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During the Middle Ages, European nobility in castles took had their meals in a large great hall, which also seated the bulk of the house. The head family’s table would be placed on a dias in the middle of the room while the rest of the household was arranged based on diminishing rank, away from the main family. There used to be several trestle-like tables with benches as seat in the great hall, where the vast majority of the population would sit.
The concept of a dining room began when the European nobility started having their dinners in smaller, private parlors. The rooms were often located further from the great hall and were usually accessed through a grand staircase. Gradually, dining in the great hall became something that was only done during special events.
These days, the contemporary Western dining room consists of a large table, surrounded by chairs, as well as other furniture like buffet cabinets and side tables. Whether your dining room is a small, intimate place for a family gathering or a site for hosting dinner parties for business associates, you need to find a style that suits your home perfectly.
We have suggested a list of 35 small dining rooms. Take a look at them below.
Contemporary Casual Dining Room
Designed by: Baran Studio
Casual and intimate, this small dining room is the perfect counterpart to a formal one. Even though it is informal, it still has an air of refinement and luxury. The furniture is modern and elegant looking, but has an easy up-keep. The color palette is soft and refreshing and pale pink flowers are the centerpiece of the entire design.
Midcentury Modern Dining Room
Designed by: pS Arkitektur
The room is very urban in its design but contains elements from different cultures as well. The table and chairs are white and very modern but the lighting fixtures above are reminiscent of Oriental cultures. A large picture window shows a beautiful view of the outside. The dining room furniture is no doubt comfortable but focuses more on contemporary styles.
Beach View Dining Room
Designed by: Karen Garlanger Designs
This quaint little dining room has all the rustic charm of a small cottage by the beach. This cozy dining place is the perfect place for a family of five. The white and golden wooden furniture and the multitude of colorful throw pillows on the banquette, gives this room a very homely touch. The walls are a soft pastel peach color and brighten up the dining room.
Elegant Breakfast Nook
Source: Wayfair “Get the Look”
This little breakfast nook is small but has plenty of luxury and elegance. The dark-wood round table and the upholstered beige armchairs with golden detailing, lend an aura of opulence and extravagance to the little dining area. The best part is the beautiful bay window with the lovely window seat, filled with cushions in muted tones, which provide a breathtaking view of the outside.
White Lake Dining Room
This dining room looks very fey and ephemeral because of the use of pale wood and complementary furniture. This lovely dining area consists of a small rectangular table with two simple chairs and a pale grey couch filled with cushy pillows. The windows and walls of the little cabin are made of white wood and the fireplace is made of small tiles, also white. This place speaks of calm and serene days.
Artsy Dining Room
Whoever owns this ranch house has made the best use of the tiny alcove near the windows. The walls of the nook are lined by charcoal blue linen banquette and the crisp color palette is elegant and timeless. But the star of the room is custom table topped with bright orange 1960s vintage French tiles by Roger Capron!
Eva Longoria’s Elegant Dining Nook
The beautiful star of the show “Desperate Housewives” has a home as lovely as her. Consider this tiny dining nook, which is perfect for an intimate family gathering. The very modern white furniture is balanced by the ornate and elaborate chandelier that is perfectly level with the mirror on the wall. Tasteful and classy!
Traditional Simplicity Dining Room
Simplicity has its own beauty and this lovely little dining room has it in spades. Although the room is spacious, the dining area is consigned towards the bay windows, which offer a lovely view. The furniture is made of warm brown wood and is easy to maintain, with a simple chandelier throwing light on it. The backdrop consists of a fireplace with moss green trimming and creamy white walls. This room is simple but elegant.
Art Deco Dining Room
This artistic yet formal dining room is a nod to the 1940s art deco style. The upholstery on the chairs feature the geometrical patterns, which gained immense popularity during the post-World War I era. The ball-like lightning fixture is also of a very modern design. Besides the monochromatic picture on the wall, the room has minimal decorations and speaks of modern times and styles.
Red Cubbyhole Dining Room
What’s so great about this dining room style is the number of overhead lamps that exude a warm golden glow. The furniture is follows modern design aesthetics and is easy to clean and maintain. But the most striking feature of the dining area is the red brick wall, filled with hundreds of cubbyholes.
