Feng Shui & Dining Tables: Shape & Material

The best shape for a dining table is round & the best material is wood. If you’re happy with that, you can stop reading and start shopping.

The second-best shape is oval or racetrack. Our dining table is round and can be made into racetrack by adding extra leaves. (The difference between oval and racetrack is that an oval has no straight lines, when looking down on it from the top, whereas the racetrack has rounded ends and straight edges on the long sides.) The next best choice would be square, then rectangular. Freeform dining tables can be problematic. I’ve eaten at slab tables with irregular edges that follow the natural grain of the wood. At that kind of table there are often places to sit that feel nice and places that feel not-so-nice (because of the irregularities at the edge of the table caused by the grain).

Right shape, wrong material. Glass creates cutting energy, and this is an example of a beveled edge table, which makes the problem even worse.

The top of the table should be thick, not thin. Thin tops are problematic because they have a cutting energy like a machete. Squat down and look at the edge straight on and you’ll see what I mean. (If you want more visuals, I talk about cutting energy in this video about kitchen shelving.)

The second-best material for a tabletop is stone, then synthetic, then metal, then glass. Glass is problematic for two reasons: it has a sharp, harsh sound when dinnerware is placed on it, and unless there is a rim around the edge, it can’t be used at all in feng shui—unless it’s covered, and then what’s the point of having glass. Tables with a bare glass edge have a severe cutting energy which I firmly believe will affect you by cutting you off from reaching your goals. Beveled-edge glass is the worst because it is as though the edge has been sharpened. Once I’ve seen a glass top table with a bare edge that had no cutting energy. The glass was three or four inches thick and the edges looked like slightly melted ice—sandblasted, slightly irregular, and softly rounded. That table probably cost a mint and weighed a ton.

As I mentioned, the addition of the two rectangular leaves changes a simple circular-shaped table like ours into a racetrack shape. If there are leaves added to the table, don’t sit where a seam aims directly at you. If that must happen, use placemats or a tablecloth to cover the cracks. Here are a few example table settings. The seams run horizontally (from straight edge to straight edge) in these photos.

The table setting shown here is ideal for a single diner because no seams (representing poison arrows) are aimed at the person.

This is an ideal setting for two people at this table. The seams between the insert leaves do not aim at the bodies of the people who are eating.

This is the scenario to avoid: The seam between the two middle leaves aims at the stomachs of those eating with this table setting. However, it’s nothing a couple of place mats, a tablecloth or table runner couldn’t fix. Opaque place mats will cover up much of the line and make it less visually prominent—therefore less of a problem.

This is a unique remedy for the problem of the poison arrow caused by the seam between the table leaves. This rectangular mid-century (probably early 60’s) California pottery dish is placed to cross the offending crack, therefore chopping it in half and dispersing the poison arrow energy. Since the pimento peppers (I harvested them yesterday!) are bright red, the remedy is made stronger.

Oh, and one final thing about table shape—if the table is in the Relationship Corner of the home, don’t choose a pedestal table (one that has only a single, central support). Instead, use a table that has legs or trestles—that says “We are working together to support the top.”



7 thoughts on “Feng Shui & Dining Tables: Shape & Material

  1. silla says:

    very well written and well explained article, it is beautifully covering major types of tables such as glass tables, wooden tables, stone tables and their pros and cons


  2. Jenny says:

    Hi! THanks for this post. We are doing our dinging table in the center of the home. On the Bagua Map it says that “ wood” is the destructive force there. Yikes! In which case, what material would you recommend?


    • clearenglebert says:

      Is stone (travertine, marble, or granite) too outrageous? It would be super heavy. Earth is the element in the Center, so that’s why I mention it. I can’t say I “recommend” it, because it definitely isn’t for everybody & every home. If you prefer wood (and I would because it’s much easier to live with), just make sure the dishes are pottery (which they usually are) then you’ve got Earth back in the Center. Maybe the dishes could be yellow, symbolizing Earth. And maybe the table could be square, which also symbolizes Earth.


    • clearenglebert says:

      Yes, that’s actually ideal. It can fit the space well on a regular basis, but if you happen to need a large surface because of unusual circumstances, you can have it. It’s like having your cake & eating it too.


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