This Is the Best Kind of Dining Table If You Live in a Small Space, and You Can Buy One at IKEA

published Jun 22, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Erin Derby

When you live in really tiny quarters, sometimes you opt to live without certain things due to a lack of square footage. For example, some small space dwellers forego a sofa to save space in their living rooms. Others choose to sacrifice their formal dining room and learn to make do with another area for meals. Then there are the folks who decide their small space won’t hold them back. Somehow they find a solution for just about everything, from relaxing and working to cooking and dining. Renter Gica Tam definitely falls into that later category.

Tam is a professional illustrator who lives in a 760-square-foot two-bedroom apartment in New York City with her roommate, Rice. Even though their apartment is small, Tam and her roommate found a way to make the space functional without feeling cramped or crowded. “The first two months were spent decorating, as I felt a little restless and excited with having a blank canvas to work with,” Tam says. “My apartment is my small haven where I get to unwind and be creative — I love it!”

Tam prides herself on being a Facebook Marketplace and flea market connoisseur. “I have found a ton of excellent pieces by browsing on Facebook Marketplace (most of which I transported on the subway) or going to the flea markets around New York,” she says. One of the best pieces she’s scored actually helped her carve out a dining nook in her place, despite the apartment’s petite size: a drop leaf table, which just might be the best small space dining solution of all.

Credit: Erin Derby

Tam found this wooden IKEA table on Facebook Marketplace and parked it right outside her kitchen door. At first glance, the table may not look like much, but it’s actually a super-functional solution for a small space. First, Tam has dropped the leaf and gateleg on one side of the table so she can push it right up against the wall, meaning she’s not wasting a single inch of space when all she needs is a surface large enough for her and her roommate to dine. If they’re entertaining though, they can pull the piece out from the wall and put up its other side to accommodate two additional people and maybe even squeeze a person or two in at the heads of the table.

The sneaky storage spots under the tabletop really helps the NORDEN gateleg table earn its small space keep though; the center of the table actually features six built-in drawers. They’re the perfect size for stashing dining essentials like flatware, napkins, and candles. Think of this area like your own mini linen closet for the kitchen.

At $259, the NORDEN table’s not the biggest bargain on the market, but for all of the flexibility it offers — and the fact that it can help you create a dining nook basically out of thin air — it’s a great investment piece that can grow with you and your space. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be able to score secondhand for less like Tam did; at press time, a NORDEN in the white finish is available in the Northeast United States from Apt Deco for $205 with delivery included!

“I rarely impulse buy, and so most of the things here were bought with intention,” Tam says. “I believe key furniture pieces can be useful in showing or hiding what you want.” IKEA’s NORDEN table is a perfect example of that. With over 100 5-star reviews, it’s really no surprise that this table is working wonders for Tam and sells out so quickly when it drops at IKEA.