6 Brilliant Ways to Make Space for a Dining Table in the Teensiest of Living Rooms

updated Jun 3, 2019
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I’m currently looking for an apartment in Lisbon, and one thing that I have come to terms with is that it’s probably going to be tiny. This hilly city likes its compact apartments, and when you have a pocket-change-amount of square footage, you don’t usually get a dining room. But I’m a hostess with the mostest. So I’m still holding onto my future dinner party plans, and thinking of inventive ways to wedge in a dining room table where it doesn’t easily fit. From being selective with the chairs you pick, to finding ways to Tetris furniture together, there are ways to carve out a dining area.

Ahead are some tricks to make space for a dining table in a small living room. It’s time to get creative.

1. Use the decor to carve out the space.

If there is a will, there is a way. If your living room flows into the kitchen but has a small wall divider, use that partition to your advantage. Carve out a dining room space with accents: hang a chandelier over your table, add a mirror or painting, and wedge a petite bar cart into the corner. All of these details signal that this is a separate dining area, and not part of the living room.

2. Get nice and cozy.

When you have a small space, you have to allow yourself to get creative and break some design rules. The common thought is that if you have furniture touching, then you have too much in the room. But that’s not the case when there’s limited square footage involved. Here Devin and Chad have their shelving unit pressed right up against their dining table and couch — but the space still flows. It looks cozy and eclectic.

3. Use a rug to make a separate dining space.

An easy way to say “this is the dining room” is to use a rug to designate the space. Have fun with the colors of the area rug to make your small room pop.

4. Don’t be afraid to block windows.

Do you have a sliding balcony door or a giant window? Don’t worry if your dining room set up blocks it a little — it won’t look awkward if done right. Here the homeowner made a low bench out of IKEA side tables and it’s really only a minimal obstruction.

5. Get chairs that’ll tuck in nicely.

Rather than picking out bulky seating that will expand the circumference of your table, choose seating that will tuck right in and take up minimal space. These rolling chairs are great because they tuck underneath the table, but also make a statement with their geometric design.

6. Go with L-shaped benches.

Ditch the chairs and go with L-shaped benches to cut back on bulk. This family lives in a tiny home and they make do with a small circular table when it comes to meals. Not only does it look airy and roomy, but no one looks cramped when they’re sitting in it!

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 10 Small Living Rooms That Make Space for a Dining Table, Too