What to Look for in a Harvest Table

Rustic and country furnishing styles have become popular once again due to shows such as HGTV’s Fixer Upper and a few others. The farmhouse look is timeless, and its appeal comes in the comfort and cozy it brings. When we think of farmhouse and rustic, we think of family; and there’s nothing at home that brings the family together like the dinner table. If you’re looking for the perfect table to gather everyone around, you’re likely thinking of harvest tables—big, sturdy, and incredibly functional. Here are a few things you should consider if you want the best harvest table for your home.


According to The Spruce, the harvest table has morphed into so many other styles. You might have a harvest table that leans more towards the farmhouse style, or you might find something that’s more minimalistic than anything. You may find harvest tables labeled as “menagerie tables,” but the purpose remains the same. When it comes to style, you want to pick a harvest table that reflects more of the style of your dining room. There are plenty of harvest tables out there that are considered antique and beautiful. But if antique is not your style, modern might be your way to go. Also, you can choose from harvest tables that are rigid and rectangular in shape or ones that have more fluidity in design. You can opt for straight lines or ornate finishes. No matter your style–there’s certainly a harvest table out there to match it.


Harvest tables come from a long history of gathering and dining. Here in the United States alone, the Pilgrims could be credited for designing some of the earliest harvest tables. The name ‘harvest’ relates to the crops reaped in the fall—everything that would be put on the table for everyone to share. The material used for making tables during the colonial times was mostly wood, and that has stayed the same for the most part to this day. Because of the size of a harvest table, you’d want to make sure the lumber used comes from the highest quality and strongest woods. Oak and maple are some of the favorites because of their classic look. Some materials will present a more traditional look, while others will give more of an eclectic style. Again, stay true to your own personal tastes. You’d want to closely consider the grain pattern of the harvest table before making a final purchase.

Apart from the overall look of the wood, you’d also want to test the overall durability and density of the material. Surely, you’ll want this for any table you have; but given the purpose of a harvest table is to carry extra weight and extra plates, you’ll want something that can handle it all. The Basic Woodworking highlights some of the best wood you can find for tabletops and tables in general. Although there are a lot of lumber options out there, you’ll want your harvest table to be made out of hardwood. No matter what type of wood you choose, having hardwood means you have a solid foundation and a sturdy table.

Finish and build

The first thing most people think of when it comes to harvest tables is sturdiness. Of course, the materials used on the table have a lot to do with it, but build matters just as much. Since most dining tables are costly to begin with, you should expect to shell a little more for a decent harvest table. You want to go with a reliable manufacturer that has a proven track record of making high quality products. The final build of a table counts. There are many garage builders out there these days that are using DIY blueprints for making harvest tables. While there’s nothing wrong with a good DIY build, make sure that you’re purchasing your harvest table from a maker that has a reputation for creating solid products.

As far as builds go, you might also want to think about what kind of finish you want your harvest table to have. Although the trend as of late leans more towards unfinished and rustic designs, there’s still a market out there for traditional finishes. You could go high gloss polyurethane, epoxy, Danish oil, or a basic stain. The options are limitless. Go with what you fancy, and you really can’t go wrong.


One of the things that distinguish harvest tables from other tables is size. When it comes to harvest tables, size definitely matters. You don’t have a harvest table unless you can accommodate to at least 6 people. The typical harvest table should be at least 6 feet in length. However, modern standards have made this minimum length requirement at least 1 to 2 feet longer. That means that your table should easily be able to seat anywhere from 8 to 10 people.

There’s also a possibility of having table inserts in order to make your harvest table longer when needed. This option will allow you the flexibility when it comes to size. Because of better modern table manufacturing, inserts now rarely compromise the stability and integrity of harvest tables. In addition, most harvest tables are designed with strong and oftentimes bulky table legs, which only offer better stability in the long run.

It’s important to consider the size of the harvest table you’re getting, especially since the purpose of such a type of table is to bring people together—to dine and build memories from generation to generation. The size of your harvest table will ultimately determine how much food you can share and how many people you can accommodate. A bigger table only means more room for food and sharing. Pick the size of harvest table you need for the crowd size you want, and you’ll have a table you can enjoy for a very long time.

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