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How to create a dining space in the smallest of spaces

BY Ned Browne

23rd May 2023 Home & Garden

How to create a dining space in the smallest of spaces

Keen to create the ultimate dining space? Ned Browne shares his advice for turning any small space into the perfect area for tucking into a delicious meal

The number of properties with a separate dining room has dwindled in recent years—space is at a premium, especially in the city. A quick search for flats on Zoopla unearthed just a handful with a dedicated dining room.

Nonetheless, it’s almost always possible to create a pleasant, practical dining space. 


The first issue to overcome is where to put the table. Of course, not all tables are created equal. A traditional dining table is unrealistic for most, but there are some quirky solutions. First is the drop-leaf table which can be stored in a much smaller space than a conventional table.

"Of course, not all tables are created equal"

Another option is an extendable table, which is great for flexibility—extend when you have guests, and keep small day-to-day. If you’re really short of space, wall-mounted hinged tables can be remarkably effective. 

When choosing your table, look at positioning and size of the legs—the less room they take up, the better. Also, of course, ensure the size of your table is proportional to the space available.

And chairs

If you’ve ever moved house, you’ll know how much room chairs take up. It’s hard to fit more than one chair in a medium size car (and that’s if you can fit it through the door). Folding chairs are a great space-saving solution. Some fold up pretty much flat and can be stored under beds or even sofas.

Dining table

A bench can be a good space-saving option for seating

But beware—the more time it takes to assemble your dining area, the less likely it is to be used. So, chairs with a slim profile may be a better option, if space allows. If that’s not an option, consider whether or not you’d be happy with a bench (with comfy cushions, of course). If you have an unused corner or nook in the dining area, consider installing built-in seating. 

See what's out there

The furniture industry hasn’t been slow on the uptake, and there’s a wide range of space saving dining tables and chairs. Search “stowaway dining table with chairs” to find a wide range of styles and sizes. There are options to suit all budgets. 

"The furniture industry hasn’t been slow on the uptake"

If possible, source furniture that can serve multiple purposes, such as a table with storage drawers, a bench that doubles as seating and storage, or a table that can also be used as a desk for home-working. A quick online search will reveal loads of great options. 

Create space 

Keep your dining area simple and clutter-free. Avoid overcrowding the space with unnecessary items, especially anything that takes up floor space. Also, it might be tempting to use the table as a dumping ground but that will make your dining experience far less appealing. 

"Keep your dining area simple and clutter-free"

Having a ceiling light directly above your dining table will make it feel more like a proper dining area. Make sure it’s dimmable, for a more intimate dining experience. Mirrors can help create a feeling of space too. 

More quality time with the ones you love 

Once you’ve created your unique dining area, turn off the television (and your mobile phones) and enjoy dinner as it’s meant to be. Break bread with the ones you love. 

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