An adequate dining space in any home can provide great space for relaxing and entertaining. Even a small dining room can work well for having guests over. Family members can sit down together in the evenings, especially, to share their day in a designated dining space. It's important to design the area for a welcoming look and feeling. Furnishing a dining room in a neat and uncluttered way can help. Beautiful artwork, plants and decor that appeal to you will help ensure you enjoy using the dining room.
Consider the Square Footage
Some homes have tiny dining spaces tucked away within another room. These nooks may be as small as eight feet square, for example. While these spaces can work well, the average dining room is defined in most architectural plans as 14 by 16 feet. Generous dining rooms are 14 by 18 feet to allow for a formal table, chairs and a hutch. Homewyse.com defines the typical dining room as 200 square feet. You want to use furniture that harmonizes with nearby living room furniture, so the dining area should be large enough to hold the table and chairs you find appealing.
Expand by Using Adjacent Space
Add extra space to a dining room in creative ways, if you need to. For example, you might expand a 9 by 12 foot room by incorporating part of an adjacent hallway. Sometimes, you can simply take down a wall of a hallway that borders the dining room. This way opens up more space for the dining room but keeps traffic flow in the house the same. Borrow a couple of feet from a nearby family room, as another possible option, to make a dining room bigger.
Incorporate Windows or Mirrors
Expand dining space visually, if you can't find any extra room. Build a wall of windows around the dining nook, if the space is tight. For example, having just a table and four chairs near a wall of windows will create an open feeling for breakfast or lunch. You can always store extra chairs in a nearby kitchen or living area, and add them just for meals or when guests come over. As another choice, add mirror tiles to one wall of the dining room to visually enlarge it.
Build Next to Outdoor Space
A porch or deck can work with a dining room. Construct an outdoor patio next to an average 9 by 12 foot dining room, for example. Add a wall of French doors to allow for outdoor grilling and use the outdoor space for guests in good weather.
Make the Ceiling High
Build a small dining room with a 9-foot or vaulted ceiling. If you want an elegant look in an average dining space, construct it with a taller than average ceiling. Add formal window treatments above tall windows to expand the room visually. A taller ceiling is a great place to install an impressive formal chandelier, too.
Judi Light Hopson
Judi Light Hopson is a national stress management expert and psychology issues writer. Her column on relationships, co-written with a nurse and a psychologist, is distributed by McClatchy Newspapers to over 300 major publications worldwide. Ms. Hopson has written for employee assistance programs that serve over 15% of America’s Fortune 500 companies. links provided below.