“I have a dining room done in different shades of white, with white cushions embroidered in yellow silk: the effect is absolutely delightful and the room beautiful.”- Oscar Wilde
Creating a beautiful dining room is like setting the stage for a wonderful event. It’s the room where you spend time with family and host meals while entertaining guests. While large stately dining rooms look beautiful on social media and in design magazines, not all of us have that kind of space in our home.
These small dining room ideas are perfect for getting you inspired. You can design the perfect dining room for your home. It all starts with the shape, style, and design of the table and chairs you choose. Then you’ll finish it by adding fixtures and decorative elements. The final result is a beautiful small dining room with plenty of seating for everyone.
1. Furniture Ideas for Small Dining Rooms
The easiest and traditional approach to buying your dining room furniture is to buy a single set. It will come with a table and chairs. You buy the set, place it in your small space, and you’re done. However, this isn’t your only option.
If you have an open floor plan, then consider coordinating your dining room furniture with your living room furniture. They don’t have to match perfectly, but they could be a similar design aesthetic or style. This helps the rooms flow from one to the next.
A more creative option is to mix and match your furniture. Buy a table from one set, and some chairs from another, and more chairs from a third set. Look for pieces that complement each other but are different enough to look purposefully chosen. Choose chairs in pairs for a balanced look. Place matching chairs across from each other.
2. Bench Ideas for Small Dining Rooms
If you have a small room or narrow space for your dining area, then you may not have enough for a full table and chairs dining set. This is when you need to get creative with your setup. Instead of having chairs that go all of the way around your table, consider having banquette seating on one side.
Build a bench into the wall with a cushioned back and seat. Then line your table up to the bench and place chairs on the other side. This reduces the amount of space you need and increases the amount of seating you have. Consider the amount of cushioning the bench has; it needs to be cushioned enough for the people sitting on it to be comfortable for the whole meal.
3. Lighting Ideas for Small Dining Rooms
The traditional lighting solution for a dining room is to hang a chandelier from the ceiling over the table’s center. A traditional style of chandelier will have a candle look to it. This is reminiscent of chandeliers from a time before electricity. For an elegant look, a crystal chandelier is perfect. It will glitter and shine in the light.
These aren’t your only options, though. Modern light fixtures could replace your chandelier with a caged, tiered, drum, bowl, or pendant light. Whatever type of light you choose, make sure it generates enough light to illuminate the entire table. That way, no one eats in the dark. It can help to put the light on a dimmer switch to adjust the level of light to suit the dinner’s mood.
4. Ceiling Ideas for Small Dining Rooms
Your dining room tends to be simpler when it comes to the amount of furniture and decor that’s in the space. This allows you to get fancier with the ceiling design. Additionally, your dining room is where you have a nice dinner and entertain company so that it can be a fancier space than the rest of your home.
You could add decorative LED strip lighting to illuminate a tray ceiling. If your ceiling is flat, consider painting a decorative design or adding intricate scrollwork pieces. Tall ceilings can look beautiful with coffering. You could add these three-dimensional grooved wood pieces later to a flat ceiling.
5. Small Dining Room Kitchen Ideas
Some smaller homes don’t have a separate formal dining room. If you’re facing this situation, then your kitchen table becomes your dining table. The breakfast nook is now your more formal dining area. You can then look to your kitchen island to create a more casual dining area.
Use a smaller table that seats four or six in your breakfast area. Choose a fancier table to elevate the space and make it look more refined. Then place barstools at your kitchen counter for a casual eating spot. Place at least two barstools; having only one will look strange.
6. Interior Ideas for Small Dining Rooms
You don’t have to have a dedicated dining room to have a dining table. You can dedicate a portion of your living area. This strategy works great in apartments where you have a small kitchen and a larger living room.
Physically divide the space so that one area has your entertainment furniture. Place a couch, coffee table, end tables, and TV here. Then in the other half, you can place a small dining table and chairs. Adding separate lighting for both spaces so that you can occupy each space separately without having to light the entire space. Placing a rug in each space also helps to define them.
