If you live in a small apartment or home, you could wonder how to fit a dining table in a small living room. Is it possible? You may not have a formal dining room, but that doesn’t mean you have to live without a dining area.
Many people choose to create a multi-use room in their living space, which allows it to also serve as a dining space. You may even be able to steal some extra room from other rooms, like the kitchen, as they are often connected to living rooms.
This article explores some helpful tips and small dining room ideas so you can plan and create the perfect layout for your blended dining room and small living room space.
Dining Ideas for Small Living Spaces: The Basics
How Do You Fit a Table Into a Small Space?
First, you will need to devise a clever way to add a dining table to your small living room space. Surprisingly, you have quite a few options, especially if you only desire a small dining room area.
Often, the ability to fit a dining table into a small living room relies heavily on the shape of your table.
Round tables use less space due to their lack of corners, so they often make an excellent choice. A round table also allows people to sit around a table, potentially allowing for more chairs. If you intend to place your dining table in an open area away from a wall, a round-shaped dining table is likely your best option.
A square table may use slightly more space, but they also allow you to take advantage of walls and corners in a more space-efficient manner. A square dining table could be better if you plan to push a dining table flush against a wall, against the back of a sofa, or in a corner.
Another way to ensure you can fit a dining table or dining space into your small living room is by choosing smaller sized living room furniture.
Additionally, if you have a more open floorplan in your home, you may be able to steal some extra space from both the living room and the kitchen. This floorplan is typical in many homes and can significantly expand your options, so don’t overlook its potential.
Where Do You Put a Table in a Living Room?
As you are beginning to see, the placement of your table also plays a significant role in designing your living space with a dining space. The key to correctly doing this lies in arranging the dining and living room furniture in a way that helps the room feel spacious.
Consider placing your dining table strategically so that it will also serve as a divider for the room. If you arrange furniture in this fashion, it can help to create two separate spaces making them more functional and aesthetically appealing.
Placing the dining table along the back of the couch is another viable option that facilitates a natural divider or border. Placing the sofa and table back to back in the centre of the room opens up pathways and keeps doorways and high traffic areas free from additional furniture.
Another placement option involves utilising available wall space. You can either use a corner or a straight wall to help keep more open floor space in the centre of the room.
Wherever you decide to place your dining table, avoid placing it in a location that will block hallways, doorways, or other high traffic areas. You don’t want it to impede the natural flow of the space, or it will make the room less user friendly. Blocking passageways can also make your room look cluttered.
How Much Space Do You Need Around a Dining Table?
If you are short on square footage in your living area, you will also need to consider the amount of space required around a table in a dining area, not just the size of the dining table itself. This includes the space needed for dining chairs and the space required for you to pull out and occupy the chairs comfortably.
Design Tips on How to Combine the Dining Room and Living Room:
My new apartment will have a dining room? But it’s open and next to the living room, so I’m just going to combine the spaces and make it a giant living room. Ssssso much space 🥺 no one eats at the dining table anyway
— Devin (@dvnkyle) June 7, 2021
Now that you know the basics about how to fit a dining table in a small living room let’s explore some additional dining ideas for small spaces. The following small dining room ideas will help you conceptualise how to combine your kitchen or living room with a separate dining zone. While you design, consider your specific space and which options will best help you use every bit of your limited space.
Choose Furniture With a Small Footprint
To create a small dining room within your living space, we recommend you prioritise choosing furniture with a small footprint — this includes both your living room and dining room furniture.
Choose furniture pieces that are smaller in general, and if you opt for a table that is not round, it would be best to consider a thinner style dining room table. In addition, substituting stools for dining chairs can help minimise the amount of room and floor space required for your table overall. It would be best to select thinner frame stools instead of thick dining chairs to save more space.
Use Stools With a Kitchen Island or Peninsula
You can also transform your kitchen island or peninsula into a more designated dining area. If you think you can live without the extra counter space, try adding additional seating around what would typically be the kitchen island. You could also try replacing the kitchen island with a standard dining table. Follow these tips, and voila! You have an instant dining table!
