Originally published on Abodo
Especially in big city studios and small apartments, dining areas are often confined to small nooks off the side of the kitchen. This can make it a very difficult space for entertaining or even maneuvering around. That’s why it’s important to find the right dining set and furniture orientation for dining room decorating ideas on a budget.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to save space while also making your dining room look larger than it is. It may mean you have to opt for a dining room that’s cute and cozy as opposed to grand and opulent, but who’s to say that’s not just as desirable?
#1) Choose color theme wisely
It’s common knowledge that dark colors make a room look smaller. That’s why it’s important to brighten up your dining area to give the illusion of space. Whites, neutrals, and bright earth tones (like honey yellow or terracotta) are especially desirable.
Oranges and yellows are also appetizing colors that stimulate the brain and make food more enjoyable, hence why you’ll probably see them incorporated in many restaurants.
If you can place your dining area by a window to further emphasize these bright colors and let in some natural light, this will also give the illusion of a larger space.
#2) Table selection is everything
Choosing the right table and seating arrangement for your dining space is everything. As a general rule, round tables are the best option for smaller dining areas. Their lack of sharp corners makes them more compact. They can also seat more people, and fit in a variety of spaces.
Their round shape makes it easy to tuck them into corners or alcoves. Furthermore, if you can purchase a round table set with nesting chairs, the chairs will tuck neatly under without taking up unnecessary room.
Banquettes are another space-saving solution. If you have a free corner alongside your kitchen, you can tuck a banquette into the corner to make a nice little breakfast nook. This can be a fresh and unique alternative to the traditional dining space, and its booth-like shape can easily sit four without the placement of chairs all around the table.
#3) Get creative with it
We acknowledge that in urban studio apartments, dining areas are virtually non-existent. Especially if you’re a hobbyist that needs that space for something else, you’ve probably admitted defeat and resorted to eating your dinner on your coffee table in front of the TV.
And that’s okay!
Sometimes, you have to get creative with what little space you have. This may mean opting for a lift-top coffee table with built-in additional seating, which quickly transforms your living room into a dining room. It can mean coming up with other minimalist solutions too.
Even within the smallest kitchen, you can usually create a DIY floating countertop that serves as a dining space. Just buy a shelf, nail it to the wall, place a couple of barstools underneath and – voila! Take it a step further by adding hinges to your floating countertop so that it folds away when it’s not in use.
This same principle can be applied to a tabletop too. Use hinges and nail a floating tabletop with an extendable leg to the wall. Then, when it’s not in use, fold it away against the wall, and use the space to your leisure.
You might also consider a countertop extension to your kitchen counter or island. This is a small table-like attachment that comes out of your countertop and can sit about two people. If you’re a DIY-er, these solutions can be incredibly handy.
#4) Accessorize it right
The additional little touches you add on to your dining space will either make or break the room, so it’s essential that you choose the right accessories. For starters, since you likely don’t have a separate dining room but more of a dining area, you’ll want to properly outline the space. By using an area rug to delineate the space, you’ll be giving it a sense of purpose. Better Homes & Gardens calls this “defined dining” – the creation of a dining area in an open floor plan through the use of furnishings and accents.
You might also consider adding a large mirror to one of the empty walls surrounding your dining area. Mirrors are another one of those fun little touches that create the illusion of a bigger space. Hang one up to overlook your dining table, and it’ll seemingly open the area up.
The dining area is a place where we gather, share good food, and tell stories. As such a cultural and social fixture, it’s important it be a place we enjoy spending time in – no matter how big or small.