A warm and cosy dining area is a lovely addition to your home if you like to entertain guests. But in many small homes, the dining area is often small, undeveloped and neglected. This is a shame because a proper dining area encourages us to take the time to properly enjoy and linger over a meal. This just doesn't quite happen when you eat dinner off a TV tray or worse, sitting on your bed. And if you love cooking and entertaining family and friends, it's just not going to happen!
But it's easy to find space for a dining area in even the smallest home. Sure it may be foldable or semi-permanent, but it's still a designated dining area that can easily be dressed up. The very smallness of the space may even turn out to be a bonus. Come with us to explore just a few of the ways to create a cosy dining area in a small home.
Tables come in all sorts of tricky configurations that can be adjusted to fit your space, but it's the area around the chairs that often take up the most space. This is a real problem in a small home when the seating impedes on a hallway or blocks access to the kitchen or bathroom.
But even the smallest home has an under-utilised corner or two. Look at installing bench style seating on one style so the wall acts as a chair back and place the table so it hugs the corner. A couple of chairs as seen here can supply seating for the free side. You might even get a couple of foldable seats and tuck them away when they are not in use.
A round table can slip into a tight corner more easily than a square or rectangular table. People can also squish close around a circular shape so it will provide more seating than a square table. A round dinner table will enable everyone to face each other at equidistance and this is really important if you want to create a cosy and convivial atmosphere. But it's really important to choose a round table with a central, supporting base as seen here. Something with lots of outer legs will get in the way when people are seated. Be careful not to get a table that's too large though, the larger a round table, the more difficult it is for guests to reach the centre.
Foldable tables were in fashion for a while, dropped out, and now they're cool again. This means that they're readily available across all price brackets. These can work really well if you like to push the table up against the wall when it's not in use. You might even dress it up with some quirky lights like these ones by Lieselotte. Don't forget that your dining table can even double as a study desk during the day!
Now this isn't the smallest dining room, but it's a great example of the power of mirrors. Part of the problem with dining areas is that they are often bare of accessories and decoration. This is particularly so in a small dining area where it's best to avoid cluttering up the space. But even a tiny dining room needs to be defined. A few wall mirrors like this really lengthen the height of the room and make it appear more spacious. The really wonderful thing about this set up, is that the mirrors reflect the low hanging light.
You may have noticed that all the dining areas we have shown contain great low-hanging pendant or feature lights. Ceiling space is often under-utilised and low-hanging features area great way to define your dining area. They don't impede on floor space and create an instantly, cosy look. If you want to take it another step further, look at creating some hanging storage. It could provide shelving for your special dinner plates or just a rack for those special liquors.
Look at ways that you can wrap and push a dining table against odd corners of the home. As seen here, the narrow edge of the dinner table can double as a bookshelf. But just think of what more could be outside the frame to the left, a desk, an ironing area, the possibilities are endless!
If you are interested in small living solutions, you'll love this Ideabook Decorating a small living room.