How to Style a Small Dining Area

If you’re scratching your head wondering how to style a small dining area, don’t fear! It can be tricky to find balance in petit rooms, but that doesn’t mean they can’t shine.

In fact, when you’re pressed for space it forces you to be more intentional. With a few careful choices about furniture, lighting and decor, you can create a room that you love spending time in.

Check out the tips below for ways to make your small space look and feel incredible.

Choose the right dining table

A lot of people choose a square dining table for a small space but it can end up feeling chunky.

The safe option is to go for a round dining table because its softer edges will help make the space feel balanced.

A round timber dining table will work with any shape space and it won’t look strange if you cut down on the number of chairs.

Plus, when there’s not much room to move around, you want to limit the hard edges and corners you can bump into.

If you normally only have one or two people eating at the table, but you like to occasionally host a larger dinner party, consider an extendable table.

In its everyday retracted form, the table looks like any other round dining table. Extend it out and you’ll have room to seat more people when you need.

Cut back on seating

You might purchase four chairs with your dining table, but that doesn’t mean you have to put all four around the table on a day to day basis.

Actually, slimming your seating down to two or even three chairs can make things feel more spacious.

Place your spare chairs elsewhere in the house, perhaps in a corner of the bedroom with a lush indoor plant draped on it. When you have guests, it’s super easy to pull over the extra chairs.

If you have some storage space, consider stylish foldable chairs that can be stored away until you need them.

Benches are also a good option if you want seating that fits a lot of people but doesn’t take up much room. If the space is right, building benches into the wall could help open things up.

Create a sense of openness

You might not be able to knock down a wall and physically add space to your dining room, but there are some neat tricks you can do to create the illusion of more space.

Start with good lighting. Natural lighting is ideal and dining nooks by the window are always a win.

If natural lighting is scarce, introduce your own lighting. Pendants over the table are an elegant choice and will help make the most of the vertical space.

If you’re in a rental and can’t make any permanent changes, use tall, elegant floor lamps or petit table lamps to increase the atmospheric light.

Mirrors can also make a space feel more open by reflecting light around the room.

Framed mirrors are like pieces of art for the wall and give you a great opportunity to introduce personality into the room.

Define the space

If you don’t have a separate dining room and you have to carve out a dining space between the kitchen and living areas, use visual cues to define the space.

For example, a floor rug under the table and chairs can help visually separate the space.

You can also use other furniture, such as the back of a couch or a kitchen island, to create boundaries.

Making use of vertical space can also help define the area. For example, a decorative pendant light installed over the table or a large statement piece of art behind the table.

Introduce personal touches

Just because you have a small dining space, doesn’t mean you can’t decorate with style.

It’s true that decluttering a small space can help make it feel more open, but beware not to take it too far. Small spaces should still have personality.


A great way of adding colour and personality is with wall art. It doesn’t take up any floor space, but it can have a dramatic effect.

Plus, making use of vertical space will draw the eye up, making things feel more open.

Keep any decorations on top of the table simple, especially if you have a pendant light above. A small vase of flowers, a set of three ceramic pieces or even a bowl can look great.

Limit your colour palette

If you’re wanting to play it safe, go with a light coloured, neutral palette as it can help make smaller spaces look open and airy, especially if you have lots of natural light.

By all means, go for a bolder colour palette if you need a little more life in your dining space.

Dark walls, such as navy or emerald, can help you achieve an elegant effect. Done right, they may even recede into the background and open your space up.

Whether you go neutral or bold, stick with a limited palette so that the space feels coherent and balanced.

Dine with style!

Dining rooms are often the centre of the house where people come together to share a meal. Just because your dining room is small, doesn’t mean you can’t fall in love with the space.

Even if it isn’t your dream space, there are so many ways you can work with what you’ve got.

In fact, small changes like introducing a new dining set, rearranging your furniture or hanging a pendant light can all transform the room.

Good luck and happy styling!

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