Stylish design tips to make the most of a small dining area

small dining space in a white kitchen with wooden dining table

Some of our happiest moments are spent at the dining table; birthday lunches, family dinners, romantic date nights or gossiping with friends over a cuppa. If you’re stuck for space, however, styling your dining room becomes less exciting and a little challenging. Smaller rooms can often feel busy and overcrowded and you might feel restricted on your interior options, as well as the size of your guest list! Whether you’re wanting to maximise your space or embrace the cosiness of a more compact room without feeling closed-in, these small dining room design tips and ideas will help you create your dream dining area for every occasion.

Colour scheme and finishes

To create the illusion of a bigger space, a large airy window will instantly reduce shadows and maximise space, but if you don't have one, white walls are the next best thing. If you’re limited on natural light, bright artificial lighting is also a quick and easy alternative to achieve the same effect. To enhance the perception of a larger space even further, reflective materials such as mirrors, glass or on-trend metal accents within your decor will help bounce the light around the room. Our Kensington reclaimed wood dining table features a stunning glass top that is a clever addition if you have a large household to seat but don’t want the space to be too busy and cramped. Light and fresh furniture such as our Hoxton Oak White Farmhouse Dining Table is also great for visually creating the illusion of space, the whitewash design of the legs will seamlessly blend into your clean and crisp interior.

reclaimed wood dining table with glass top

If you prefer a cosy dark interior, you can create a homely and intimate setting with bottle green or burgundy colours married with warm lighting. Adding a vintage style pendant light or a charming candle in the centre of your dining table will add a touch of art-deco elegance and help avoid a 'dingy' feel. Fresh blooms are also a great addition, floral shades create a great contrast and help brighten the space whilst making the room feel soft and homely. When it comes to your dining table, opting for a bar table and chairs or a wooden extendable dining table is a tactical way to save space when your table is not in full use. Our Industrial Lansdowne rustic wood bar table or our best-selling Standford reclaimed wood extending industrial dining table boasts a natural rustic surface which sits upon a black steel frame to maintain your comforting but cool look and are ideal for small spaces.

Curved interiors

A curved interior is the cleverest trick in the book for space-saving. The curved design of a small round dining table allows you to squeeze more guests around the table, whilst also being able to fit into tighter and more awkward spaces. As well as the table, it's worth knowing that rounded seating will also help create the perception of a larger space. Seating with straight-edged corners can be at risk of cutting the aesthetic of the room, which can make it appear cluttered, whereas the softer design of a fabric dining chair will follow the lines of the interior and flow more smoothly.

industrial round dining table with brown leather dining chairs

Clever storage

Storage can be a design conundrum. It takes up space, which for the compact room can be problematic, but is essential to the space. Having storage on the wall helps maximise floor space whilst also adding a visually interesting element to your room. Reclaimed wood shelving is a brilliant option for storing kitchen condiments and cookbooks, but for those in need of larger storage options, you might consider some rustic or industrial furniture. A rustic sideboard won't compromise style for space - our Mitcham squared industrial sideboard boasts a stylish vibe which looks great in mid-century styled homes or traditional schemes and offers more than enough space to hide away all your dining accessories.

rustic oak sideboard with square panelling

Drawing the eye up

One of our last tips for styling a smaller dining room is to draw the eye up. Focusing on making a room appear taller helps divert the eye away from other proportions and therefore helps the room feel more spacious. Hanging lights such as an ornate chandelier above your reclaimed wood dining table are perfect for attracting attention upwards whilst adding sophistication and opulence to your room or a set of industrial hanging pendant lights bring in a rustic lofty vibe. Hanging artwork slightly higher can also add to this perception, especially one that contains vertical lines to complete the illusion.

industrial dining table with brown faux leather dining chairs and black rattan hanging pendant light

Share your ideas

Do you have any design tricks you've used to make the most of a space? If you're looking for more tips, see our Ideas and Inspirations and create a fabulous entertaining space. Plus, we'd love to see what you create, so share your styling tips in the comment box below and your images @modishliving.


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