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dining room office

A Room With Many Uses: Tips For Transforming Your Dining Room into a Functional Home Office

Dining rooms have always been spaces that see a lot of action in our homes. So much more than just a space where we share meals, dining rooms have become multi-purpose spaces where we often help the kids with homework or balance the budget. And this was all before COVID-19!

dining room office

Now, more than ever, dining rooms have become the headquarters of the house—a hub of activity and productivity. And, for those of us who don’t have space for a separate home office, our dining room tables are pulling double duty and have become the space where we set up our computers everyday for work. So now, it’s a space for video calling, homeschooling, and so much more.

And converting your dining room into an office? Not always so easy. But it can be done! Keep reading for our best tips and favorite examples of dining room office combos to inspire you!

Don’t have a formal dining room to convert? You can also set up a home office in the living room or guest room! And if you need insight on the best office color schemes for productivity or the best home office desks, we’ve got you covered!

dining room officeHow Can I Use my Dining Room as a Home Office?

If you don’t have a proper home office, using your dining room as an office is the next best thing! A dining room office combo makes for a great set-up because it’s the most ergonomic place in your home, and you already have the basics of what you need for a workspace!

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For home office furniture in a dining room office combo, your dining room table becomes your desk, which is much better for your neck and back than working from your sofa or bed! And, your dining room chairs are already at the proper height for your arms to rest comfortably on the table and for your computer to be at eye-level, helping you avoid back pain!

Not all dining rooms have ample lighting though. We love working with a flood of natural light, but you can always add a task lamp to your dining table for a well-lit workspace, or commandeer a floor lamp from another room in your house!

dining room officeSince you have much more space to sprawl out when using a dining room table versus a desk, don’t be afraid to set up a full monitor! You’re spending 8 hours a day here, after all, so give yourself permission to totally overhaul this space. (You can always put your monitor away on the weekends so you aren’t tempted to log into work on your days off!)

Proper storage is essential to keep things organized and avoid cluttering up your space. Clutter can cause anxiety and stress, and we certainly don’t need any more of that than we already have! So, incorporate table-top organizers for papers, files, and writing utensils, as well as a rolling filing cabinet to keep essential documents within reach!

dining room officeAnd, of course, you can’t forget to pick a comfy chair! For all-day work sessions, you want to make sure you have back support and a cushy seat which allows for good posture. If you have a real office chair, we highly recommend that you use that! If not, dining chairs—especially upholstered styles—are great because they’re more ergonomic than the sofa. And you can always add a seat cushion or lumbar pillow if you need extra support!

dining room officeDining Room as a Work + Activity Space for Kids

Who said office dining rooms were just for adults? Your kids may be out of school for the summer, but depending where you live homeschooling will potentially continue into the new year. And, homeschooling aside, you may just need a space where they can do activities and get creative throughout the summer! So, set your kids (and yourself) up for success with a few clever dining room interior design ideas!

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dining room officeStart by pulling in a bench, if you have one handy. This can help change the vibe in the space, giving it a more “schoolhouse” feeling. It allows for more kids to sit up at the table and makes moving around easier. And you can easily remove it when the work or school day is over to help transition the space back to a dining room!

When creating a kid zone within your dining room, be sure to balance work and play. Incorporate fun activities to help kids keep themselves entertained—from a chalkboard for drawing or games, to a tend that makes a cozy reading nook or for make-believe play time, and plenty of table space for crafts, coloring, reading, and maybe even a little screen time.

dining room officeAs in all kids spaces, we recommend adding baskets for easy clean-up! Baskets are our favorite kid-friendly storage solution, since they look good but they also make it easy for kids to own their own clean-up. And, since they’re low-maintenance and easy to move around, they make it easier to transition your dining room from day to evening.

dining room officeOther Ways to Transform Your Dining Room into an Office

Looking for other home office interior design ideas as you transform your dining room into a home office? There are so many ways to make this combo space work! Keep reading for a few more of our favorite set-ups.

dining room officeA Distraction-Free Set-Up

If you want your dining room home office to be as distraction-free as possible, opt for a more minimal style. A glass table is easy to clean, which is great if you’re using the space for both work and meals! And the velvet chairs make long days of work feel more stylish and fun—not to mention more comfortable than a wooden chair!

