No Dining Room, No Problem!

I'm house-hunting at the moment (which I LOVE!), and I'm amazed at how many homes in the area have massive dining rooms. I can't remember the last time I hosted a dinner party with more than four people total, so justifying a large space dedicated to entertaining seems silly to me. I'm more of a breakfast nook or kitchen bar kind of gal, and with more families dining at home together, I'd imagine you are, too.

So how do you make the most of a small dining space? It's easy. Here are 7 solutions to help you spruce up your at-home eating experience:

Idea #1: Install a Kitchen Bar
I love the space pictured above, as it shows how much you can maximize a small space with just a few key ingredients. To create a bar in your kitchen, simply install a shelving unit and bring in a few swivel stools. I'd recommend keeping your bar close to a window so the space doesn't feel crammed and you don't find yourself staring at a wall.

Idea #2: Compact Retro Dining
Perhaps your appliances are wrapped around the bulk of your kitchen with cabinetry galore? Retro dining room tables are tiny and space-saving. The perfect table-for-two, it can fit into any kitchen with a bit of rearranging.

Idea #3: Impromptu Dining at the Island
Have an island in the middle of your kitchen? Why not add some bar stools and make it an impromptu dining area? I find this particularly useful when entertaining guests, as the conversations can flow regardless of whether or not you're still preparing the main dish.

Idea #4: Temporary Table
When it's time to entertain, of course, have a few card tables on hand to cover with a tablecloth and host the party into your living room. That way, you won't have the awkward after-dinner request to move guests into a more relaxing space, as they'll already be in the living room.

Idea #5: Diss the Dining Room
Better yet, if you simply don't have the space in your kitchen and already have a dining room, why not make the dining room into a multi-purpose room with a few different arrangements? Include a long table, and host bookshelves with craft and office supplies to make the dining room into a useful space when you're not entertaining.

Idea #6: Add Kitchen Details
An architectural element always works well to separate kitchen space into a smaller dining nook. Work with existing elements, and feel free to jazz them up with paint and/or stain.

Idea #7: Take It Outside
Lastly, have a balcony or unused outdoor space? Pull up a bistro table and dine away! I think this model is adorable, and who knows? Perhaps a spare shed is calling your name...
Photo Credit: Getty Images

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