The History of Dining Tables
The table has been in existence since as far back as ancient Egypt though the use and concept of what a table does has changed. Early tables such as those in Egypt, Greece and Rome began simply as a means to lift food or objects off of the floor. The earliest versions of tables were often a simple plank or smooth surface lacking our modern day concepts of legs and complimentary chairs. As tables evolved so did their designs. Tables were often created for a specific function or stylized to the time period they were produced in.
As societies developed so did their need for tables. Writing, art and craftsmanship that required one to sit up found a need for tables. As labour refined so did the wealth of society providing a new meaning to the table. Formal dining tables became popular and a range of dining chairs from simple to elegant began to be manufactured around the world. Though East and West cultures viewed dining differently, chairs in one form or another became the standard when eating. Formal dining began in the castles and manors of Europe where tables were extremely long and narrow providing uses during feasts and banquets. Dining chairs started as narrow ridge forms with high backs popular for such events. During modern times the dining chair has evolved into many forms and many new materials and being used to create them from plastic and metals to more traditional materials such as wood.
Wood furniture has always been regarded with high esteem. Before the industrial revolution wooden furniture was crafted by hand requiring hours of skilled labour to produce. Because of the effort needed to create a single piece of furniture items were built with long lasting craftsmanship. A person could rely on a chair or table that was handmade to last decades if not hundreds of years. Even today the quality and value of wooden furniture is not lost. Craftsmen still produce wooden furniture, some by hand others by manufactured means but all still depend on the same level of quality their customer have. To create furniture that can last craftsmen must choose woods that are not only strong and hard but beautiful as well. Oak wood has been a favourite of furniture makers for hundreds of year for these very reasons. Oak comes in a variety of shades from blond to medium brown and is one of the hardest and most durable of all furniture grade woods.
Dining room furniture:
The modern dining room has evolved quite a ways since the castle of medieval Europe. Today a dining room can have multiple functions from eating to entertainment. As a result dining room furniture has grown from the basic table and chairs. Often dining room sets will include cabinets for dishes, small side tables and even lighting accessories to compliment traditional furniture.
From low cushions used in Asia to formal dining chairs popular in western cultures dining furniture has grown to a wide variety of shapes, styles and ideas. Early Romans would use lounges or pillows piled together to semi recline while eating. Our modern society has in some cases adapted this same philosophy often eating in the living room sitting on a couch or sofa while enjoying TV. Dining furniture from around the world varies from culture to culture but always focuses on one similarity, providing people with a comfortable way to sit while eating.
Dining room table:
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Even today the dining room table is still the main focus of most dining experiences. Whether it is formal, causal or quick the dining table serves an essential function in our lives. Most dining tables are traditional square, rectangular or round but do and can come in virtually any shape. Dining table vary in height usually corresponding to their setting (i.e., a high round table and stools are good for a quick bite) but most often seat several people on once. Many dining tables have "leaves" which extend the table to accommodate more diners. Dining tables can be found manufactured in a variety of materials as well usually suiting an individual's taste more than as a necessity of function.