Design Dilemma: Small, Oddly Placed Dining Room

Tucked between the living room, stairwell and kitchen, this room needs to function as a dining room – preferably with some presence and style. Otherwise, it lapses into a detritus-collecting pass-through space. Help needed!
Existing layout:

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 4.28.46 PM

Design Diagnosis:

Problem 1:  The heavy wood bannister and exposed brick are beautiful architectural details, but without a focal point in the room, they steal the show, making the room seem unbalanced.

Solution 1: The rear-most wall in this room can be seen from the very front of house – use it! Not only will it provide a visual anchor for the dining area, it will connect it to the living room, making the combined spaces feel more expansive.

Problem 2: Dark wood furniture weighs down the feel of the space, making it seem more like a dark corner nook than a significant room in the house.

Solution 2: Make the space a beacon of style that summons from all intersecting parts of the house with color and a mix of materials – lighter wood plus light-reflecting metal or glass.

Problem 3: While the room is not big, the small scale of the furniture just emphasizes it’s diminutive size.

Solution 3: Larger pieces with a lightweight feel will give the room some personality and weight – not to mention making it more useful – without making it seem overcrowded.


The Modsy redesign: Two ways to achieve 81 square feet of vibrant Mod Enthusiast dining space.

Style 1: Bright and simple.

Style 2: Bold and graphic.


Get this Mod Enthusiast Look in Your Space

85e90a45-9c62-4a2a-b93b-795884435fc9Chino Dippy Cotton Carpet
Madeline Weinrib, $525 – $2550

Harlequin Table Lamp, Brass
Jonathan Adler, $475

Quinn Wall Mirror
Home Decorators Collection, $259

 Schumacher Queen of Spain Wallpaper, Black
Mahones Wallpaper Shop, $116.40

Terrace Bar Cart
West Elm, $399

 Bulle Glass Tapered Vase
Anthropologie, $26


Take the Modsy Style Quiz and start designing a home you love.