Guide | Kitchen & Dining Room Sets

10 Space-Saving Ideas For Small Dining Rooms

When you're limited for space in your dining room, entertaining can become a hassle rather than a source of joy. Luckily, you can make some simple changes to your dining room layout to save space and create a more functional environment.

Incorporating a breakfast nook dining set into your dining room creates a cozy area to entertain that takes up minimal space. You can also choose furniture pieces that are multi-functional or easily stow away when you're done using them.

Regardless of your dining room size, there's a solution that can maximize your space and make you excited to host guests. Here are ten ideas to save space in your small dining room.

1. Choose Banquette Seating 

Banquette seating solves limited space issues in your dining room. Since this built-in bench-style seating design attaches to the wall or a shelving unit, there is no space behind the bench. This allows you to add seating right up against a wall or in a corner to fit more seats at a dining table in a compact formation.

Dining Room In Minimalist Design
Traditional Dining Room Design
Modern Farmhouse Dining Room Design
Farmhouse Dining Room Design
Dining Room Design
Traditional Design

2. Add a Bench 

If you're struggling to fit the family around your small dining room table, try adding a bench as a seating option to replace chairs along one or two sides of the table. Benches can seat a few people at a time, especially the kids of the family, so you'll save space while creating more seats for your loved ones around the table.

Traditional picnic-style benches are also discreet seating options because they don't have a back. This means you can tuck them under the table when they've not in use, and they don't close off the table from the rest of the room or impede the flow of foot traffic.

3. Design a Booth 

Rather than having one banquette seat up against a wall, make the most of a tight nook and create a dining booth. A small table becomes a family gathering spot when you put two banquette seats opposite each other, maximizing your space. Use a hollow banquette with a removable top for extra storage under your seats.

Traditional Dining Room
Modern Farmhouse Dining Room

4. Use Folding Seating 

If you're regularly only dining with two to four people in your space but want to create an option for additional guests, try incorporating folding chairs into your setup. You can hang folding chairs on the wall, store them in a closet or under the bed, or slip them into an inconspicuous nook when you don't need them, making them a small space-friendly solution.

For the best use of space, choose stylish folding chairs that you can hang artfully on the wall, creating unique, modern decor out of a storage solution.

5. Try a Round Table 

For small dining spaces, round tables are a great way to accommodate more people comfortably. They take up less of the room with their shape and don't waste any space, whereas rectangular tables don't allow anyone to sit comfortably at the four corners.

Eclectic Dining Room Design
Eclectic Dining Room Design

A round table lets you squeeze several people around it comfortably, and it can tuck easily into a corner with bench or banquette seating for even better use of your dining area.

6. Add a Breakfast Nook Dining Set

A breakfast nook dining set is the perfect way to incorporate bench seating in an attractive, stylish way. Put bench seating along two walls that meet in the space's corner and then add stools or a bench on the side of the table that's open to the rest of the room.

The breakfast nook setup takes the best features of many solutions for small dining rooms and packs them into a cozy seating area that allows you to entertain comfortably in a tight space.

Breakfast Nook Dining Set
Farmhouse Design
Farmhouse Kitchen Design

A breakfast nook doesn't need to be limited to the first meal of the day. Make the most of it by turning it into a functional dining space that you and your family enjoy at all hours.

7. Choose a Collapsible Table 

For individuals living in apartments, a collapsible dining table can help save precious space that you can't afford to lose. By attaching your drop leaf dining table to the wall and propping it up when you need it or dropping it down when you don't, you eliminate wasted space in your kitchen or dining area.

Drop Leaf Dining Set
Wall Mounted Drop Leaf Dining Table
Drop Leaf Dining Table

8. Design a Distinct Space 

You can create the sense of a larger space by clearly defining your dining nook area through decor. Choosing an area rug that sits under the dining table and using patterns on upholstery cushions or throw pillows to catch the eye can help create the illusion of a more distinct space.

Modern Design
Modern Design

Adding artwork on the walls behind the table or above the banquettes also distinguishes the dining area. If you're worried about it feeling too closed in or small, try adding mirrors on the wall rather than artwork to add depth.

9. Shelving Instead of Cabinets 

To save space, incorporate shelving into your dining nook above your bench or banquette seats to make the most of your wall space. Rather than wasting floor space by leaving room to open cabinet doors, display your fine china on stylish shelving that is open and eye-catching.

You can build shelving into the wall if you're building in bench or banquette seating, but if you want a simpler solution, just installing shelves on the walls surrounding the dining nook is also sufficient.

White Breakfast Nook Dining Set
Counter Height Dining Table

10. Create a Breakfast Bar

If you're tight for space in an apartment or galley-style kitchen, you can create a breakfast bar that doubles as a shelf. A single board attached to the wall at the right height and a few bar stools allow you to have a seating area that takes up minimal space, even in an extremely narrow room.

This is also a great way to have extra seats available for a party. If you don't plan to use the breakfast bar daily, you can place plants or your favorite serving ware on it, but still pull the stools out when you need extra spots for your guests.

Entertain In a Space of Any Size

When you have a small dining room, you might feel like entertaining and hosting a big gathering is an impossible task. But with the right tricks for maximizing your dining space, you can turn a tiny room into the heart of the home where friends and family look forward to sitting down to a meal together.

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