Small Dining Room Design Ideas and Tips

AAA Print

It's no surprise that the dining room is often the hub of the household. Most normal humans tend to congregate where the food is, making both the kitchen and the dining room prime pieces of real estate. If your dining room is smaller than average, you can compensate by making the best use of your space possible. Utilize these helpful hints to maximize your dining experience in your small space.

Choose the Right Shape for Your Dining Table

Square dining room tables take up too much space. They can be an awkward fit when the space you have is limited. Opt for a long dining room table, or a circular option. This will provide much needed walking space around the table, and allow you to comfortable eat and serve.

Add Personality to Your Tabletop

Once you've found the perfect table, it's time to make it your own. There are different items you can use to spruce up the top of your dining room table including:

  • Tablecloths and runners: These will add a pop of color to your tabletop. Tablecloths with large patterns and prints are great for special occasions, while runners provide a lengthening look that stretches your table and your dining room even more.
  • Candles: These can set the mood for any type of dining experience. You can opt for a large candelabra, stand-alone candlesticks, or votive tea light holders. Whatever you choose, keep proper spacing in mind. Also, you might want to steer clear of scented candles in the dining room, they will overwhelm the smell of whatever great meal you cook. These are better suited for bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms.
  • Centerpieces: Centerpieces can be anything from a fresh bowl of fruit to an elaborate floral arrangement.
  • Dining pieces: Your silverware, china and napkins should display your personality on your well-designed table. Make sure you have a matching set of silverware, to stay consistent. Try matching your napkins with the paint and the art on the walls.

Pick the Right Paint

If you want to make your dining space appear larger, it is a good idea to carefully select the color of the paint on the walls. Lighter paints will make your room appear larger. If plain white is not to your liking, try an off-white or earthy tone instead.

Avoid Bulky Furniture

You don't want to bog your space down with cluttering furniture. If your dining room is small, limit the décor to the dining set only. If you want to have an armoire, china cabinet or wine rack, try setting these up in the kitchen, living room or even the hallway.

Get the Right Light

Chances are your dining room will be equipped with a chandelier. Feel free to add additional lighting. You can still create mood lighting without eating in the dark with a dimmer, or some well-placed candles. If possible, utilize natural light wherever you can. It makes the space appear much larger, and gives the room a much more organic feel.

Decorate Your Windows

If you're lucky enough to have a window in your dining room, don't neglect it. The window can be a great resource for natural light. Go ahead and frame the sun! Pick bright curtains or blinds that complement your overall décor. You want to make sure you can attract some attention to what's outside of the window so that your guests will have more space for their eyes to roam, which can be difficult in a small dining room.

Keep the Tabletop Clear of Erroneous Items

You want to make sure that you're not using your dining space to do all your extra work. If you want to pay the bills, and file your taxes, do it in a room that isn't so small. When you designate the dining room for activities aside from eating, you run the risk of piling papers sky-high and cluttering your tabletops.

Choose Proper Wall Décor

Adding a mirror is sure to increase the space in your dining room, but most people don't enjoy watching themselves eat. When it comes to selecting wall art for the dining room, bold and bigger is better. Smaller pieces will crowd your walls and box you in.

Feeling at home in the dining room is important. Having a space that you want to visit will make you feel confident when it comes time to entertain your guests at your latest dinner party. Be conscious of your space, and don't let yourself feel limited. Remember that all you need to do when you design is pay a lot of attention, and put yourself into everything you do. It's best to love the space you have, and work with it however you see fit!

Last Updated: July 21, 2011
AAA Print

About Chanti Burnette Chanti was a freelance writer for

Note: The information provided on this site may be provided by third parties. The owners and operators of this site do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, and compliance of the content on this site. Such content is not and shall not be deemed tax, legal, financial, or other advice, and we encourage you to confirm the accuracy of the content. Use is at your own risk, and use of this site shall be deemed acceptance of the above.