Oriental Dining Room
This small dining room can be the site of a cozy family dinner or an intimate house party. The place has an Oriental theme, with white soup bowls and an abundance of exotic red and pink flowers. There is also a sprig of flower inside a small pot, which points to East Asian cultures’ affinity with nature. The room has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Classically Sophisticated Dining Room
Although the room may look small, it exudes wealth and luxury. The round wooden dining table has a glass top and a pink floral centerpiece. It is surrounded by traditional-styled chairs and a large modern lamp is hung on top. There is a large window on one wall, imitating a French window and windows on adjacent walls, making the room look much bigger than it actually is.
Woodland Charm Dining Room
This dining room looks like it has sprung within the woodlands. The dining table and chairs are simple wooden affairs and a candelabra with white tapers is hanging from the ceiling. But the backdrop, which features lush green foliage, is the thing that gives the biggest impression that the dining room is inside a fairy forest.
Pristine Dining Room
In this pristine dining room, white reigns supreme. The walls, ceiling and the chair are all pure white. The soft pale yellow lighting and warm brown wooden floor adds a beautiful contrast to the room. Because of the bright wall, the room looks larger and very majestic.
Red and White Dining Room
The room’s crisp, cool whiteness is counterbalanced by the warm, fiery tones of the wall. The furniture in the room, with its white chairs and dark round table, has a classic sophistication. To make the room look bigger, there are two windows on the coral colored wall and a mirror on top of the fireplace mantel.
Rustic Charm Dining Room
This beautiful dining area is filled with rustic charm. The table is made of plain gray wood and is set with centerpieces of white floral sprigs and a white taper. The table is surrounded by armchairs and banquettes with pastel colored pillows and is fitted into the corner of the room, making a cozy nook.
Contemporary Dining Room
The dining room is done up in pastel off white shades, with modern white seating and a pale grey, blue and beige patterned rug. However, the large wooden oval table provides a warming effect to the otherwise cool tones of the room. The large overhanging lamp and the small lamp to the side brighten up the room.
Floral Power Dining Room
This beautiful dining room does not skimp on colors and gives a fitting tribute to nature’s beautiful bounties: flowers. The color palette of lilac and blue reflect the colors of nature and pink, red, yellow and purple flowers are displayed on wall paintings, floor rug, window drapes, centerpiece and side table. A very sweet and welcoming dining space decorated with love.
Cerulean Dining Room
The vivid blue walls in the dining room remind one of oceans. The circular geometrical patterns on the modern seats also seem like pebbles on the beach and their clear legs give them an eclectic aura. The stunning room is brightened up by a large overhanging lighting fixture in a circular modern design.
The Golden Dining Room
This dining area is decorated in a warm, golden toned color palette. The most remarkable feature of the room is the matte gold strip of paint on the upper half of the walls. The wooden dining table and floor give a warm, earthy tone to the room and the chandelier fills the room with golden light.
Pop of Red Dining Room
This very modern dining room is done up with pale neutral and dark gold shades. However, the most arresting thing about the room is the exquisite tableware. The cups, plates and saucers are all in a bright blood-red color, which are guaranteed to display the food in the best way possible.
Bold Gold Dining Room
This stunning dining room benefits from an eclectic touch. The room has dark matte gold walls adorned with a mirror with a large modern gilded frame. The carpet is of a neutral beige shade and there is a vase of bright yellow flowers but the handsome table and buffet of contrasting dark wood offsets any sense of gaudiness. This is a room with a lot of art and personality.
Dining Room With Open View
A room with plenty of air, open space and a breathtaking view, this dining area seems to be very attuned with nature. Inspired by the Japanese culture, which incorporates wood and nature into their designs, this room is extremely refreshing and bright and would be a joy to dine in.
Modern Chinoiserie Dining Room
This little dining room incorporates traditional Oriental elements with modern touches. The furniture is made of light and dark colored woods, an element that is featured in most Oriental interior designs. The floor and one wall are in shades of red, reminiscent of Chinese interior decoration. Unusual objects and plenty of lighting contribute to the intriguing beauty.
Neoclassical Dining Room
Though ornate, the dining room is classy and elegant. A glass round table is surrounded by iron chairs, padded with soft, beige cushions. The eating area is brightened by a beautiful chandelier, directly on top of the table. The room has a hard wood floor and is just a few feet from the kitchen. The best part is the wide window, which offers a wonderful view.
Modern Minimalist Dining Room
The small dining room has a dark wood table in straight lines. The angles and dark colors are offset by the slightly rounded edges of the white chairs. There is minimum clutter and only a small pot of plant acts as the centerpiece of the table. The room shares the space with a similarly simple looking living room. It is evident that the highlight of this room is always the food.
