Dining Table Ideas for Small Spaces

Do you have a small eat in kitchen or dining room? Everyone wants to be able to entertain, but what really counts is how your dining table works for you the other 360 days a year.

If you are in the market for a dining table for your smallish space there are tons of affordable options in every possible style, updated for 2022.

If you need to be able to stretch your dining space on occasion to have friends and family over, there are tables made just for that purpose. Make your small dining space work for you with these tips. First figure out what size and shape will work best in you room, then see what style appeals to you.

What size table do I need?

Before you start shopping for a dining table it’s important to know what size and shape will fit best. When you find a table online that is 40 inches it can be hard to visualize what that will look like in your room. Even if you measure the area it can be difficult to get a sense of the scale.

My best tip for this is to use wrapping paper or cardboard boxes on your floor in the exact dimensions of the table you want before you buy it. If you want a 60 inch table, put a 60 inch piece of paper on the floor in the exact spot where you plant to put the table. Leave it there for a few days. See how that feels to make sure there is enough space to get around it.

When I did this, it made me realize that the table I was considering was too big. It crowded and in the way.

If you search the internet looking for tips on the right size table for you, you will see that the suggested distance between the table and the closest wall is 44 inches. This distance gives diners plenty of room to push back from the table.

When I found this I had to laugh a little. This might be the perfect distance if you are living in a very large home, but for many of us that is just not possible if we want to have a table big enough to use. My kitchen table is 22″ from the wall on one side and 24″ from the nearest piece of furniture on the other side.

ktichen breakfast table

If you have a dedicated room for your dining table, try to get 36″ around the table, but don’t sacrifice and get a really tiny table. There are ways to make a larger table work. For example, you can push end of the table up against a wall for the 360 days a year that you don’t have eight people at your table.

What shape table should I get

The answer to this question depends on your space. Measure the length and width of the area where the table will go. If the space is rectangular, get a rectangular table or an oval. If your space is closer to a square, you should use a circular or a square table.

Consider whether you will have any other furniture in the space like a buffet, bar or credenza. You also need to consider the doorways and allow a walkway around the table of 36″ if possible.

Affordable small dining tables

Dining tables come in every shape, style and size. All of the dining tables below work in smaller dining areas or kitchens, if you don’t have a separate dining room.

One thing to keep in mind when you choose your dining table is that you don’t need to have a dining room “set”. In fact, if you look at design magazines the chairs frequently don’t match the tables.

Using mismatched chairs can also be a good way to save space because you can pull in chairs from other places in your home or apartment when you have guests. If you have a choice, don’t choose dining chairs with arms because they take up more room around your small table.

Benches can be a really great way to squeeze more people up to a small table as long a you have guests that don’t mind close quarters. I have a bench that fits on the short end of my rectangular table that I can share with my son when we have company.

Round Tables

Round tables can squeeze into small spaces and they can seat more people than you expect. The only disadvantage is that you may not be able to fit the salad plate and the dessert plate. There is less space for each person, but you can get more people around a small area.

I had a 48″ round table that could seat six.

  • Round table from CB2 – This table is really versatile and a good deal. It comes in brass and silver for under $400.
  • Round/Oval table from West Elm – This table is nice because it can be 42 inches or 60 inches if you expand it.
  • Conan round table from Article – This table measure 54 inches around. The leg style makes it easier to squeeze more people in because no one gets stuck straddling a leg if there are more than 4 people
  • Rae round pdestal table from Pottery Barn – This table has a more traditional look to it and it comes in two sizes, 48 inches and 32 inches. The larger size is $799. It’s a classic looking table.
  • Emmond round table from Target – This table comes in two sizes. The 42 inch size is $420. There is an oval size that is 62 inches.
  • Sidney round table from Ballard Designs – This table comes in five finishes, black, grey, cream white and hickory. It is 42 inches for $340-$550 depending on the finish.

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Rectangular tables

Rectangular tables can be set up against a wall if you need clearance to get around the table. This is a good option if you don’t regularly seat more than four people.

  • Rectangular Dining table from West Elm – This table has legs that make a statement, but it can fit into a small space. It measures 76 inches x 30 inches for $750.
  • Oak table from Ballard – This table is 48 inches x30 inches. It can fit into fairly small spaces. It is so versatile.
  • Farmhouse table from Target – This table is so versatile that it can fit with so many design styles, not just farmhouse. It’s 52 inches. It could make a great desk, if you need your dining table to do double duty.
  • Ingatorp table from IKEA – IKEA has so many options for tables at reasonable prices. This one has a really classic look. This table is 61 inches x 34 inches and it extends.

Expandable Tables

If you have a space that is really limited, extendable tables can be the best option because you can keep the leaves folded down most of the time and only raise them when you have guests.

  • Box frame drop leaf table from West Elm – This table is perfect if you seat two people most of the time. When expanded it is 48 inches x 32 inches.
  • Norden drop leaf table from Ikea – Ikea has many drop leaf tables because they are so good at designing for small spaces. With leaves out the table measures 31 inches x 60 inches and it’s only $199. What’s nice is you can fold up just one leaf or both and it has storage.
  • Drop leaf table from Wayfair – This table is only almost exactly the same as similar tables that are $2k, but it’s $577. Without leaves it is 39×32, with leaves 55×32.

What next

Be sure to measure the space for your dining table and try setting something on the floor that is the same size as the table you want. It seems like a pain, but returning furniture is REALLY a pain.

If you are looking for a dining table for your small space, I’d love to help out. Add the details of your space in the comments. There is a small dining table that will suit your style and space just one click away.

Before you go, you might be interested in how to choose the right size rug for a dining room.

dining table ideas for small spaces

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