Re: Dining Room Tables
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2021 10:31:44 -0700 (PDT)
> On Mar 10, 2021, at 1:52 PM, Ed Sutton via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
>> wrote:
> Have any communities explored or observed the influence of dining table shapes
> on community relationships?

There is a lot of discussion in the archives about table recommendations. 

From my experience at Takoma Village — and I would like to hear from others if 
these correlate with theirs — 

1. Smaller tables for 6-8 people make for a quieter dining room. I enter the 
dining room from a second floor corridor. I can tell when I open the door how 
the tables are arranged just from the level of the din.

2. Unless the group is also having a meeting or consultation, 4 seats is too 
small. Too easy to be seen as being exclusive and hard if you get stuck in a 
conversation you are not interested in. Hard to leave.

3. People prefer larger tables — long tables for 12-14 people. I think because 
there is always room for more and when people start leaving it is easy to move 
this way or that to talk to someone “over there.” Conversations can mix over a 
wider area.

If we set up tables with 6-8 seats, people will push them together. For many 
years I have been the declutterer and table straightener for the great room. I 
stopped trying to separate tables into less institutional arrangements because 
after the next meal, formal or informal, the tables would be pushed together 

In interior design, if the furniture doesn’t stay where it is put, it isn’t 
arranged properly. The arrangement doesn’t match the use.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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