How to Furnish a Small Dining Room

A small dining room can feel cozy or it can feel cramped … it all depends on how you furnish it. Interior design professionals have a lot of methods for making a small space seem more spacious. Give your diminutive dining room the atmosphere of quaint café or bistro by incorporating these four tricks:

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Choose Small-Scale Furniture

Small rooms require small-scale furnishings, as anything oversized will overpower the surroundings and make it look crowded. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 32 inches from the edge of the table to the wall to allow you and your guests enough space to navigate around it. Once you measure your room, you’ll know your table choices. A round table is a great option because it leaves extra space around the corners of the room. Round doesn’t have to limit your guest list; if you like to host large parties from time to time, simply choose one that has a leaf.

A narrow rectangular table can also be a good choice if your room is small but longer on one side. Look for a table with a pedestal base; this can be helpful for fitting guests around the table because table legs won’t block corners and limit your room. And consider armless chairs, which take up less room. Allow 24 inches of space per person, to provide enough elbowroom. Sleek styles seem to take up less room, sliding in and out without a problem.

Limit Your Colors

Light wall and upholstery colors will make your room seem open and airy. Limit your palette to three colors or less. A more monochromatic scheme will provide an uninterrupted field of vision, making the room feel larger. Contrasting colors should only be used as accents, such as trim on furniture, rugs or art.


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Choose Light Or Clear Materials

While dark colored furniture can work in a small space, lighter woods will make the room feel lighter. Another great choice is a glass-top table, which virtually disappears, giving you the impression of having more floor space. Chrome and mirrored furniture are two more good choices, as they reflect light and open up the space. A mirrored buffet table, for example, will give the room some depth and make it feel spacious.

Forget the Smoke and Just Use Mirrors

Finally, make the room look twice its size by placing a large mirror on one wall. It opens up the space and maximizes the light. Placed opposite a window, it will provide a reflection that gives the illusion of another view.

Small Spaces, Big Living

From quaint cottages to trendy lofts, small spaces are a movement that isn’t slowing down. It’s all about downsizing and editing, says our Creative Director Broc Clark. “Tiny homes are a national phenomenon as are the lifestyle changes associated with low-impact living,” he says. “For many urban dwellers—and an increasing number of suburban dwellers, too—small space living is the only option, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less intentional.”

If you have a small space, here are three must-haves to make sure you live large:

Sectional with a Reversible Chaise

Sectionals are a great solution for small space seating, accommodating up to four people and providing a lot of comfort when you’re curling up alone or with a loved one. A sectional helps organize an open floor plan by designating zones for living and dining.


Round Table

A round table is a must have because it’s all about versatility. Use it for dining or working. It’s perfect for a card game and can later double as an entry table in a foyer. There are no hard corners, which is perfect for high traffic areas.

Serving Cart

Finally, a portable bar is the perfect solution for a party. Easy to move, you can set out beverages and let guests help themselves. Later, this piece doubles as an end or bedside table. And a square version could be a great solution for a printer cart or computer tower in a home office.