Small space dwellers, worry not: You don’t have to be relegated to a life of eating dinner in bed. Though the spacious dining room of your dreams may be temporarily out of reach, there are several tricks to make your current tiny dining room look bigger. From breakfast nooks to bar seating to innovative DIYs, here are some of our favorite eat-in kitchens and multifunctional spaces that prove style isn’t dependant on square footage.
Adorable cat aside, there are many reason why we love this kitchen. While many would look at a narrow kitchen and try to keep it as open and uncluttered as possible, having a round table take up all the space at the very end delegates that part of the room as the formal dining area. Plus, by installing open shelves above the bench, the homeowners have ensured they’re getting the most use out of every part of the kitchen.
Multifunctionality is the name of the game for small spaces, which is why this Ikea table is such a smart buy. It can of course be used as a dining table to entertain guests—it’s expandable thanks to drop-leaves—or have a sit-down meal, but it also doubles as a desk during the day when you need to get work done. You can even store office supplies and unsightly cords in the side drawers.
Take a page out of blogger Emily Katz’s book and turn any extra counter space you have into bar seating. All you need are a couple of bar stools, which can be neatly tucked under the counter when not in use, and you’ll have a makeshift dining area in no time.
If you don’t have a separate dining room but do have a little extra space in your kitchen for a table, opt for a skinny one that’s foldable. This way, extra guests at future dinner parties won’t have to camp around the coffee table on floor cushions (though if you want to host a coffee table dinner party, we have some ideas) and you can free up space to prep in the kitchen during the day.
Having an open floor plan can be tricky when you live in a tiny apartment because every item needs to seamlessly flow with the rest of the decor. This apartment nailed the cohesive look in a space that has to work as the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room, all in one. Placed flush against the wall with its very own statement light fixture hanging above, it both blends in with the minimalist motif of the apartment and looks like its own little unique corner.
Interior design firm hoo have done a wonderful job of utilizing the tiniest strip of space dividing a tiny kitchen from the rest of the living space. By building out a marble slab on legs meant to mimic the look of a real table, they’ve created a little dining area that can also serve as prep space—much appreciated, we’re sure, in any small kitchen lacking extra countertops—and an entertaining station for get-togethers.
What to do if you not only have a small space, but also an awkwardly-shaped one? Use the layout to your advantage and create a mini-room with pieces that look custom-made for that space alone. In this dining nook from Homestead Seattle, a potted plant fills up an empty corner while the gallery wall is expertly curated to include pieces that fit perfectly against the slanted ceiling.
Possibly the most genius DIY ever: To cope with a small apartment that didn’t have room for a dining table, blogger Tiffany of Offbeat and Inspired created what she calls a “Cafe Corner” in front of a large window. It’s super easy to assemble, and basically only requires a slab of wood, some pretty brackets (scour your local thrift or antique shop for affordable, unique finds), and a bit of empty wall space.
A Parisian-style cafe table makes for the perfect little eating area, as evidenced in this Swedish apartment. Set against a matte black accent wall underneath a matching matte black pendant light, this set up almost looks like a room within a room.