7 Tips for Maximizing Small Dining Room Spaces

By Bailiegh Basham · August 21, 2019

7 Tips for Maximizing Small Dining Room Spaces

Small Dining Room & Kitchen Ideas

Dining room tables are special pieces of furniture. They do double duty with their practical, everyday purpose, while also representing the memories of celebrations with dear family and friends. The emotional attachment to meals shared lends itself to the longevity of these tables in our homes. That’s why we recommend investing in a high-quality, real wood dining set that will last as long as your memories—even in small dining rooms. If you’re concerned about maximizing your small dining space, this guide is for you.

Dining room tables don't have to be large, elaborate pieces of furniture with seating for 8-10. With a few outside the box design ideas, it’s possible to find a perfect set for your small dining room. Remember: just because a table may fit your space doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your space. 


Make it Multi-functional

In a small space, it's important to have furniture that serves multiple functions. Unnecessary clutter and oversized furniture makes already tight spaces feel even smaller. Multi-functional dining tables solve both of these issues. Drop leaf and butterfly leaf tables are great options for small spaces because they expand to accommodate more guests when needed. 

Simply revert the table back to original size for everyday space-savings. Tables with built-in storage are an excellent way to stow items like linens and tabletop decor when not in use. 



Get a Good Shape for your Space

Shape will greatly affect how a table feels in a space. Round tables generally take up less space and offer a more cozy, intimate dining experience. However, if you’re looking to host a number of guests, large round tables don’t typically function well in small spaces. Consider an oval or extendable round table with leaf in this case. 

Square tables are ideal for everyday meals, with extendable options to provide more seating when necessary. Square tables are easily tucked away in a corner or against a wall when not being used for large gatherings. 

For a dining room that is longer than it is wide, rectangular or oval shaped tables will likely accommodate the space best. To find pieces that may be particularly fitting for tighter spaces, read Narrow Dining Tables Made From Solid Wood.


Consider the Color

Choose a light, soft color palette for your dining room. Dark colored design elements make a room look and feel smaller. While white or off white colors maximize the reflection of light around the room for a clean, simple look. Neutral color dominance will help the room appear more spacious. In addition to wall colors and light-weight window treatments to promote natural lighting, consider light wood furniture to make your dining room feel bigger. At Countryside Amish Furniture, we offer a number of light stain options perfect for small spaces. Some of our favorites include Vanilla Crumb, Linen, and Urban Grey, available with Brown Maple wood furniture.

Find the Right Height

Table height is an often overlooked design element. The height of a table draws the eyes either upward or downward. A taller table, such as a high top table, will naturally draw the eyes up. Coupling a tall table with a low ceiling has the potential to make a dining room feel cramped and closed in. 

It’s important to take note of the structure of the room, specifically the ceiling, when determining an appropriate table height for your space. Consider low profile furniture if ceilings are low. Check out this helpful guide on the differences between standard height, counter height, and bar height dining tables to determine the best option for your dining space.

Handling Your Dining Chairs

When dealing with small dining spaces, it’s important to keep things minimal. The same rule applies to dining chairs. Maximize space with strategic chair placement and storage. Don’t leave more chairs out on a daily basis than needed. Consider stackable, armless, or wooden folding chairs as easy-to-store space saving options. Benches are also a versatile seating option that can be tucked under the table. 

Pro tip: Breakfast nooks aren’t just meant for breakfast! For dining spaces with odd layouts, a breakfast nook might be a good option. Nooks allow for a creative use of space, such as tucking a dining area into a corner, or utilizing a window sill with a bench seat. That said, if you’re a routine entertainer, this option doesn’t easily allow for additional guest seating. If you want to learn more, check out Solid Wood Breakfast Tables & Nooks.


Select the Proper Style

It’s important to select a table with a relatively small frame. This will provide more overall free space in the room and maintain visual sitelines—giving the room a more open appearance. A table with a single pedestal, or narrow legs (think: mid-century modern style), will serve a small space well. Your dining chairs should follow suit. Consider chair styles with open backs and simple designs to reduce visual noise.



Ace the Placement

Place the table where it fits best, but keep it clear from throughways or hallways. Regardless of room size, your dining table should be placed in a way that allows for the continued natural flow of traffic through the space. Professional interior designers suggest leaving 36” between the dining table and walls. This spacing allows for chairs to be easily pulled out. For extra space savings, consider pushing the table up against the wall when not in use. 

We hope these 7 tips will help you maximize your small dining room. Let us know some of your dining room space saving tips in the comments section. Your Vision is Our Passion.

Author, Baileigh Basham

Bailiegh Basham is Lead Sales & Marketing Strategist at Countryside Amish Furniture. She's been a team member since 2014. Bailiegh is deeply passionate about furniture design and home decor.