When square footage is limited, dining rooms are often the first thing to go, but they're one of the most important areas in a home if you love to entertain. Having a dedicated dining area encourages you to host friends, chat with your S.O. sans technology, and even make more home-cooked meals. In other words, it can prompt a total lifestyle change.
If you're convinced that your apartment is just too tiny to fit a dining table and chairs, think again. These small–dining room ideas prove that with the right furniture (and a few pro tips), it's possible. Here's how to find the space for a dining area, no matter the size of your home.
Opt for Convertible Furniture
Traditional dining tables might typically be cumbersome, but there are a ton of smart convertible options that maximize your small space. Drop-leaf tables, for instance, feature handy hinged leaves that fold down when the table's not in use. Gate-leg tables typically offer drop-leaf tops, too, but with the addition of movable table legs that can be pivoted in and out to support the leaves.
Create a Nook
Just because you don't have a dedicated dining room doesn't mean you can't host. Make the most of an existing banquette or kitchen nook by styling a table close by to maximize seating space. Round, pedestal-style tables are a good bet since they offer the most leg room underneath, and the lack of corners allows more people to huddle, well, 'round. For the seating, consider armless chairs or stools (bonus if they can stack or fold).
Shop Your Existing Décor
Nervous about cluttering your space with additional furniture? Take stock of the existing materials and décor in your home before introducing anything new. When needed, could your kitchen cart serve as a perch for guests' wine glasses? Can your desk chair double as a dining chair? This is where wheeled furniture comes in handy—you can scoot pieces around your apartment on a whim.
Choose Streamlined Furniture
When space is at a premium, opt for a table and chairs with a minimal, streamlined design that won't cramp your space. In addition to seeking furnishings with a smaller footprint, keep your eyes peeled for pieces that offer up added storage—think storage ottomans that can double as seating and/or a table (just add a tray on top), sideboards that can stow serveware while supporting a buffet-style spread, and the like.
Use Your Vertical Space
Don't overlook the storage potential offered by your walls. Wall-mounted tables, shelves, and cabinets free up floor space and offer a place to perch plates or stow entertaining essentials.