Good Questions: To Dine or Not to Dine in the Entry?

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Hi AT,

My rented apartment has its dining area (with a “over the table” hanging lamp) as soon as you enter the apartment. I don’t know what kind of dining table/chairs I should buy so as not to clutter the entry. I have been thinking if I should keep the dining table someplace else.

Your suggestions would be a great help!


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Hi mn,

We have two ideas, and both involve recasting the placement of that light fixture as entry lighting rather than “over the table.” Once you take that leap of faith many more possibilities open up.

Option 1 is to create a small dining area to the left of the door, in front of (but not too close to) the closet. We’d suggest a drop table, either the wall-mounted kind or a slim drop-leaf. A round top is ideal because when not in use it won’t jut corners out into your precious open space. Stow extra chairs in the closet or artfully hang them on the wall. Here are a few table options:
Ikea’s Laurila Round Gateleg Drop-Leaf Table
Gothic Cabinet’s Round Drop-Leaf Table

Option 2 is to forego an exclusive-use dining area entirely and look for a coffee table that turns into a dining room table when you need one. AT:NY has lots of info on this topic here, here, and here, and we’ve dealt with the expandable coffee table concept here and here on AT:SF as well.

Other ideas for mn?