When I moved into my brother, Matt's newly purchased bungalow, I brought with me an heirloom farmhouse-style dining room table which just barely squeezed into the 9'x9' dining space. Since the space exists in the corner of an open kitchen and living area, it was doable, but the traffic space was limited and storage non existent. After I moved out last Summer, he took the opportunity to do some shopping at the Habitat ReStore and outfitted his small space in a much smarter fashion.
The original arrangement had much less to do with intelligent design, and much more to do with hanging on for dear life to what we already had. But once the dining room table was out of the picture (and now in a much larger space in my current home), it freed up Matt to do some scavenging for a very inexpensive piece that, when mixed with his great Bertoia chair collection, looks pretty pulled together. He added a sideboard that I found at a thrift store (that ironically just doesn't fit in with my home's floorplan and all of its radiators), and now he has a cozy and functional dining space that can seat extra people when the leaf is added to the small round table. It's much more functional, and the space seems much larger with the smaller furniture replacing the older, bulky farmhouse table.
You can see the house tour from when Matt and I lived together here: A Bright & Beautiful Bungalow From An Ohio Trio
Images: Amanda Johnson