Another inventive idea involves building countertop extensions to create a dining room table space. You might be able to bridge a gap between an island and an existing kitchen counter or extend an existing countertop. You could install a permanent extension or a removable one that can be added and removed whenever convenient.
Choose a Convertible Table
Many convertible tables help you create a small dining room. Many tables have built-in leaves that pull out, making them expandable for special occasions or when you have company. This option provides you with a small dining room table most of the time but doesn’t eliminate the opportunity to have guests.
A convertible coffee table is another option that allows you to experiment with traditional furniture. This somewhat new design combines both a coffee table and a dining room table by giving it a surface that can be raised. You may have seen something similar to this design with convertible standing desks.
Attach a Tabletop to a Wall
One of our favourite small dining space ideas involves attaching a tabletop to an otherwise unused wall. It seems simple enough, but it comes with many potential options.
You could choose to make your dining space out of a floating shelf, a console table, or an extended counter-style workspace on a wall. Or, if you are short on space, you could install a drop leaf table with hinges. You can easily open or close this style table to save extra space when it is not in use.
Use Seating Designed to Save Space
Remember not to overlook the seating in a small dining room. Depending on your space, evaluate whether you could benefit from stackable stools instead of traditional seating. Benches that tuck under the table are another fantastic option that can save a significant amount of space on the floor and in the room. Stools and benches can also help a room feel less crowded due to their more minimalistic design.
Utilise Window Seating
If your home allows, you might also be able to take advantage of a bay window by using its base as a bench seat for a dining table. This can give you an extra seating opportunity without the need for actual chairs. It also provides the dining room area a more tucked away feel that embellishes its existence as a different space.
Create a Corner Nook or Booth
If your floorplan features a usable corner, we strongly recommend using it for your dining area. Installing a booth or L style table in a corner can help you conserve and utilise your space in the best way possible. It also helps create a more social seating situation that facilitates facing your guests instead of sitting side by side, as with some wall options.
If you do not have a corner to use for your dining table setup, you can also construct a booth on the rear side of a peninsula.
A bonus of booth or L-shaped corner seating is that you can also use the base for hidden storage. Considering you are interested in saving space, this can be highly beneficial and appealing.
Create a Breakfast Bar
Adding a breakfast bar along a wall or back to back with a kitchen peninsula is a quick and easy way to gain extra table space. This option isn’t ideal for the best seating, but stools can work quite well as they won’t typically interfere with the thin design of the breakfast bar.
Add a Radiator Cover
We have also seen some people add a tabletop to a radiator cover. It is a great way to utilise space that is often overlooked and can help keep you and your food toasty when the radiator is functioning during the colder months.
In addition to all of the furniture and its placement, you can also use lighting when combining tour living and dining areas. Accentuating natural light helps a room feel more open, and the same can be said for your dining area. One way to take advantage of natural light is to place your dining table close to a window to have a more expansive view while sitting in its chairs.
You can also use a pendant light to draw attention up and away from the furniture below. Pendant lighting also helps define specific sections in a multi-purpose room, making it clear that one area is a separate dining area.
Opt for a Minimalist Design Style
Whether they are in a multi-use room, a minimalist design style can make small dining rooms feel more spacious. Often, leaving more open space can give it an expansive feel, similar to how lighting lends a hand, as described above. Aside from removing extra items and excessive decorations, you may also opt for white walls. They can make a room feel lighter, airier, and larger overall.
The Right Floorplan Setup for Your Space
Are you getting ready to set up your living room area?
After everything you have learned about designing small dining areas and potential small dining room ideas, you should be more than ready to get started on your space.
Remember to try and utilise places that would typically go unused, choose smaller furniture pieces, be creative, experiment, and try to enjoy the process. Now that you know how to fit a dining table in a small living room, you won’t have to live without a small dining area. Unless, of course, you want to.
How did you find our tips? Do you have any other dining table ideas for small spaces or a small living room to suggest? We would like to know your thoughts about this topic. Let us know in the comments below.