More than ever, our dining rooms have become spaces that demand hyper versatility and functionality. From serving as makeshift home offices to entertaining close family and friends, keeping the dining room neat and organized is key. The best way to create an organized space, is by making sure you have the right dining room storage.
Not sure what kind of storage is right for your needs? Our guide to the best storage furniture has you covered.
There are many types of dining room storage furniture, and what you choose needs to work for your lifestyle and needs. If you have kids, a buffet or chest with drawers and cupboards can be great for storing dinnerware along with any extra art and school supplies if your office is also your dining room; if you entertain a lot, a bar cart or cabinet might be the drinks station you need; or if you live alone in a small space, maybe it’s simply having a stylish tray to corral things on your dining table. All to say, there are many ways for how to add storage to a dining room, but it really comes down to what makes sense for you and your space.
Not sure what you need in your dining room? Check out our ultimate dining room checklist!
For guidance, we’ve rounded up stylish and functional pieces to consider for your dining room, what they’re each great for, and tips for styling them for your space. Find out more below!
Happy with your dining room storage situation but need help redesigning your space? Check out our gallery for stylish and functional dining room design ideas, then bring the looks you love to your home.
Typically on casters or wheels, a bar cart is meant to be moved around for entertaining purposes. It’s your on-the-go drinks station for serving cocktails, wine, and even tea and coffee. For that reason, it’s a great dining room storage piece if you’re big on hosting family and friends. Whether you leave it in a corner or bring it to wherever the party is, make the most of your bar cart storage. In addition to liquor and glasses, use it for cookbooks, coasters, and small plates.
Style Tip: A bar cart has an instant grown-up look, and it can easily be styled up or down. Decorate it with plants, art, and sculptures to add a touch of your personal style.
For a stationary drinks station with enclosed storage, the bar cabinet is a compact, stylish, and functional option. It typically has a built-in open shelf for mixing cocktails and serving drinks. It also usually comes with doors that latch close, so it’s a smart dining room storage piece if you have young kids in the house.
Style Tip: A bar cabinet is a sophisticated and classy storage piece. What makes it great is that it hides bottles and clutter. Stock it with wine glasses, tumblers, barware, and cocktail shakers to make it feel like a real bar.
Credenza or Buffet
For those with a dining room they use regularly, a buffet or credenza is the way to go. A credenza is a sideboard with closed cabinets that have either hidden or glass doors. It’s the ideal dining room storage piece for everything from everyday tableware to formal serving pieces. Credenzas and buffets tend to be large and pricey but they’re functional investment pieces that will last you for years.
Style Tip: Because credenzas and buffets offer so much storage space, use them for dining pieces you want to keep within easy reach. Think dinner plates, silverware, glasses, napkins, tablecloths, you name it.
Different from a credenza or buffet, a console shelf is perfect for less formal dining spaces. It’s typically more narrow in size and doesn’t have deep storage space. But because it is wider, it takes up less footprint and can easily be used along any wall. You also want to consider a console shelf if you’re looking for a dining room storage piece that can double as a decorative display. A console shelf with tiers will let you store smaller items on the open shelves, and one with drawers can be great for anything from silverware to takeout menus.
Style Tip: It’s great for storing and displaying decorative items, like cookbooks, picture frames, and plants. It always looks stylish when it’s topped with lamps, art, and a mirror hung above it.
Most people think of the dresser as a bedroom staple, but it can actually be the perfect dining room storage piece! The dresser is like a credenza but with lots of drawers instead of cabinets. And dressers typically have deep drawers, which makes them great for storing bigger items, like plates and platters, glassware and silverware, and stacks of bowls and table linens. It’s an unexpected and beautiful storage option for a large dining space.
Style Tip: Beyond storage, the top of a dresser can also easily be used as a bar, serving station, or a display surface. Or make it multipurpose and style the top for all of those uses!
Simple and small but versatile, trays are especially useful in compact dining spaces. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, so you’re bound to find one (or several) that suits your needs and space. What also makes trays amazing dining room storage pieces is you can organize anything in them, be it candles and centerpieces or cocktail beverages and barware. Not to mention you can easily move them around for entertaining as needed.
Style Tip: You can mix random items in a tray and it’ll all look stylishly organized. But having a focus is always a good idea. Try using a tray for drinking glasses or coffee and tea sets or plates and napkins. It’s all about curating your trays and having fun doing it!
For a serious dining room storage piece, a hutch has both open shelving and closed cabinets and drawers. You’ve probably seen hutches in traditional and rustic dining rooms and kitchens. Hutches are large in scale and the shelves and cabinets usually come as one piece, but sometimes they can be detached. The combination of shelving and drawers gives hutches tons of storage and display possibilities.
Style Tip: You can store and display plates, bowls, and dinnerware on the shelves, then use the cubbies for linens and serving pieces; or you can line the shelves with decorative accents and stow kitchen items below and behind closed doors.
For an elevate approach to dining room storage, a tall dining cabinet is a chic addition to any space. In many cases, a dining cabinet can look like a display case or armoire. It’s large in size and typically has shelving and two front doors—some might have drawers also. If you like to keep all your special serving pieces and dinnerware that you save for formal occasions in one place (and visible), consider investing in a glass-fronted dining cabinet.
Style Tip: Try using a dining cabinet for larger items, such as platters, porcelain serving bowls, and small appliances you don’t need much. Or you can also fill a glass cabinet with your finest china collection to create a beautifully curated display.
Even if you keep all your dinnerware and tableware stored outside of your dining room, there’s still room to add in some sneaky storage solutions. A storage bench that opens up with a deep compartment can be a stylish option for those who don’t want bulky dining room storage furniture in the dining space. The bench can either be pulled up as a seat at your dining table or it can be placed along a wall for an elegant side seat that also holds extra pillows, throws, or other small accents.
Style Tip: To make the most of a storage bench for in the dining room, use its hidden compartment for entertaining essentials, like candles, small vases, matches, runners, and extra napkins, etc. Treat it as your party chest!
See what dining room storage pieces work in your space!