How Many People Can You Fit Around A French Dining Table

cafe triestebeat poets around table

We’ve been asked this many times and there really doesn’t seem to be a definitive guide anywhere. This definitely isn’t a definitive guide but it’s definitely a good starting point.

It all depends on how intimate you already are or want to get!

If you want to fit as many in as possible with no reservations on intimacy the best choice is to use the classic French bench. Perfect for laid back dejeuner with friends or getting as many children on when the ferral hungry hoards from the local neighbourhood descend without warning.

French antique dining benches

Long French antique dining cherry wood benches

Benches are great for these things however if, like most people, you prefer something that will support you (and more importantly your guests) after some of the fantastic French super plonk that’s out there, the classic vintage Provencal dining chair is the best option.

Key Measurements – Tables, Chairs & Elbows

With all our French finds from antique French tables to the vintage Provencal dining tables the amount of space varies and it can be difficult to get an idea how many people you can seat comfortably.

Average Width French Vintage Chair =

40cm to 50cm

The average width of a vintage French chair at its widest point is between 40cm (for a straight ladder back style chair) and 50cm (for something with a sweeping cabriolet legs).

Bright vintage Provencal French dining chairs

Cabriolet leg Provencal style French Dining Chairs

Vintage French Ladderback Chair

Vintage French Ladderback Chair

Think about how many of these can fit underneath the table without straddling the legs at the end.

Average Elbow Width =

61cm to 75cm

You will also need to take into account the elbow to elbow breadth of those sitting down. For dining table and desk design this space varies considerably but generally is no less than 61cm, an average relaxed breadth being about 75cm.

Average French Vintage Table =

130cm (230cm extended) by 90cm to 100cm wide

Vintage French Provencal Rectangular Table

Vintage French Provencal Rectangular Table

For the average vintage French Provencal Dining Table the length is around 130cm long. This would dictate that you can fit two people down each side and two at either end – a total of six.

Vintage French Provencal Rectangular Table

Vintage French Provencal Rectangular Table

Most of the these tables have extending leaves which allow two additional spaces at each end to be created, essentially a possible ten spaces if you needed it although these are slightly smaller spaces than the others. These extensions are generally between 45cm and 50cm long.

A slightly larger Table at 150cm long could fit 3 narrow ladder back style French chairs down each side but would leave you only a maximum 50cm elbow room which is passable but essentially means your arms need to continunally point straight ahead to avoid collisions or bodily contact.

Round French Tables =

100cm diameter (50cm for each additional extending leaf)

French Vintage round provencal table

French Vintage round provencal table with chairs

Round tables allow you to save space and if you’re into your Fung Shui help energy to flow around a room.

Round vintage provencal table two leaves

Round vintage provencal table two leaves

Generally, vintage French Provencal Tables have beautiful curved cabriolet legs, these can reduce the number of spaces you have around it unless someone doesn’t mind straddling it! However, about eighty percent of these type of tables extend by adding in separate leaves. Each of these leaves is usually about 50cm which means you can fit in two additional people per leaf.

round vintage provencal table two leaves with chairs

round vintage provencal table two leaves with chairs

So, How Many Chairs Can I Fit Around A French Dining Table?

It all depends on the size of the table but to summarise;

Average comfortable elbow room required

61cm to 75cm

Average French vintage chair width

40cm to 50cm

Average French vintage table size

130cm long (230cm extended)

Average French vintage round table size

100cm diameter (+ 50cm for each additional leaf when extended)


Number of Chairs Required for;

French Vintage Table

6 chairs when unextended

8 to 10 chairs when extended

Round Vintage Table

4 chairs when unextended

2 additional chairs per leaf inserted

Bon Appetite!