7 Ways To Fit a Dining Area In Your Small Space (and Make the Most of It!)

published Nov 6, 2015
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

You might think that entertaining — especially during the holidays — is out of the question in your small space. These dining areas can blow that myth out of the water. Look at how these folks make room for cozy and compact dining areas and see if any of these ideas can work for your home.

1. Use any space — or furniture — you’ve got

Don’t be afraid to use your sofa on one side and a small table in the middle to carve out a dining space. Floor pillows and stools can always be pulled over for extra seating. Who says it even has to be a dining table? Coffee or craft tables can be repurposed when it comes to entertaining.

(Image credit: Andrea Sparacio)

2. Get creative to expand

You can have an “everyday” dining area that is compact and just what you and the people you live with need to dine in on the daily. And then you can get creative to expand your dining area when you want to entertain guests. It could be something that you buy that has leaves or mechanically opens to a larger eating space. It could be an extra folding table you tuck away in a closet. It could be something you DIY that folds or opens up.

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

3. Don’t necessarily worry about architecture you can’t change

The smaller your space, the more constrained by things you can’t change like doors, weird molding, ugly rental lights and more. In short — don’t worry about those elements when you’re entertaining. You can block a door or other architectural elements temporarily if that means being able to fit more folks into your space.

(Image credit: Liana Hayles Newton)
(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

4. Visually blend

When your dining room or area is ultra small, choosing furniture that visually blends with the surroundings — either furniture painted the same color as your walls or perhaps a wood tone that matches the floor or other wood furniture around it — will make it feel like there’s not quite as much going on in your dining room. Visually, this might make it feel less cluttered and even a little larger.

(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

5. You can move it right up against a wall

Who says you can’t place one end of a dining table against a wall? Or a window sill? Make it work for your space, no matter what perceived design “rule” you’ve got to break to do it.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

6. Keep it minimal

If you’ve got to squeeze a dining area into another larger room (but there’s really not all that much room to work with), keep your furniture and accessories minimal. This will help make sure the dining area doesn’t overpower the other decor. Keeping the decor simple and minimal in the entire room will help the space feel balanced.

(Image credit: Monique Larroux)

7. Embrace intimacy

If you’ve got a very tiny space to begin with, you might go in the opposite direction. Instead of trying to make your small space feel larger with design tricks, you might just embrace the coziness of it and invest in layered textiles, low lights and interesting textures to make it feel like a cozy, intimate nook for a few folks to enjoy at a time.