17 Ingenious Small Dining Room Ideas 2024 | Checkatrade
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17 ingenious small dining room ideas

Whether you have a compact dining room, a tricky nook to work with, or a stretch of blank wall, these small dining room ideas will inspire you to create an inviting space to dine and entertain.

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Our selection of small dining room ideas will showcase how to create something special even in the tiniest of spaces.

We’ll show you how to make your small dining area feel larger and more spacious yet still cosy and inviting for both everyday dining and entertaining guests.

Small dining room ideas

When plotting ideas for your small dining room, there are four key factors to consider:

  • Your choice of dining room table
  • How you decorate the space
  • The lighting you select
  • The colours you choose

We’ll look at a series of beautiful ideas within this post, but as a guide, here are some rules to live by when designing a small dining room space:

  • Opt for a curved dining table in a small space, i.e. a round or oval design
  • Keep your decoration to a minimum to avoid cluttering the area
  • Choose statement lighting above the dining table to help define the space
  • Lean towards light colours to help reflect light in a more compact room

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Ideas for small dining room tables

First up, let’s talk about your choice of dining table. Of course, this is the whole point of this area; to have somewhere to sit, socialise, and enjoy meals with friends and family.

But in a smaller room, what’s the best way to make this work? If you’ve not got oodles of space to play with, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the selection of dining table ideas for a small space, including banquette seating, booth seating, and window seats. Let’s take a look.

1. A cosy nook

Creating a cosy nook is not only a great use of an awkward space, but it also maximises the number of people you can fit around the table, creating a really sociable set-up.

Working with your available space, a cosy nook could be a U-shape, as seen in this concept, or an L-shape, with the option to pull in additional seats when needed.

Like the idea of a custom-built dining nook? Find an experienced carpenter in our leading directory.

2. Booth seating

Who doesn’t love sliding into a sought-after booth table at a restaurant?

This concept adds style and visual interest to this small dining space with pops of vibrant colour adding a splash of fun.

3. Extend your kitchen island

This homeowner has cleverly extended their kitchen island to create a dining space in their compact kitchen.

Many people place stools on one side of the island, but this way, you can dine together, at a table, and keep your work surfaces for food preparation.

4. Add a foldable table

Limited space is not a problem with an extendable, foldable table at the ready.

This space-saving, compact dining table option is perfect for two with the option to extend if you’re cooking up a feast for a larger gathering.

5. Create a window seat

The bay window in this concept is perfectly suited for a window seat.

Not only would a formal dining table have consumed much more floor space, but you wouldn’t have the benefit of all that lucrative under-seat storage.

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6. Choose a round table

There are many reasons why a curved table works especially well in a small dining space or an open plan setup.

A round – or oval – table is not only a more sociable way to dine, but it maximises seating while allowing traffic to easily pass around.

7. Corner banquette seating

This concept is a beautiful illustration of how well banquette seating works in a small dining space.

It adds interest, is super inviting, has loads of built-in storage, and creates a distinct dining area while not encroaching on the kitchen itself. Small dining room perfection.

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Small dining room decoration ideas

When planning how to decorate your dining space, there are a few tricks you can employ to help make the most of your available space and even create the illusion of more!

8. Make the most of mirrors

This decorating trick works in any room, not just a small dining room space.

The addition of a large mirror works to bounce light around the room, creating the feeling of space. Glass light fixtures and mirrored furniture have a similar effect.

9. Draw the eye upwards

In a small dining room area, your floor space is more limited. To help disguise this, take the focus of the room upwards.

There are many ways to do this. One is to install an eye-catching light fixture above the dining table, another is to hang artwork or photographs on the wall. This homeowner has gone for the treble by installing a super-high curtain rail too.

10. Dress your dining table

There’s always the risk of a dining table becoming a ‘dumping ground’ for miscellaneous items and stacks of paper. When this happens, the dining area lacks focus.

To combat this, dress the dining table with a vase of flowers, a decorative accessory, or even some candles; help your dining table to look the part you want it to play.

11. Be bold with chequered flooring

Chequered flooring akin to Alice in Wonderland is well-known for its ability to create mind-boggling optical illusions.

In a small dining space, the addition of a chequered floor works to draw the eye out to the edges of the room, creating a greater feeling of space.

Balance the harsh lines of black and white flooring with softer-angled furniture such as a round table and curved backed chairs.

12. Stick to neutrals

Neutral grey flooring in an open plan kitchen diner

Of course, if bold chequered flooring isn’t your thing, neutral flooring is equally as suitable for a small dining room area.

Pairing lighter-coloured flooring, such as grey, with other neutral tones across the room will help to create a cohesive feel in an open-plan kitchen diner, for example.

13. Employ visual tricks

Here we have a masterclass in decorating a small dining room area.

The homeowner has limited space, but has chosen a round dining table, transparent seating to avoid the space feeling too cluttered, a dressed table and statement ceiling light to create a distinct dining space, and a sheer window dressing to allow plenty of natural light to flood the room.

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Dining room lighting ideas

Lighting is always a key consideration when designing a room, but in a small dining room, it can make or break the space.

14. Statement lighting

A small dining room area might be part of an open-plan setup. In this case, it’s especially important to help designate each space; lighting can be a really effective way to do this.

The oversized light fixture in this concept makes it clear that this is the dining ‘zone’.

15. Large windows

It’s no secret that large windows help a room to feel more spacious, both because of the abundance of natural light coming in, but also the exposure to the outside view.

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Small dining room colours ideas

Figuring out what colour to paint any room in your home can be bewildering, but in a small dining room area, your choice of colour will have a significant impact.

16. A light colour scheme

Of course, it’s entirely personal preference what colour you choose, but in a smaller dining room area, keeping your colour scheme light will help to make the space feel bright and airy.

There are certain colours that are meant to suppress appetite and are therefore best avoided in a dining room. Light colours will help to create a calm, relaxed setting, well-suited to a dining experience.

17. A cohesive neutral palette

Whether your dining space is within a kitchen or a living room, keeping a neutral colour palette helps to create a cohesive feel. Rather than competing with each other, the dining and lounge areas blend harmoniously.

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