Outdoor Table Height


porch, outdoor living

Castle Harbour Homes

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all? You could substitute the words which and table for who and you would have the conundrum many people face when shopping for outdoor tables.  Yes, you want a coffee table (or dining table) but do you want a coffee height coffee table or a conversation, or chat, height table? Do you want a dining table, a counter height table, or a bar height table? Why are there so many heights and which one to buy?

What’s the purpose of a chat, or conversation height table, versus a coffee table? Let’s start with the table height. A coffee table is typically 16” high. This is the height that has been used as a standard for indoor furniture and thus, carried over into outdoor furniture. It is an ergonomically determined height based on the seat height of a sofa, love seat, or lounge chair. This height is convenient for reaching the table top when seated in a cushioned furniture piece. (It’s also convenient for putting one’s feet up in lieu of an ottoman.)

outdoor living,outdoor furniture

Elle Decor

A conversation, or chat table (the terms are interchangeable), is a little bit higher. Varying by manufacturer from roughly 18” to 24”, the conversation table allows the user to reach it while seated but also casually dine from the table. This idea is born of the desire to dine casually from small plates when outside.

teak outdoor furniture, Kingsley-Bate


Speaking of dining, the traditional height of a dining table is 29” (although you will find some wiggle room here with an inch or so up or down). When furnishing an outdoor area that has a safety railing around it, however, that dining height puts the eye level of the person seated at the same height as the railing. The solution, of course, is to put the eye level of the diner above the railing height.  A counter height (at 36”) does this but keeps you seated below the top of the railing. This is a good choice for balconies or decks where a railing would impede the view if a dining height were to be used. Note: You may also hear the term “bistro” table used for a counter height table. To most furniture professionals, however, if you ask for a bistro table, they will respond by showing you a table that is 30″ round (for two people) and is at the traditional dining height (29″).

Tropitone Furniture, counter height dining, outdoor dining

Tropitone Furniture

A bar height table is typically 42” high. A standard height bar stool with a seat height of 36” is used with this table. Anyone who has sat at a bar anywhere in any restaurant or hotel has sat at a bar height surface. If you like the idea of sitting at a bar, this is the height for you. In fact, many people seem drawn to a bar height table and chairs because it reminds them of an exotic and relaxing vacation somewhere.

Summer Classics, Provence, bar set, outdoor dining, outdoor living

Summer Classics

Either counter height or dining height will give the same effect, however, if you have children or elderly people who will be using this furniture, I recommend choosing the more easily accessible counter height, if the more practical dining height is too low.

It is important to remember that while these heights for tabletops and chairs are considered standards, anyone can build anything they want—and, often do. It is imperative to check the height of the table or chair that you may already have when shopping for its companion piece. Built-in tabletops or railings that one may use as a ledge have been found to be all over the place height-wise. Custom designs can be whatever the designer or builder specifies, and often are. A quick measure will help you ascertain what height table or chair you need to go with it.

outdoorlicious,outdoor living blog,about outdoor living,dottie reynolds, casual living

Selling Your Home from the Outside In

Southern Living

Selling your home is a process. At some point, everyone who owns one will have to succumb to this mostly undesirable endeavor. Some people move every few year and others, like me, remain in their homes for so long that living in another home seems unimaginable. Ultimately, however, your home will require “sprucing up” to ready it for marketing.

Living in a home often inures us to things that may be seen as issues for the potential buyer. Seeking advice from a professional is a good idea when planning to sell your home. With a professional and . . . → Read More: Selling Your Home from the Outside In

Atlanta Market

outdoor living, porch, outdoor furniture,outdoor accessories

House Beautiful

I just returned from a week spent shopping the Atlanta market for holiday and everyday spring merchandise for the upcoming 2015 seasons. Always a fun trip for me, I have the opportunity to visit friends, catch up with vendors that I see only a few times each year, shop this over-the-top market which features every kind of delightful home decor that you could imagine, and enjoy life in the big city for a few days.

As we sell the last of the 2014 holiday merchandise and pack up what’s left, we are already planning our trees and . . . → Read More: Atlanta Market

Marsala, Pantone 2015 Color of the Year

marsala, pantone 2015 color of the year


A new year means a new color from color expert and forecaster, Pantone. Late last month, it was revealed that Marsala is the Pantone 2015 Color of the Year. Think of a deep, red, robust, and earthy wine and you’ll have a picture of this year’s color that will be trending in home furnishings, accessories, beauty, and fashion for the next twelve months.

Window Designs Etc.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute, Marsala is “nurturing and fulfilling” and “a natural fit for both kitchen and dining room”. That translates into a great color . . . → Read More: Marsala, Pantone 2015 Color of the Year

New Year’s Resolutions


Wednesday evening, we will be celebrating the end of 2014 and welcoming in a new year. Each year, we hope that the incoming year will be better: things will be different; we will become the people we want to be; dreams will come true; changes will be made. Many of us will wish for the same things in 2015 that we wished for in 2014 in the hope that resolutions that went unfulfilled will come to pass this year.

I share in the making of yearly resolutions—some I keep, others not so much. Usually my resolutions are within my . . . → Read More: New Year’s Resolutions