How to Style a Small Dining Area

A well-styled dining room is the perfect backdrop for cozy mealtimes with friends and family, but limited space can create unique design challenges. Whether you’ve got a designated dining area or you enjoy your meals in a studio apartment, we’ve got some ideas to keep clutter at bay and style your small space like a pro.

 Counter stools

A Minimalist Approach

Minimalist spaces often take a purposeful approach to décor, making this design aesthetic the perfect pick for dining areas with limited room. To start, it’s important to reduce clutter. This will keep your dining space looking neat and tidy, and makes sure you’ve got the most surface area to enjoy a delicious meal. Pick one or two decorative items, like a houseplant or framed photograph, to bring some life to the space and avoid unnecessary visual clutter. Be mindful of your tableware as well. Sleek, matching table placements can tie your dining space together and serve as focal décor in a minimalist setting.

White and wood dining table with matching chairs

Color and Light

Create a cozy dining nook by using color and lighting to breathe life into your space. Natural lighting goes a long way in making your home look larger, so take advantage of any windows in your dining area to seemingly expand the space. For those who value their privacy, some sheer, light colored curtains or obscuring window treatments can allow the light in. To help the sunlight do its work, opt for a soft color palette that reflects light around the room even more. White, cream, and tan are perfect minimalist options that blend harmoniously with a well-lit room.

If your dining room is lacking in windows, grab a floor lamp to warm and brighten the space, and consider using mirrors to make the area look larger.


Drop Leaf Dining Table


Since we’ve got limited space to work with, organization is key. Shelving, rather than cabinets, can help the room feel more open and double as a spot for a little décor. Use shelves to store and display tableware, or even extra kitchen supplies like ground coffee or tea. Matching storage containers are the perfect way to tie your space together and get rid of any unsightly food packaging. They can also provide a nice pop of color if your minimalist space feels a little too clinical. If you’ve got the room, a sideboard is an amazing one-stop shop for all your organization and storage needs. Serving trays, tableware, and cocktail supplies can all be housed here, leaving more room for hosting dinner or game night.

 Solid wood round dining table


In small spaces, it’s important that your furniture is functional and makes the most of limited room. For those in studio apartments, a lift-top coffee table is an excellent option. These multipurpose miracles can instantly transform your living room into a cozy dining space by providing a lifted surface to enjoy mealtime or morning coffee. Plus, most versions boast some hidden storage, making organization a breeze.

If you’ve got a little more room to breathe, a drop-leaf dining table makes the most of your space by folding down into a minimal silhouette when you need the room, or expanding out to provide more seating space when guests arrive. Finally, for those with small but defined dining areas, a small-space dining set provides the perfect focal point for dining, work, or play.


Making the most of your small dining space? Show us how you decorate by tagging @walkeredisonco on social media.