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dining room officeRoom WIth a View

Endless video calls aren’t so bad with this view! Don’t be afraid to take over your whole dining room, making space for your monitor, office supplies, and reading materials. You can even keep your printer nearby for easy access to printed documents! An analog clock is also great to help keep you focused without constantly checking your phone to see the time (and inevitably getting lost scrolling through social media.) This charming countryside set-up is also a favorite approach for small home office design ideas when your dining room is your office!

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dining room officeA Workspace for Two

A long table means lots of work space for multiple people. This is great if you’re sharing your dining room office with a partner or roommate. It allows you to each take one half of the table and both have plenty of space to spread out! And, if you’re both working from laptops, it’s easy to put everything away at the end of the workday and continue using your dining room for sharing meals, as well.

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dining room officeA Space of One’s Own

If you’re co-working and want a bit more privacy? Place a tall vase and floral arrangement in the center of the table to create some separation and delineate your space from your partner or roommate’s!

We also love the idea of installing or repurposing shelving for office supplies and books. If you currently use your dining room shelves or cabinets for serving platters or fine china, move them to storage for the time being so you can make the most of your space as an office.

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dining room design

5 Dining Room Designs that are Better than Brunch

dining room design

It’s safe to say that we’re all dining in at the moment—so maybe it’s time to give your dining room some love! You’re probably spending more time in it right now. Whether your dining table has become your temporary work-from-home office or you’re simply sitting down for more meals at home, it’s worth taking some time to give your dining room a spring refresh! And hey, it might inspire you to host a gourmet brunch for your family at home or remotely with your friends, bottomless mimosas and all!

How do I refresh my dining room for spring?

The first step in a spring refresh? Spring cleaning! This is a great opportunity to give your dining room a deep clean and sanitize all the hard surfaces. Other than sanitizing, our main spring cleaning essentials for a dining room include dusting, wiping down, and cleaning all fixtures, fans, baseboards, wall art, the table (obviously), and mirrors. Then, spot clean upholstered dining chairs or wipe down non-upholstered chairs. Finally, dusting those plant leaves—whether they’re real or fake—is a spring cleaning must!

Once the cleaning is done, you can get onto the fun: decorating ideas! One of our favorite dining room decor updates for spring includes swapping heavy drapes for breezier alternatives like a linen or a gauzy material. Centerpieces tend to be very seasonal, so for spring we love the idea of restyling centerpieces with smaller bud vases filled with seasonal greenery and blooms. Because fresh flowers and greenery can really breathe life into a space! It’s also time to store away winter dinnerware and restyle your credenza with some spring touches.

Want some specific tips and dining room ideas to refresh for spring? Keep reading for five spring-ready dining room designs to inspire you as you refresh your space!

dining room designThe Discerning Collector Dining Room

In this space, eclectic design meets minimalism for a seriously stunning dining room. While seemingly opposite styles, they actually do work together. In fact, for this look we took a cue from the minimalist-maximalist trend, which is the very best in the world of opposites attract. This is simply a spring-ready take on this style blend, with some added brightness!

The Key Elements

Key to this dining room look is a super neutral palette with a lot of contrasting elements. This type of contrast adds energy and vibrance to the space without requiring color. You’ll notice that all the furniture is very streamlined, with modern or minimal aesthetics. This space also features plenty of geometric shapes—found in the severe lines of the table, the sleek chairs, and the sculptural pendant.

Some of the eclectic nature of this style is found in the interesting mix of materials—from marble and metal to cloth, ceramics, wood, and woven seagrass. It’s a texture-palooza! These materials add ornament without adding extra stuff to the space. The furniture pieces themselves become the works of art. We especially love the sleek, frill-free forms of the chairs and the gorgeous veining found in the marble dining table. Overall the mix of textures is the perfect balance of a minimalist aesthetic and an eclectic approach to materials.

Why We Love It

If you love Leann Ford’s latest collection for Crate & Barrel, this dining room idea is for you. It has a sleek and trendy look, but it also pulls in elements of organic modernism with its earthy and organic shapes, materials, and textures. Pulling inspiration from the forms and materials of nature is a big design trend right now, and one that we’re all about, especially in this space! All of the natural materials help this space feel relaxing and approachable.

