These Small Dining Room Ideas Are Smart, Stylish, and Supper-Ready

Small dining room with wood table and colorful chairs
credit: Alex Reyto

While you love your humble abode, you're aware that it's a bit on the small side. Still, that doesn't stop you from wanting to have family and friends over for some fun and memorable dinner parties.

If you have a tinier eating area than you'd like, then there are a number of small dining room ideas you can utilize to really max out your space. With a little bit of imagination, creativity — along with the right furniture, decor, and lighting on your side — you can create the cozy and welcoming dining room of your dreams. Read on for some inspo.

Things to Consider When Setting Up Your Small Dining Room

Small dining room with IKEA table upgrade
credit: Carrie Waller

When designing your dining room setup, the first place to start is by planning out your space. If you have a window, consider putting your dining room table near it, since natural light makes a room appear bigger. Plus, you'll be able to bring the outside in, which makes your space feel bigger than it actually is.

On that note, you should also pick lighter colors, since darker paint colors will make a room appear smaller. Go with a white paint color or neutral colors, such as beige, to be on the safe side. Don't worry; you can always add a pop of color with bright wall decor and hanging plants. We are also big fans of using wallpaper on one wall as an artistic option.

In terms of what to put on the walls for your small dining room ideas, try a large mirror (like an epic gilded mirror) that reflects the outside light. This will automatically make your space look bigger.

No Actual Dining Room? No Problem: Create a Dining Nook

Dining room nook with wood table and chairs.
credit: Canto

Let's say your apartment or home doesn't really have a defined dining room. What can you do?

Don't fret — all you need to do is create a dining nook of your own. If you have a breakfast nook in your kitchen, treat it like your dining room. Throw down a nice rug and a small round table with a few chairs around it, and you'll be good to go. (We l_ove_ this inexpensive DIY update on a cute, round IKEA table.)

If you have a banquette in your kitchen, this can also be your improvised dining room. Just make sure you find a small table that will comfortably fit into the space and let your guests get in and out when they need to.

Let's say you have a large living room but a nonexistent dining room. You can absolutely work with a combined living room/dining room space. It's all about defining where everything is in the room.

For example, you can place your dining room table near a window, ensuring it's properly aligned with the window. Then hang a chandelier or pendant light above and place a rug beneath it to communicate that this is your dining space.

Another location for the dining room table would be up against a wall. It could sit underneath a large piece of wall art or a mirror. If you have an accent wall, perhaps you put your table there. It's all about defining your spaces.

Storage Ideas (Because You'll Need Them) for Small Dining Rooms

a bar cart with liquor, oranges, and a plant.
credit: Canto

If you need storage in your dining room, consider purchasing a small bar cart to store your things on. It's going to take up less space than a banquet or a china cabinet, and you can easily move it out of the room when you have more guests over.

A window seat or a bench with storage underneath are also going to be helpful, functional, and will hide clutter from your guests. Open wall shelving, where you display cookbooks and plants, is another storage option. You could also get some cute cubbies that double as storage and a makeshift buffet. Bottom line is, when shopping for storage ideas, always look for products that could serve more than one function.

Furniture Options That Will Totally Work

Black and white small dining room
credit: Stephen Paul

Since your dining room table is the centerpiece of the room, don't choose one that's going to be too big. Consider a round table instead of a rectangular one; it could save you some space. Plus, it won't impede the flow of traffic in your home, and your loved ones will be able to comfortably slide in and out of their seats.

Another option is to get a dining room table that lets you add or take away leaves. If you're throwing a large dinner party, the space will be a little bit tighter once you add the leaves, but don't worry — once your guests taste your sheet-pan lamb meatballs paired with homemade pita bread, no one will care that it's a little crammed.

You can also get a foldable table or a nesting dining room table for your small dining room. As for the chairs, save space by investing in some sturdy folding chairs that you only break out when it's time for a party, or put benches underneath your table instead. A cute matching bench will allow you to fit more people into your space and look oh-so-modern.

Where to Shop

small dining room area with green chairs and a candle.
credit: Canto

Now that you've reviewed these small dining room ideas, it's time to put them into action. Let's get shopping! Here are some of our favorite stores for getting all the furniture and decor you need.

Wayfair has thousands of options for small dining sets in a variety of modern and traditional styles. Make sure you take advantage of the frequent sales on the site.

Overstock has amazing prices and so many choices when it comes to small dining room furniture and decor. If you're lucky, you'll score their signature free two-day delivery.

On Hayneedle, you can browse through more than 1,000 small dining sets as well as wall decor for any style dining room. To get the most bang for your buck, shop during sales and look for items with free shipping.


Kylie Ora Lobell

Kylie Ora Lobell

Kylie Ora Lobell is a lifestyle and home writer for publications like Home Depot's blog, the Los Angeles Times, and Cuteness.