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8 Big Decorating Ideas for Small Dining Rooms

The dining room, second to the living room, forms the centre of socialising in your home. You need to make it feel open, vibrant and welcoming. 

If you're lucky enough to have a large home, creating decor that makes this space feel intimate is much easier. But what if you're low on space? You have to make the most out of tight places by choosing decor that emphasises a feeling of openness. 

We're here to give you some decorating ideas to maximise your dining space. You can do many of the same things you could in a larger space with only a few adjustments.

1. Use a Pedestal TableA round dining table in a designed space

The dining room table defines the area, but since your space is at a premium, you need to choose a different type of table than the standard one. 

Rather than pick something that has wide-reaching legs that take up space, choose a dining room table with a pedestal base. It offers strong central support and allows guests to move freely around the table without worrying about bumping chairs or table legs. 

It makes the dining room look more open and inviting. For best results, go with a round table.

2. Paint the Room in Light, Neutral Colours

A designed room with a neutral colour scheme
The colour of the walls in any room can influence how occupants feel and how the room's space feels. You want to use neutral tones like beige to create the illusion of openness. It can almost look the same as the outside environment. 

Speaking of this effect, you should try to have the dining room in an exterior room that has a window with a view. Small dining rooms can feel cramped, and any view to the outside alleviates this feeling.

If you want to use more colourful paints, do so with neutral tones. These have low saturation and aren’t as difficult on the eyes. If you have bright colours, save them for accent pieces, rather than as the main palette.

3. Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

A mirror in a designed space

You’d be surprised at the effect a mirror can have on opening up your space. Even if it’s only a reflection, the appearance that the room is twice as big as it is can work wonders. It also looks less intimidating than a blank wall. 

Multiple mirrors can achieve the same effect. Unless you’re going for a surreal display, don’t position them opposite one another.

Because mirrors reflect light, they can make a room seem brighter by reflecting lamplight or light from a chandelier.

Pick a shape for your mirror that best accentuates the room. A long, wide mirror makes the room look wider. Don’t use mirrors vertically because they make the room look taller and more constricted.

4. Simple Window Decorations

A dining room with a large window

In a small space, you want to go minimalist with your designs. Large, ornate window frames, curtains, and other decor can look overwhelming. You should instead go with simple lines and panels. 

If you like, you can add a few small accent pieces to place on the windowsill. Just be careful of small children and cats; they both tend to knock decorations down.

5. Choose Minimalist Furniture

A minimal themed dining room

Pick out armless chairs to put around your dining room table. Armless chairs let you put you dining chairs closer together and increase the number of people that can fit around the table. 

Make your furniture the same colour as the rest of your room. It blends in and makes the room look even more open than before.

6. Use a Sideboard

A dining room with a sideboard

Large dining rooms have space to put elaborate cabinets for china. You, however, lack this space. You’d be better off installing a sideboard along counter space and using the space to display framed photos or decorations.

7. Another Round, Bartender

A bar set up in a modern dining room
You don't have to have an alcohol licence to give your dining room bar-like decor. If your kitchen is adjacent to the dining room, you can set up a bar to separate the two and use bar stools for seating. 

Linear seating takes up less space than does a table. You sacrifice some of the intimacy if you have everyone seated in a linear space rather than around a table, but there are drawbacks to everything. 

We advise using a bar if you don't have a lot of people to entertain and want to maintain an open central space in your dining room.

8. Install Understated Lighting

A pendant light in a modern dining room

If you can get by on natural light, it’s a good idea to do that. Not only is natural light healthy, but it also cuts down on the cluttered look that too many light fixtures can otherwise bring. 

If you must have an extra light fixture in your dining room, keep it simple. A pendant light or candle holder hanging from the ceiling will do the trick. Save the fancy chandelier for bigger rooms.

On the topic of natural lighting, it's best to keep your blinds or curtains drawn back whenever possible to create the feeling of more space. If you want blinds, choose vertical blinds that can easily move to the side. 

If you do have cats, you'll rest easier knowing they won't damage vertical blinds as easily as traditional Venetian blinds.

Every inch matters when decorating a small space. Choose decorations and fixtures that are to scale and that make space seem larger or more open than it is. 

You may need to make some concessions if you don't have the room or inclination to install traditional decor elements, like using a bar in place of a dining room table.  

By creating the illusion of open space and using smaller or more streamlined furniture, you can offset virtually any feelings of excessive closeness in a small dining room. 

If you have the option, it's best to keep your dining room in a great open room, adjacent to the living room or the kitchen so you have more space if you need it.

Feeling inspired? Get searching for beautiful designer living room furniture and decor online at Brosa today.