Expert design tips for small dining rooms

Here are my 8 top tips for designing small dining rooms, including seating, storage, tables, critical dimensions and other handy ideas.

Small interiors are fun to design, and these tips will help you if you’re struggling with a small dining space!

(Also, new hair! Woo!)

Link to YouTube video here:


Watch the video for all the details - here’s a quick text summary for you too:

1. Always start with a design brief

Check out my previous video and blog post to find out why. You can download your design brief template here.

2. Design for how you’ll use the space every day.

This is a small space so make sure it works for you on a daily basis. Don’t try and cram in a massive table and lots of chairs that are only fully used on special occasions.

3. Think carefully about what shape and size of table you need.

Round tables often work better than square as you can squeeze more people around if you need to, they’re better to walk past, and they look smaller but do the same job.

(Restaurants often choose square tables as these can be easily joined together, hence why you’ll see a lot of square and rectangular tables in bars, restaurants and cafés.)

4. Consider folding or extending furniture

For example, extending tables and folding chairs work well for small spaces.

5. Dual purpose furniture

...Is great in small rooms as you can get more out of each piece of furniture. Bench seating with built-in storage can work really well.

6. Banquette or booth seating can really save space

This is because you don't need to leave space to draw chairs out to sit down - the booth / banquette seating is fixed in place. And you can also use the benches for storage (win!).

7. Be mindful of the storage options you go for.

Open shelves will make the room look bigger (because you can still see the wall behind); whereas large sideboards and dressers can make a room feel smaller. Make sure you keep those shelves neat and tidy though!

8. Some dimensions guidelines for dining room design:

Allow 750mm (2ft 6in) between the edge of the table and the wall. This allows enough space for a chair to be pulled out and someone to sit down.

Allow 2ft 5in / 650mm (width) per seating space at a table.

Bonus follow-on video!

Design Dilemma: What's the best shape dining table for a small room?

This Design Dilemma answers the question – what shape of dining table should you buy for a small dining room? I show you my dining room and the table I’ve chosen that best suits the room. Watch on to find out which shape is best, and why.

Also you get to see inside my rental home, and see my hubby and my top canine assistant, Diesel, helping with the table switcheroo!

Link to YouTube video here:

If you enjoyed these videos and would like to see more, please head on over to my YouTube channel and have a browse around. Remember to subscribe to be the first to hear about my latest videos!

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