Modern Dining Room With Louis-Style Chairs
This dining room features Louise-style chairs, popular during the Renaissance. However, it has a very modern style with minimal decorations. The dark round dinner table showcases the beautiful glass and china tableware to the maximum. The warm tones of the furniture are offset by the cool blue of the carpet beneath the table.
Cool Contemporary Dining Room
The dining room comprises of iconic contemporary seating around a wood-and-glass table and is cut off by a kitchen only by a half wall. This is a no-fuss kind of room which sets off the table ware to the maximum. There is a buffet with two white lamps and a glass vase of yellow and green flowers. It gives a very cool and contemporary vibe.
Eclectic Dining Room
This is a dining room for the creative and the innovative. The wooden dining chairs are of an unusual, angled design and are set upon a similarly unique carpet with circular pattern and scalloped edges. A mirror with distinctive white paint sits by the wall and a very modern lighting fixture lights up the room. This room is for the eclectic of heart.
Elegant and Traditional Dining Room
The soft-looking white eats indicate comfort, which is paramount in this dining room. The area is spare in details but has a large dark wood dining table with plenty of space for four people to sit and dine in. The room is spacious and one wall is mostly comprised of large windows to let in natural lighting.
Good as Gold Dining Room
When it comes to dining room designs, it seems gold is in these days. This particular dining room is almost all done in various shades of gold — but that doesn’t mean it is overwhelmingly glitzy. In fact, the smooth white dining table and the white painted ceiling offset the gilt and keep things classy, cool and modern.
Contemporary Comforts Dining Room
The soft pale tones are the characteristic of this dining room. The large white dining chairs look extremely soft and comfortable and surround a large oval wood table, which offers plenty of space for everyone in the family to eat comfortably. Several light fixtures and candlesticks provide plenty of bright light to the room. The room has an aura of grace and refinement.
White Light Dining Room
The color white dominates this dining room and it has a very Scandinavian touch to it. Even the wood used in the furniture and the floor is of a pale golden or gray color and complements the bright room. This very modern and minimalistic dining room has an easy upkeep. The wide window at the far end and the large overhanging lamp provides plenty of light to this already bright room.
Wooden Galore Dining Room
This dining room is all about wood and nature. The drop-top table and chairs are all made of solid golden wood. The centerpiece of the table is a dark glass vase of colorful spring flowers. Although the windows are currently draped, it is evident that they let in plenty of light into this dining area. This room is fresh, pure and serene.
Related: Main Dining Rooms
Less than 10 percent of home share your dilemma of a small dining room. A challenge exists between being functional and avoiding a cluttered or cramped look. Sometimes, it’s a hard line to toe. Fortunately, you’ll find several easy ways to create the impression of a larger space. Of course, it’s important to optimize the room you have too.
The advantage of a small dining room is that it already creates an intimate space. A table for two creates that mood. Your job is to bring it the rest of the place. It’s essential to avoid clutter. That will only add to the feeling of being too close. It’s perfectly okay to leave a wall or two bare. You don’t have to fill your dining room from floor to ceiling.
Ready to take up the challenge? Browse our collection of dining rooms in our gallery for creative ideas that you can bring home.
Create Space with Color
You can instantly create the impression of space with white or light-colored walls. These shades lend an air of openness and spaciousness to a room. Dark colors and bold patterns have the opposite effect and make it feel boxed in instead. You can use a neutral tone like beige or opt for a pastel. Either will act as the ideal backdrop for other things you’ll add to the room.
Use Accent Colors and Pieces Wisely
Small spaces present challenges when it comes to adding accent pieces. You have limited room in which to work. Make the items you choose matter more by sticking with a few cherished accessories. You can use this opportunity to add some bold splashes of red or yellow for interest. Limit them to three to five so that you don’t overwhelm your dining room
Plants Make It a Home
A small dining room can sometimes seem too confining to the point that others may be reluctant to enter the space. Making it more inviting by adding a plant or two. They breathe life into a room—literally. Just be sure to choose one that can tolerate the amount of sunlight that it gets each day.
Let the Light Shine
Sometimes a small room may suffer from a lack of sufficient light. Brighten things up with pendant lights over your dining room table. A couple of wall sconces on either side of the entrance will act as a beacon to draw guests into the space. Having more than one source will make sure it stays well-lit. Check out our small dining room design ideas for more options.