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dining room designThe Serene Modern Farmhouse Dining Room

This dining room is equal parts rustic, minimal, and mid-century modern. It’s the perfect look if you love modern farmhouse vibes but also enjoy cool, clean spaces. Somehow, this space effortlessly manages to be both fresh and cozy at the same time!

The Key Elements

This look is all about the tension between vintage and modern. How did we pull it off? We paired a vintage-style farmhouse table with sleek, mid-century wishbone dining chairs. The dining table is rugged and substantial, made of rough wood and featuring ornate carved details. Meanwhile, the chairs are delicate, made of a glossy, blonde wood with woven paper cord seats. The juxtaposition of these pieces embodies the push and pull between old and new, casual and refined.

Also essential to this look is a neutral color palette. The lack of color and contrast in this dining room gives the space a serene and airy vibe. You’ll notice that the only “colors” present are warm woods, creams, and whites—plus that beautiful pop of greenery, which brings the space to life. It’s an essential decor touch for spring! But the mix of natural textures found in the jute rug, the wood table, the woven chairs, the shell pendant, the gauzy curtains and the shiplap walls certainly keeps the look dynamic! There’s nothing flat or boring about this space.

Why We Love It

This dining room is a perfect spring-ready rendition of a modern farmhouse look. It’s fun to see the farmhouse style continue to evolve in new ways, and this space is just one more iteration of it. And it’s also great for hosting large family gatherings in the future—this trestle table can handle large groups and kids like nobody’s business!

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The Refined Rustic Dining Room

This small dining room beautifully combines rustic design elements with classic formal elegance, for a space that’s full of countryside charm! It creates a dining room that feels put together and polished but still has a relaxed vibe. Overall, it feels elegant, livable, and welcoming—one of our favorite dining room ideas to welcome in spring!

The Key Elements

For a refined rustic look, you want to start with some classic foundations. In this space, that means slipcovered dining chairs, a pedestal dining table, and an ornate chandelier. But you’ll notice that each of these pieces is infused with rustic, countryside touches. The whitewashed and distressed woods. The linen upholstery. The glass-front credenza. The artwork and the casual styling of the credenza also speak to the rustic nature of this style. But to keep it from leaning too rustic, you want to make sure there are still some ornate, refined touches—like the beaded chandelier, the sconces, the streamlined slipcovered chairs, and the carved table base. All of these pieces bring a sense of classic formal elegance to the space.

This space also features a neutral palette, but one that’s warmed up with small pops of color. The foundations are neutral or warm wood, but the pops of yellows and greens liven up the room. And the tulips certainly help with that, too!

Why We Love It

This dining room strikes the perfect balance between formal and casual. It’s a cheery space that feels welcoming. The countryside charm puts you at ease and just feels right for spring. It’s a comforting style that’s perfect for these troubling, unstable times. We’re big fans of looking to classic and traditional decor elements for a sense of stability right now!

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dining room designThe Mod Collector Dining Room

This modern dining room is a fun mix of mid-century modern and eclectic ideas that make up one cohesive look. It has a youthful feeling, while also feeling like it effortlessly came together over time. It’s the perfect style for someone with a strong personality who wants their home to reflect who they are!

The Key Elements

The furniture found in this dining room features an informal mix of styles—a truly eclectic move. This tulip dining table with a marble top is a nod to classic Saarinen design. But the industrial chairs are a very different vibe, with a school-house feel to them. Meanwhile, the Sputnik chandelier comes straight out of the mid-century modern handbook!

This space also features an interesting and unlikely combination of patterns and materials. The patterns in this dining area are from all different “genres”—like the traditional rug, the geometric art, the industrial chairs, and the striped basket. And the materials in this space run quite the spectrum too—from marble and metal to textural materials like wool, leather, wood, and seagrass. Mastering the eclectic side of this style is all about layering on the visual and tactile textures in a space.

