Having a small house or apartment doesn't mean you have to give up having all the elements of a home that you want. It does mean, though, that you have to be a little more creative to accomplish them. Take a small dining area, for example. There are ways to design a dining room you love even in a tiny space. Here are 5 ideas to get you started.
- Built-In Seating. Built-in seating along a wall goes a long way toward reducing the necessary space for a full dining set. So-called banquette seating is an upholstered bench-type seat placed on one wall with the dining table and the other chairs placed normally in front of it. Banquette seating can also provide space underneath the bench for storage.
- Try Monochrome. Using a simple palette with one unifying color throughout the dining room can help give it a larger feeling. Paint walls, decorate accents and use upholstery that all go together, then create an opposite using creamy neutrals for trim, some accents or drapes.
- Look Up. Distract visitors from the small square footage of the room by adding to its feeling of height. Height lends airiness and makes the overall space feel larger. If you can't actually raise windows to the ceiling to let in more natural lighting, start the drapes at the ceiling, then hang them all the way to floor to make those windows appear larger. Try vertical stripes on the walls to draw the eye upward. Use taller cabinets, buffets or armoires.
- Slim Furniture. When picking out the dining table, chairs and any buffets for the small space, be sure to choose those with slim designs. Dining room furniture with longer and slimmer legs reduce the visual footprint of those pieces, making them appear smaller. Opt for tables with leafs that can be expanded for entertaining but take up less space normally.
- Go Neutral. Just like a monochrome palette will make the room appear bigger, a neutral one will do so as well. Creams, whites, ivory, soft pastels and pale grey paints on the walls help make them feel lighter all around. Accent with another color of upholstery, a pattern like stripes or with fun wall art.
By trying one or two of these tips for making any dining area seem smaller or to use less of its available space, you can make a room that you'll be proud to show off to your guests.