The first thing you’ll want to do is measure and see how much space you actually have. When determining how many chairs you can fit at your table, a good rule of thumb is to allow 23-30 inches across for each person, plus a 32-inch clearance from the table edge to the wall, allowing chairs enough space to push back.
Once you've measured and determined how much space you have to work with, then you can start to narrow down your table choices by size and shape. Round tables are popular in small spaces for adding a gentle sense of style without sharp corners or delineated planes. Showcased in the middle of a room or tucked in a corner, round tables encourage movement through a space with versatile ease. Square tables can clearly define space for four diners, even at a small table. Square is a great choice to blend with more traditional décor.
Take a cue from the pros. Bistros and coffee shops are masters of making the most of small spaces. A wood bistro set can create a cozy and charming place to enjoy a meal, drink, or snack. Often with a more traditional or Old World style, these sets can warm up a space with rich wood tones.
Speaking of drinks, a pub table is also a great solution in a small space. With its small footprint and counter height, it can elevate your seating area out of a tight squeeze, and make a small space feel more open.
- Take advantage of a corner space with a breakfast nook. Lining two walls with bench seating can create a comfortable area in a space otherwise unused.
- A table with leaves is a great idea if space is limited, but you want the option to spread out on occasion to welcome guests. Consider what type of leaf system will work best in your space: butterfly, drop-down, or extension leaf. If you don’t have space to store extra leaves, go with a butterfly leaf or drop-down leaf style.
- Consider a modern style table for the clean lines to help streamline a small space. Clear glass can make a space look bigger with its transparent effect.
- Another option is to use what your already have in your house. Instead of adding a table, make a kitchen island or counter do double duty by adding counter stools.
- Don’t have a counter? Make your own with a clever kitchen cart that doubles as a seating area. Or choose a table with storage for more multi-tasking mojo from your dining space.
- Modern chairs can add contemporary cachet to a small space, transforming an apartment corner or a studio with a chic resting spot. Metal or wood chairs provide a sleek appearance, which can help de-clutter a small space.
- Upholstered chairs can transition as extra seating between living and dining areas, making them a great choice in a studio or apartment with shared living and dining space. Take a look at your layout and decide how you will use your chairs. If you only need additional seating on occasion, consider folding chairs for their versatility.
- Parson chairs offer a formal appearance without being bulky, so they are an ideal choice for a smaller dining area.
No matter what your space’s layout and constrictions are, there are many options for serving up a comfortable dining area in perfect style, from cozy cottage to modern chic or elegant and timeless.