To really drive home the mod collector look in your dining room, you need a bold approach to color and contrast. This is most notable in the black accent wall. But between the wall color, the art, and the rug, you’ll notice that there are no limits when it comes to this color palette! The art pulls in blues, yellows, and greens while the rug adds reds and oranges to the mix. The key is simply balancing the ratio of color to neutrals. (More neutrals in a space keeps things balanced).

Why We Love It

This is a style that breaks (almost) all the rules. It’s a fun way to show off your personal style in your dining room! And with such a fun, interesting space, it makes eating in way more fun than going out—a feeling we all need right now!

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dining room designThe Rustic Boho Dining Room

A bohemian design sensibility meets a rustic approach to materials with rustic boho dining room. This smaller dining area is warm, inviting, and full of personality. It looks effortlessly on-trend, doesn’t it?

The Key Elements

Key to this dining room look is a mix of modern and traditional design ideas, pulled from different styles and time periods. The modern, sleek dining table contrasts with a more traditional china cabinet. The dining chairs have a distinctly mid-century modern profile. And the decor? It has a contemporary feel. All of these pieces mix together for a boho vibe that still creates a harmonious feeling.

The more rustic elements come into play with the choice of materials. Warm woods show off the natural beauty of the material, and opting for no-frills designs lets the wood grain do the talking. Woven chair seats add even more texture to the space. Meanwhile, the chunky knit wall hanging feels cozy and oh-so boho.

A signature element of boho style is a more eclectic and informal approach to layout. Unlike other dining room ideas, this one features a smaller table and more casual arrangement of chairs and furniture. Ultimately, you can push your space to be more or less boho with some simple layout choices.

Why We Love It

We love the cozy, informal hosting style that this rustic boho space creates. While it’s on-trend, it won’t feel dated in a few month’s or a year’s time. It’s also proof that small dining room designs don’t have to compromise on style!

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Dine in Style With These 10 Dining Room Layout Ideas

This just in: dining rooms are making a major comeback in 2020. For too long, we’ve eaten dinner while watching Netflix, with our plates perched on our laps. Too many takeout meals have been consumed while standing at the kitchen counter. It’s time for a change! Time to unplug and connect with family and friends while we nourish our bodies. It’s time to design our dining rooms to be places where we actually want to spend time.

For most of us, our dining rooms are probably not the first space we design in our homes. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore them altogether! While designing this space may seem simple at first—all you need is a table and chairs, right??—they can turn out to be trickier than you might think.

That’s because the physical space you have for a dining room hugely impacts the design. Are you designing for a dining area in a studio apartment? Working with a large, open living room/dining room space, a formal dining room, or even a pass-through dining space? There are a lot of variables to consider!

But don’t worry—we’ve got your back. Below, we’re featuring dining room layout ideas for all kinds of spaces, room layouts, and styles. Because this is your year to bite the bullet and design your perfect dining room! And hey, designing your dining room may even inspire you to get some friends together for a casual, fun dinner party!

Formal Dining Room Layouts

In a formal dining room, you have a space where the whole room is dedicated to one thing: dining. These spaces, where the dining room table is the focal point of the room, are perfect for entertaining, as they typically have space to accommodate a larger table and 6+ seats. Other design elements formal dining rooms tend to have? A statement light fixture and a credenza or console for china and linen storage. Keep reading for some of our favorite approaches to formal dining room layouts!

dining room layoutThe Essential Dining Room

This space is what dining room dreams are made of. It has all the classic dining room elements—a table, chairs, and storage. But with simple shapes and clean edges throughout, it has a contemporary look that feels anything but traditional.

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The Key Elements

A spare, minimal layout makes the space feel open and functional—and makes the most of an amazing view. But it also lets you be bold with foundational pieces, like this stunning, sculptural dining room table.

To keep this space feeling decidedly contemporary and minimal, we used a mix of textures, materials, and finishes, giving it a layered and dynamic look. We love the mix of the concrete table with metal and upholstered chairs and a wood credenza. Upholstered dining chairs are perfect for long dinners or for work-from-home days when you don’t have a home office.

Also key to this space: plenty of lighting options. With a mix of overhead lighting and table lamps, you’re able to set the ambiance for any mood or situation—whether that’s a late-night dinner party or homework time with the kids.

