Can you imagine a dining room without a dining table? It’s impossible, right? But it would be surprising to know that dining tables weren’t always as popular and essential as they are today.
You already know that the dining table is a piece of furniture with one or more legs and a flat top. It is where people gather to socialize, eat and bond with loved ones. But do you know where the dining table has come from? Has it evolved with time? Let’s find out.
The Egyptian Connection
The Ancient Egyptians made tables as early as 2500 BC. The tables were made of alabaster and wood. Stone platforms were used to keep objects off the floor. There are also examples of wooden tables found in ancient tombs. The Egyptians utilized small tables and playing boards at an elevated level. Drinks and food were kept on large plates and placed on a pedestal.
For Egyptians, dining tables were a symbol of status and wealth. Therefore, they were an essential part of the daily life of the wealthy. The tables were also used for rituals and religious ceremonies.
Tables were also created by the Chinese and the people in Mesopotamia to master the arts of painting and writing. Therefore, the dining table in Kolkata you see today has been around for centuries.
The Roman And Greek Connection
The Romans and Greeks made more use of tables than the Egyptians. They used it for eating. The Greeks pushed the table under the bed after they finished using it.
In ancient Rome, tables were used for reclining meals. Besides dining tables, Romans used elaborate three couches arranged in a U-shape. The center of the table is left open and adorned with decorative elements, such as sculptures.
In ancient times, the Greek dining tables were usually low and round to the ground and were accompanied by maps or cushions for comfortable seating. In addition, the tables usually had three legs to strike a seamless balance.
Dining Tables In Europe During The Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages, furniture is not as popularly known as that of the later or earlier periods. According to most sources, the tables used in the Middle Ages were primarily found in the homes of nobles.
In the Eastern Roman Empire, dining tables were made of wood or metal, similar to Romans and Greeks. The tables were generally four feet and linked by X-shaped stretchers.
The tables meant for eating were typically semicircular or round and large.
Due to multiple invasions and wars in Western Europe, most of the knowledge from the classical era was lost. Hence, most tables were trestle tables and simple in design. The small round tables were made from joinery that reappeared during the 15th century.
The chests were used as tables during the Gothic era.
Dining Tables Throughout The Centuries (16th-20th Century)
- In the 16th century, tables appeared more decorative and ornate. The dining tables were elaborately carved, and the furniture was used for banquets and formal dinners.
- In the 17th & 18th centuries, dining tables became more practical and functional. Tables became smaller and much more affordable because of the rise of the middle class. The tables were mostly made of mahogany or oak and were designed to be quickly expandable so that larger groups could be accommodated easily.
- In the 19th & 20th centuries, dining tables started to change and evolve with time. It was the Industrial Revolution that impacted the design and materials used for creating dining tables. Also, it introduced new manufacturing techniques. Dining tables were built using glass, metal, and other modern materials. Moreover, the tables began seeing new features, such as adjustable size, drop-leaf designs, etc. The dining tables were meant to fit different needs and spaces.
Modern Dining Tables
Modern dining tables are what you find today in high end furniture stores in Kolkata. Thanks to their evolution through several hundred centuries, they are available in a wide variety of materials, sizes, and designs to suit any home. You will find a dining table to fit every budget and taste, including traditional dining tables made of wood and sleek round dining tables with a glass or marble tabletop.
Dining rooms are designed to host formal and informal parties, and the dining table plays an essential role. Today, it is the centerpiece of the dining room, and the other pieces of furniture are decorated to make the table work and stand out. Even lights are focused on the dining table to create a warm, welcoming environment.
Some of the features of modern dining tables are:
- Geometric shapes and straight lines are seen in modern tables. The absence of ornate table legs is seen in traditional dining furniture.
- The textures contrast, as you see stone, solid wood, or marble tops paired with steel legs. You may even see a glass top table with wood legs.
- The colors are generally neutral hues featuring earth tones. Also, reclaimed materials are used in modern tables.
So, now you know the evolution of the dining table. The modern table has come a long way from being simple tables adorned in wealthy homes to an indispensable piece of furniture in modern homes. Today, dining rooms are unimaginable without the dining table. It is used for everyday meals and also special occasions. It is the statement piece of a dining room and the cornerstone of a welcoming home. This knowledge can be your next bonding topic during family or friendly dinners.
All you must do now is get the perfect dining table for your home. Then, decorate it to be the centerpiece, and have a great time.