Design dilemmas: Round tables in square spaces, but don’t mix your leathers

Linda Brigida

Question:  We have just purchased an older home with many redeeming qualities. It also has many qualities that aren’t so great. We are redoing each room and are “stuck” in the kitchen. We can not come to an agreement as to what shape kitchen table we should purchase. We knocked down a wall or two and have incorporated the kitchen and sitting area into one space. We also have a formal dining room that we will most likely use when we entertain. There is a small space off the kitchen where I would like to put a table for the two of us to have our meals at. My question is: Should we purchase a round or rectangular table. Any suggestions?

Answer: Round tables are definitely used more now than ever before. But before choosing the shape of the table, you have to start with the shape of the room. Rectangular tables are so versatile. They can definitely seat more people than a round a table, but if it is to be used for only two tot four people, a round table will work well. But it will work well only if the room is square. Round tables are great for conversation, playing family games, and for intimate gatherings. The choice is yours, but definitely consider the shape of the room and the way the table will fit into that space.

Question:  We have just purchased an older home and have a formal living room and a more casual room where we have our large, flat-screen television and more comfortable furniture. We have a large upholstered sofa with a matching upholstered chair. (We really don’t love the pieces or the fabric, but at this point we can’t afford to replace them.) We purchased a leather ottoman to be used as a coffee table. The space is so large that we definitely need another chair. My husband would like to purchase a leather chair but because we have the leather ottoman. I am confused as to whether leathers can be mixed in the same area?

Answer: My feeling is that when you use leather in a room, it is introduced as a special piece. Therefore, only one leather should be used. You do not want to try to match the leather, it just will not look right. If you had purchased the leather ottoman and a leather chair at the same time, it would be a completely different story. My suggestion would be to introduce a fabric that works well with the existing sofa, chair, and ottoman. Depending on the fabric you already have, chenilles in rich tones are really great in a family room. They are soft and comfortable looking. Choose something that has some texture to it Remember have fun in your choices, but try to avoid another leather piece.

Linda Brigida is the owner of Interiors, a new decorating business located in Plymouth and specializing in window treatments, room design, color choices and furniture selection. Design dilemmas appears in Town Commons every other week. E-mail your questions to or call Interiors at 508-746-2166.