This Look is Perfect for…

Those with a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic. It might not be the best for households with youngsters. But if you have kids and still can’t get enough of this look, simply opt for a performance fabric in a darker color or for chairs made of wood for those inevitable spills!

dining room layoutAll About Those Bay Windows

This is a fun, bohemian take on the traditional dining room, with bold colors and rich textures throughout. But, style aside, what this space is really focusing on is those bay windows and making the most of that architectural element in the space!

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The Key Elements

Taking full advantage of bay windows doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice other key dining room design elements. Rather than a traditional credenza, in this space, we opted for a bar cabinet in the corner so it doesn’t block the beautiful view but still gives you space to store alcohol, barware, and extra dishes! This upright cabinet is perfect if your dining room doesn’t have a lot of wall space.

A sleek table and slender chair legs help make the overall space feel larger and more open—great for small spaces that can’t afford a lot of visual clutter. And opting for various wood tones in the furniture keeps the space family-friendly and approachable.

This Look is Perfect for…

Family dinners—or even casual dinner parties!

dining room layoutThe Refined Connoisseur’s Dining Room

This is a dining room made for formal entertaining. With a mix of traditional and contemporary shapes, along with clean, smooth surfaces, this look is refined and intentional. But, despite its formal vibe, it has a relaxed finish that keeps it approachable.

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The Key Elements

This space takes a minimal approach to styling—aka, there’s not a lot of stuff in here. This leaves room for more traditional and ornamental foundational pieces. A neutral color palette keeps this smaller dining area from feeling cluttered. To lean into the formal and traditional vibe, incorporate plenty of natural touches—like a rustic wood dining table, flowers and woven accessories to add a fresh feeling to the space, and a marble-top* credenza.

*Cleaning tip for marble: Make sure to use gentle, non-acidic cleaners on marble surfaces, as harsh cleaners will stain the surface. To clean, wipe down with a damp cloth, soaked in warm water.

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone wanting an approachable yet refined space for entertaining.

Dining Room + Kitchen Layout Combo

Small layouts can present a challenge for dining spaces. Sometimes you need to sneak in a dining area as part of your kitchen. This is often the case in small apartments and studios, or even if you have a home but it doesn’t have space for a formal dining room. But being short on space doesn’t mean you have to forego a dining area. Below, you’ll find a few examples of ways to approach this type of layout, along with tips for how to make them shine!

dining room layoutThe Look: Le Petit Dining Room

This dining space is small, but it’s certainly not lacking in style! With just a corner off the kitchen to dedicate to formal dining, there’s not a lot of space to work with. But the wall color and thoughtful design elements make this space feel intentional and oh-so-chic.

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The Key Elements

A round table gives you more flexibility to squeeze extra seating around the table—and it also won’t draw attention to any awkward angles within the space that could emphasize how small it is. To maximize seating in a smaller area, pair a bench with chairs. You could even opt for a storage bench to maximize this space even further! Overall, opt for furniture with open bases, which will be visually airier and make the space feel less cluttered.

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone who won’t let a small space keep them from having the glam dinner party they deserve.

The Look: The Breakfast Nook

Have a small corner? That’s all you need to create a cozy breakfast nook! We love the bright and airy vibe of this space. And you know what? It’s not just for breakfast. Who says you can’t host a small dinner party in a breakfast nook??

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The Key Elements

The key to a breakfast nook is appropriate and ample seating. Our favorite solution is a corner banquette bench. It provides plenty of seating and makes the best use of the space. A mobile bar cart next to the dining area is great for storage, but can also be used as a serving station for brunch! And a round rug is great for awkward spaces or corner set-ups, as it doesn’t draw attention to the shape or size of the space!

This Look is Perfect for…

Making the most of a small corner and bringing the breakfast nook of your dreams to life!

Living Room + Dining Room Layout Combo

Open living room/dining rooms are a very common feature in modern homes. And as wonderful as open layouts are, it can be difficult to design two rooms in one! These living room/dining room combos appear in many different types of open floor plans—from large and expansive to small and cozy, or even split-level. The key to nailing this look and making the entire space feel complete is knowing how to place your dining area within the context of your open space. Keep reading for more tips!

dining room layoutThe Look: The All-In-One Space

This space has it all: a living room, a dining room, and even a kitchen! Completely open floor-plans can feel intimidating to tackle, but the openness also gives you the opportunity to create some major flow and cohesive style in your space!

