Space is valuable, but that won’t stop some of us filling out our small spaces – and we’ve all probably experienced regret at one point or another when over-estimating shapes and sizes. To help you plan your ideal dining setting to serve your needs without cramping your style, we gathered the best design ideas for compact dining spaces here.
1 Against the Wall
Probably the first thing you would try with an existing dining set in your small space is to push the table up against a wall. You would be gaining additional space with the sacrifice of seating at one of the heads of the table, but when making do with a small area one must be willing to give up certain formalities in favour of comfortable passageways.
2 Bench Seating
If setting your dining table against the wall doesn’t free up the kind of space you imagined, consider forgoing formality entirely by replacing some or all of your dining chairs with benches instead. Benches make for a more casual setting and do not require as much space as individual dining chairs, however some sideways shimmying and impromptu leg raises would be needed to get diners to slide in and out of position at the table.
3 Restaurant-Style Banquette Seating
Instead of setting the short edge of your dining table against the wall, conserve more space by aligning the long edge with a wall or divider and exchanging some dining chairs on the narrower side for a bench. Without the need for additional space for pulling out chairs, this arrangement occupies even less space and can be located in shared spaces such as a dry kitchen or an open layout living space to create a dining nook.
4 Conjoined Surfaces
In our previous study of kitchen islands, we observed how joining dining tables to kitchen islands can expand your hosting capabilities, and combining them into a Teppanyaki-style setting can save space. If you have a kitchen island, consider having dining and kitchen share surfaces, or join them together to make the most of your small space.
5 Narrow Dining Tables
If central placement and more formal settings are required of your dining experience, consider selecting a narrow dining table. As we discovered in our guide on choosing dining tables, surfaces shaped as skinny rectangles are most visually appealing in long and narrow spaces.
6 Round Dining Tables
As we’ve pointed out before, circular dining surfaces are a more economical shape when hosting six or more diners with adequate elbow room – any less than that and a round table may seem overly large and imposing in tight quarters. If you forsee only small gatherings at dinners, stick with square tables instead – or sacrifice the extra elbow room for a small pedestal table.
7 Unifying Style
The decorative approaches that seem to work best in tight quarters – minimalist designs and monochromatic or pale shades should be applied in a cohesive manner to tie distinct spaces together. Especially in open layouts, individual areas will seem less imposing with only the most sutble of distinctions existing between living and dining spaces.
8 Transluscent Furniture
Instead of falling back on designs in minimalist style, a monochromatic palette, or even pastel shades to make your dining room seem more spacious, consider seeking out transluscent furniture to pair with the reflective finishes of a modern or glam décor. The completely see-through furnishings will help to maintain an illusion of space when combined with wide windows or ample lighting.
Read about putting together some delectable centerpiece arrangements on your dining table here.