Dining in tight quarters

Last Updated 18 September 2014, 18:56 IST

There may be those times in your life when you move from a large living area to a smaller one. It could be that you have moved into a bachelor/ette pad. Or it could be that you are moving to a small apartment, because your kids have left home in pursuit of career or a newly married life. In such conditions, you probably won’t need a full-sized dining space, let alone a dining room with full-fledged dining furniture. You will probably eat out a lot, or have a few visitors only occasionally. So, you will only need a space which will seat you (and your spouse, perhaps) and a guest or two, just a small space in which you can eat comfortably.

Let’s see how you can create a make-do dining space in your small home, shall we?

*Create a multipurpose area which will come in handy as a dining area as and when required. This will allow your dining space to do double or triple duty as, say, a home office, an attractive show case or even a storage area.

*One way to free up much needed space is to have a desk or console sitting against a wall. You will save space by not having a large dining set in the centre of the room.

*You can slide in a decorated storage bench which will be pretty and functional – serving as dining chairs and also as valuable storage space. Thus, what you are doing is, instead of focusing on the centre of a dining area, with say, a chandelier and a rug, you are creating
focus on the vertical wall.

*Chairs for the dining area do not necessarily have to be dedicated for dining. Consider using small-scale occasional chairs from your drawing room for dining as well. Also, there are a lot of stacking chairs available that can be stored in a different area of your home. Else, look for collapsible chairs that can be folded and tucked away under your furniture. 

*Get a round table. A compact round table has the capacity to seat more people than a rectangular one. Also, it can fit into tight corners better than a rectangular table.

*Make any table in your home do double duty. A bar countertop can easily serve as your dining table, as can your coffee table, if you have chairs with adjustable height or if you would like to use unconventional floor diwan.

*Buy a folding table. It can be neatly tucked away under your sofa or bed, giving you enough floor space when you are not dining.

*You could have the dining table mounted against the shelves on your wall. That way, you can let the table fall flat against the shelves, when not in use. However, this might be a little tricky if you need to use the shelves very often.

*If you have enough space to seat 2 or 3 people comfortably, but have a large table that seems to be taking up too much floorspace, simply go for an expandable table. That way, you can make room when required.

Now that you’ve made some space, let’s look at how you can pep it up a little:

*Hang a light fixture directly over your table — especially if your table is in an
unusual spot. You may also try placing a pair of lamps on a slim console behind or next to your dining table.

*Hang something that draws the eye above your table: a hefty mirror or framed art, work equally well.

*Visually expand a small dining room by going for monochromatic furnishing, a round table and armless dining chairs.

*When there is not much floor space left, add some height to your home with floor-to-ceiling windows, or at least get the walls painted with very thin, vertical stripes of a soft colour.

*It doesn’t matter if your windows don’t hit the ceiling. You could still hang full-length drapes from ceiling to floor. This will give emphasise the vertical space of your small dining space, thereby making it look bigger.

*Get a built-in dining seating done, preferably right up against the windows. This way, you won’t need to add too many lights, and you won’t need too many chairs at least on one side of the table.

*Mirrors help create the illusion of more space. So, use them on at least two walls in your dining area, preferably those facing each other.

*Instead of adding paintings or wall art to your dining space, try decorating your ceiling instead. Again, the illusion of space is the key to keeping it minimal, yet trendy in that small space. So, simply try to draw the eyes to the ceiling.

(Published 18 September 2014, 13:57 IST)

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