7. Wall Decor Ideas for Small Dining Rooms
The walls of your dining area have a captive audience. People are sitting at the table for a period of time eating. Why not give them something interesting to look at? So say goodbye to the plain white walls or those boring beige walls.
You could paint the walls a bold color or apply a bold wallpaper. Another option is to hang upper cabinets. You could have a combination of cabinets and open shelving. This creates additional storage space and a display area. If you don’t need more storage, then create a gallery wall. Select several framed pieces of art and artfully arrange them on the wall.
8. Traditional Small Dining Room Ideas
A traditional dining table is made of wood with matching wood chairs. The seats and sometimes back of the chairs are upholstered with fabric. The type and style you choose will depend on how fancy you want your dining room to be. Some sets have simple carvings and cotton printed fabric. Others are very ornate with intricate designs and expensive silk embroidered fabric.
If you’re looking to buy a traditional dining set, look for pieces that are described as gothic revival, regency era, or Victorian. Renaissance-inspired furniture will have a luxury feel. Rococo inspired furniture is more understated and less flashy.
9. Contemporary Small Dining Room Ideas
You can give your small apartment a contemporary feel by hanging modern art on the wall. Another idea is to add a bold graphic print by laying a rug on the floor or hanging wallpaper on the wall. Another modern approach is to keep everything very simple with a dark color on all of the walls and open shelves to display artwork.
If you have space along one wall, you can place a sideboard. This is a small cabinet where you can set additional dishes for serving or store your linens and flatware.
10. Luxury Small Dining Room Ideas
You can create a feeling of elegance in your dining room by choosing more expensive materials. Cover your wood brown floor with an antique Persian rug. Choose a wood table with an intricate wood design for the tabletop. Or, instead of wood, you could choose a table that has a granite or marble countertop. Another beautiful option is a table with inlays to create an intricate design.
Continue this approach with the rest of the room. The chairs could be upholstered with silk, velvet, or leather. These expensive fabrics are beautiful but also harder to clean. They may not be the best option if you have messy eaters or children.
11. Modern Small Dining Room Ideas
Modern dining tables have clean lines and are lacking in intricate carving or design work. They may have a table with a single central support. The chairs could have slim metal legs. You could have white chairs and a metal table. Or you could have a sleek set of black dining chairs and a leucite table.
If you only use metal and acrylic, you’ll have a modern set, but it could feel a bit cold. You can warm up the feel of your modern dining set by looking for a set with light wood. Or look for ways to add natural materials in other areas of the room. You could have a large fiddle tree in the corner. Or you could have wood flooring.
13. Small Dining Room Table Ideas
The dining room table that you choose for your dining space needs to physically fit the space and have a design aesthetic that fits in with your home. Consider the shape of the table when deciding on the size. A circular table allows you to add more chairs if necessary. A long rectangular table fits best in a longer room.
A wood dining table is a traditional material used in construction. You can find luxurious dining tables being made from expensive woods with intricate carvings and even gilding. Simpler craftsman style wood tables have fewer carvings but are still elegant in their curves and design. Modern tables will be made from metal and glass for a sleek look.
14. Table Decor For Small Dining Rooms
A plain table will look boring, empty, and a bit sad. A simple idea is to place a tablecloth or runner in a decorative fabric. Then place seasonal items or items that relate to the current holiday. Another simple idea is to have a vase or planter with fresh greenery or blooms. This adds a sense of nature and natural color to the room. The finishing touch is to set the table with placemats, chargers, plates, silverware, and glassware.
When designing your table display, consider height. You want to have some items that are low on the table and others that are taller. However, you don’t want items that are so tall that they block the view of the people sitting at the table. This will force people to lean left and right to communicate.
15. Simple Small Dining Room Ideas
Your dining area doesn’t have to be overly fancy or luxurious. Some homes will look best with a simple dining table in a small dining area. American traditional or craftsman furniture will work the best for this design approach.
A simple approach to your small dining space also works well with modern styles. These tables and chairs feature minimal decorative elements and instead feature long clean lines. This approach works well because you can choose a set with thin legs and a glass top. This helps your dining area to look and feel larger.
The farmhouse approach also works for a simple dining table design. The rustic approach and simple build make it an unassuming design for less formal elegance and more of a homey approach.