Aspirational home photos often depict large dining rooms with seating for 12, oversized china cabinets, and imposing chairs, but most homeowners don’t have that kind of space. Instead, several people are attempting to optimize seating and storage space while maintaining a pleasing aesthetic. Michele Chagnon-Holbrook of Casabella Interiors in East Sandwich, Massachusetts, says, “A bigger dining room isn’t better than a smaller dining room.” “If you pay attention to the nuances, you can do a small dining room just as well as a big dining room.”
Select a functional table.
Many homes could benefit from a multi-purpose table that allows for working from home, kids’ messy art projects, and an afternoon cup of coffee. Formal dining rooms—often used only for family holidays and special events—aren’t as popular as they once were, which means many homes could benefit from a multi-purpose table that allows for working from home, kids’ messy art projects, and an afternoon cup of coffee. “We start with function and personality,” says Chagnon-Holbrook. “More and more people are searching for multi-functional products.” Before selecting a material, she suggests considering the rest of your aesthetic and how you intend to use the table—glass may not be suitable for homes with small children. A marble table may not fit in with a farmhouse-style home. “We enjoy doing circular tables in small spaces,” she says; a 48-inch round table seats four to six people, while a 60-inch table seats six to eight. When selecting a table shape, Christina Boschetti of Philadelphia-based interior design company Widell and Boschetti advises her clients to think about their entertaining style. “Square tables are perfect for conversation, and long rectangular tables provide plenty of room,” she says. “When you’re moving back, a pedestal will give you more seating.”
Make it as relaxing as possible.
In a dining room, Boschetti suggests seating for eight people but advises that the chairs do not take up too much space. “In small rooms, the chairs should be low-profile and airy,” she advises. “When dining chairs with arms are pushed in, the arms should be able to fit comfortably under the dining table itself. This will allow your guests to comfortably rest their arms while also allowing your dining chairs to be stored under the table when not in use.” A built-in banquette or a custom bench—either freestanding or mounted with a tufted back against the wall—provides flexible seating that doesn’t monopolize the space but rather encourages your guests to settle in for an extra helping of dessert and conversation. “There are a lot of different ways to seat people,” Chagnon-Holbrook says, “just make sure the seats are comfortable.” “A lot of people build dining rooms that look good but aren’t comfortable.”
Please make use of the imagination when it comes to storage.
A built-in banquette also provides:
Making it a perfect place to store extra linens.
Silver from your great-aunt.
Paper party supplies.
“When building a dining room in a small space, storage is a major contender and something to think about in imaginative ways,” says Chagnon-Holbrook. Open shelving, a custom floating console, or built-in wine racks in upper cabinets are all options for showcasing your favourite serving platters or bar glassware. Changnon-Holbrook advises, “Use every inch of your walls and ceiling.” “A wet bar, a banquette… You might also do beautiful shutters on the front of it and recess basic cubbies so that when it’s locked, it’s a beautiful architectural detail. Building in allows you to make the most of your room.”
Make a statement with a dramatic light fixture.
Bright task lighting isn’t normally required in dining rooms; instead, you’re looking for a more satisfying glow that complements long, lingering dinner parties. “It doesn’t have to be functional—it can be a focal point,” Chagnon-Holbrook says. “There’s only one rule: go big and shine.” A set of pendants along the length of a rectangular table, or a larger, more striking pendant over a round table, she suggests. Boschetti agrees, adding that a chandelier should be no more than half the width of the table. “The bolder the lighting, the better!” she exclaims. “Whether it’s an oversized [light] or a cluster, statement pieces pull a space together. Light, after all, is the jewel of the house.”
Make a point about your accents.
Large-scale prints, bright colours, and striking shapes do not have to be avoided when decorating a small room. “Consider what will spark conversation—especially if the room is on the smaller side—whether you choose wallpaper, lighting, or custom furnishings,” says Boschetti. “High-gloss paint can radically alter the appearance of any aesthetic. Any small dining room can be jolted with colour using this technique, which works from contemporary to ultra-traditional.” Mural-inspired wallpaper, a fireplace, a light-filled window, or a wooden ceiling detail are some of Chagnon-favorite Holbrook’s ways to anchor a room. Mirrors, whether a single large framed version hanging next to a window, a series of smaller shapes hung above a sideboard, or an accent on the front of a cabinet will make your room appear larger by reflecting light from other surfaces. “It’s not something in and of itself,” Chagnon-Holbrook says, “but how everything is layered together.” “Don’t miss the new flowers!” says the narrator.
source : https://www.marthastewart.com/8017558/ways-maximize-space-small-dining-room