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The Key Elements

In an all-in-one space, a larger dining table is key—and leaving ample space around the table creates flow and allows for easy movement throughout the room. In this space, we opted for a rectangular shape, which echoes the shape of the room. This larger table easily seats six, which is great for entertaining. A consistent color scheme throughout all three areas makes the overall space feel cohesive. With varying shades of grey contrasting with bright whites, this space feels contemporary, polished, and considered.

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone with a large, open floor plan who wants to create a cohesive space for living, dining and evening entertaining.

dining room layoutThe Look: The Long and Narrow

Some open living room/dining rooms are long and narrow—which creates a whole new design challenge to contend with. These spaces can be tricky to design. But they’re certainly not impossible.

The Key Elements

Start by dividing the two spaces into zones, using your sofa. By floating the sofa between the two spaces, with the back of it facing the dining area, you’re making it feel like it’s own space. Round dining tables work well in this type of space. With no hard angles, it creates easier flow in tighter spaces and doesn’t feel as rigid in the space as a rectangular table would. And this particular table has a visually interesting base which makes this space feel unique and considered. The addition of a hanging plant adds dimension to without taking up precious floor space.

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone who wants to maximize a long and narrow living room/dining room without sacrificing any style.

dining room layoutThe Look: Two’s Company

When it’s just you and a roommate or significant other, a sweet, small dining corner is all you need. And sometimes, that’s all the space you can afford in a small house or apartment! Even if your home only offers one, smaller space for both living and dining, you can certainly maximize what you’ve got to give your space a dual purpose.

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The Key Elements

In this type of space, think small: an apartment-sized sofa and a petite dining table. This will allow you to create two zones without the space feeling cluttered or overwhelming. Then, look for small but mighty storage options to maximize functionality and minimize footprint. A mirror helps reflect and light and can help open up a small space, and a light fixture over the dining table helps that space feel intentional. Finally, a rug in each area helps create distinct “zones,” but the addition of a cowhide rug layered over the edges of both connects the spaces and keeps the overall room feel cohesive!

This Look is Perfect for…

Sneaking in a dining space in a small home or apartment—a perfect arrangement for dinner for two!

Dining Area In A Studio Apartment

Studio apartments are tricky spaces to design, no matter what. You’re trying to fit all the elements of a home into one small, open space while keeping it from feeling cluttered. Add in a dining area and it might feel impossible. Might as well just eat dinner on the sofa, right? No, don’t give up! If you want a distinct dining space in your studio, rest assured that it can be done. You’ll just have to combine it with other functions to get the most out of your small space. Keep reading for some of our best small-space dining tips and tricks!

dining room layoutThe Look: The Corner Table

This cute dining space is made possible by clever design tricks that not only complement the fun and eclectic feel of this space, but even enhance it! This small space is big on style and creative layout solutions.

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The Key Elements

For a small, eclectic space, cash in on a few pieces that will help your space feel lighter and brighter! Namely: a large mirror and clear dining chairs. You can also cut some (literal) corners by going for a round table, which is more suitable in a tight space. The tulip base allows chairs to tuck neatly under the table. Tucking the whole arrangement in the corner helps you take advantage of a space that might otherwise go underutilized or unused!

This Look is Perfect for…

The studio apartment-dweller who still likes to entertain! (Or just wants a dedicated space other than the couch to eat dinner.)

dining room layoutThe Look: The Work-Dine Station

Dual-purpose furniture is an absolute necessity in a small space. Combining a dining and working area is perfect for students or if you often work from home. And placing the table in a corner nook makes the dining space feel like it’s own cozy zone!

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The Key Elements

For this set-up, we love the idea of using a bar-height table. Varying heights in a small room helps the space feel more dynamic and less visually cluttered. And if you opt for stools rather than bar chairs, you can even tuck them completely underneath the table to save on floor space when the table is not in use!

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone who likes to work from home—and therefore needs a desk set-up—but who doesn’t want to sacrifice the option of having a friend or two over for dinner!

 

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