10 Small Dining Room Ideas for a Beautiful and Usable Space

Let’s dish about how to decorate a small dining room. How do you make a small space inviting enough to share a meal with friends and family, but practical enough that you can use it for homework, projects, work, or anything else?

Here’s 10 small dining room ideas to help you make your small dining room beautiful AND functional.

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How to Decorate Your Small Dining Room

1. Try a Round Table

A round dining table instead of a square or rectangular one works well in a small dining space. The shape makes the space appear larger simply because there are no sharp edges to maneuver around.

Pair it with armless chairs for a less bulky look. Also, you can squeeze an extra chair or two in more easily.

2. Add a Bench

Benches are a great small dining room idea and I just love the look of them!
The one pictured above is a built-in, but you can buy a simple dining bench to add to your table.

Dining benches are great when you have kids because you can squeeze a few (and their friends!) onto a bench and get more seating without having to buy a larger table.

3. Use a Banquette

Silly me, I thought they were just called benches, but apparently they’re banquettes. Whatever you call them, they add style and comfort to a small dining space.

The one in the image above was made from an IKEA shelving unit (you can find the tutorial here), but you can buy them with storage underneath for an added space saving bonus.

4. Get Creative with Seating

Like the banquette look but don’t have one and don’t want to make one? Use a loveseat or cushioned bench for that banquette feel. I love the look this homeowner made using a loveseat and acrylic chairs. So modern and cute!

5. Don’t Center the Table

Put your dining table against a wall instead of in the middle of the dining area. You’ll appreciate the extra floor space for foot traffic when entertaining.

6. Hang Open Shelving

Instead of a bulky china cabinet or credenza, hang open shelving. You can store and display pretty dishes and linens and use baskets or metal bins to store small things like napkins and placemats.

7. Use mirrors

Mirrors are miracle workers in small rooms, and dining rooms are no exception. They add some glamour and shimmer to the space as well, and who doesn’t need more of that?

In the picture above, the table is pushed against the wall and the mirror visually doubles the size of the table (as well as your dinner party!)

Don’t want to make big holes in the wall? Just lean a large mirror on the floor – it gives the same effect.

8. Go narrow

I love this idea for a small dining room/living room combo area. Place a narrow dining room table or sofa table behind the couch and add chairs or stools. Voila! Dining space without a dining room!

9. Get High (with your Curtains)

Getting high has a whole new meaning with this small dining room idea. Hang your curtains from the ceiling instead of from the top of the window to visually expand the window and bring the eye up, which in turn expands the whole room.

10. Try a Drop-Leaf Table

Compact dining tables that fold out to seat more people are classic small dining room ideas and a great solution for a small dining space.

The beauty of these pieces is they come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can really customize your space to suit many functions.

So you see, no matter how small your dining room area is, there are lots of ways to make it beautiful and functional.