reproductions of simple, classic Shaker furniture. They carry a full line of Shaker reproductions online, and they sell DIY kits, which cost about half the price of a fully assembled piece.
Room & Board
Headquartered in Minnesota, Room and Board makes 90 percent of their furniture in the US. Prices are reasonable for the high quality, and they stock a variety of modern classics and contemporary designs.
Launched out of Minnesota in 1997, Blu Dot now sells its furniture through a national network of retail dealers, a store in Soho, and an online shop. They have several slick, modern dining tables in round and rectangular styles.
This Denmark-based furniture store has multiple locations in the US, and they focus on moderately sized, versatile pieces. They have a good selection of extension tables, many of the designed with a built-in leaf that doesn't need to be stored separately.
Focused on fair trade housewares that are as gorgeous as they are utilitarian, this New York (and online) store stocks dining tables made from reclaimed wood and vintage metal and dining chairs made from recycled polycarbonate.
Crate and Barrel
They're accessible — with shops across the country — and their furniture is well made. They have a wide range of basic dining tables in modern and traditional styles, and they have frequent markdowns on dining sets.
Budget: Below $500
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Photo: Blu Dot