20 Small Dining Rooms That Make the Most Out of Limited Space

small dining room ideas

Design: Velinda Hellen, Photo: Veronica Crawford

Space is a state of mind, but if you lack physical square footage, all you need are a few space-saving tricks to make up for it. If you've resorted to cuddling up on the couch with a TV dinner night after night, allow us to inspire you to turn even the smallest amount of unused space into a formal dining room. Ahead, 20 tiny dining rooms that prove even a studio apartment deserves a designated area for candle-lit dinners and early-morning coffee breaks. 

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Converted Kitchen

The truth is, you really don't even need a dining space to have a place to enjoy meals. Some unused kitchen-counter space can also double as a place to dine. However, if you like putting labels on things, you can create some separation by decking out the base of your counter to fake the look of an actual dining table. Even renters can copy this pink tile look with a peel-and-stick backsplash.

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At-Home Cafe

If you have a window in your dining room, you'll love the feeling of enjoying your morning coffee, while soaking in the views. Pushing your squared dining table up against a window or wall is the quickest way to save space, and the best part is you can scoot the table out when you're entertaining guests and back in after they leave.

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Floating Table

If you don't have a window, go the extra step and mount a tiny table onto an empty wall. It makes for a cute little breakfast (and lunch, and dinner) nook and barely takes up any space.

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Easy Seating

When furnishing your small dining room, opt for minimal stools without arms to save space. And while you're at it, pair your stools with a dining table and accents that mimic the same minimal design.

Bulky furniture will only make a small space feel smaller, whereas this setup gives the illusion of a larger, airier space.

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Hang a Spotlight

Sometimes the most difficult part about creating a dining room with limited square footage is establishing it as its own space. Hanging a pendant lamp over your dining table will quite literally give it the spotlight it deserves. Doing so will create a much-needed separation from other areas, making it its own established space with its own purpose.

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Separate Space

Another way to establish a clear separation between your tiny dining room and your living room is to position your table and chairs on a rug. Hang up a photo on the wall and dress up your table with fresh flowers and a candle, and you'll be transported to a French bistro in no time.

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Living Room/Dining Room

On the flip side, you can position the rug in the living room and use the negative space as the perfect placement for your dining area. Again, the goal is just to create separation.

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Open Layout

If you're working with a studio apartment or an open concept layout, a bookcase creates a cute breakfast nook, while also doubling as added storage. It's a win-win.

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Bistro Vibes

There's no such thing as a smaller table with a bigger impact than the classic bistro table. This minimal black and marble-top table feels modern and will make your kitchen the most Instagrammable spot in town.

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Floating Shelf

No matter how small your apartment is, there's always room for a place to enjoy a meal. If you have an empty wall, you can mount a shelf that doubles as a dining table. Pull up some stools and you've got yourself a space to dine.

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Add a Bench

One of our favorite ways to save space is installing corner-bench seating in a breakfast nook. And the best part is if done correctly, the bench can also double as extra storage.

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Create a Nook

And even if you don't have an entire corner to spare, you can opt for a single bench. Two added French bistro chairs create the perfect setting for morning cappuccinos.

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Pull Double Duty

The name of the game when working with small spaces is multifunctional. Placing a larger table in the kitchen not only works as a dining room, but it double duties as a functional kitchen island as well. Pull up some chairs and you have a place to entertain in the place that matters the most.

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Reflect Light

No matter how small (or big) a space, it can benefit from a large wall mirror. The reflection gives the illusion that the room is larger than it really is. We love how the mirrored pendant lamps add even more sparkle.

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Tiny Kitchen

This tiny house is proof that you can fit a dining room in even the smallest of spaces. The upholstered bench seating is the perfect place to curl up with a good book on a rainy afternoon. Now, add in a table and you can spend every meal here too.

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Go Round

If you're in need of extra seating, opt for a round table design rather than a square shape. Without corners getting in the way, you'll be able to fit more chairs comfortably.

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Make It Yours

Just because you're working with a small dining space, doesn't mean it doesn't deserve the attention you give to more larger rooms in your home. A custom mural, a new light fixture, and some greenery will make your tiny dining room look and feel like a significant space.

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Pop of Color

With the right color combo and a built-in nook, your breakfast bistro setup won't even feel small. This cute kitchen proves quality always reigns supreme over quantity.

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Go Neutral

Sometimes the best tool for combating a small space is a minimal color palette. Working with bright whites and a hint of natural décor accents will give the illusion of a larger room. Looking at this light and airy kitchen, you wouldn't even notice that it's lacking in space.

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Full of Style

This dining room checks all the small-space decorating boxes. The bench seating along the wall, a round table, dedicated overhead lighting—it all works together to make the most of the limited square footage. And the best part is it doesn't lack on style one bit.

Small Dining-Room Essentials

Marble Bistro Accent Table
World Market Marble Bistro Accent Table $170
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Riviera Side Chair
Serena & Lily Riviera Side Chair $248
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5x3 area rug
Ruggable Geometrix Navy Rug $139
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TANGENT Dome Pink Pendant Lamp
Article TANGENT Dome Pink Pendant Lamp $79
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Gleaming Primrose Mirror
Anthropologie Gleaming Primrose Mirror $1,548
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