Design Room

How to Create a Do-It-All Dining Room

It can be transformed from an impromptu home office or a kid's coloring station to a romantic setting for a candlelit dinner for two. It can host the extended family for special holiday dinners.


Today's dining spaces, large or small, are gathering places where friends and family create lasting memories. In fact, several research studies, including one by the American Dietetic Association, highlight the importance of family mealtimes at home. Benefits include increased literacy rates among children and better nutrition among young adults. Here are some great products and design tips from IKEA to help make the most of the space that seems to do it all!


Designing dynamic dining spaces

Design according to space: pick drop-leaf tables and folding or stackable chairs for small multi-functional spaces. For large spaces, consider placing extra guest chairs along the walls - it fills the space, brings the room together, and keeps extra seating close at hand.

Think vertically: in tight quarters where sideboards or cabinets are too cumbersome, consider small-scale wall shelves for holding display items and dishware. This maximizes vertical space, without taking up valuable floor space.

Create comfort: add warmth to any dining space by using complementary textiles such as tablecloths, runners, curtains and carpets. With hardwood floors, choose a carpet large enough to accommodate dining chairs when pulled out from the table.

Use the hide-and-highlight theory: consider storage and display needs when creating a floor plan for clutter-free and stress-free living. Cabinets that feature both glass shelves and closed-door storage can showcase fine china above, and hide work files, the kids' pencils and crayons, and other items underneath.

Prioritize quality: a tight budget doesn't have to compromise on quality. Choose furniture with hard-wearing materials such as solid wood frames, tempered safety glass, drawers with ball-bearing slides and pull-out stops. Features like extra leaves and washable covers offer additional functions without additional costs.

Design with light: creative lighting solutions can instantly elevate the look and feel of a dining space at a very affordable price. Be sure to use multiple sources of lighting to meet everyday functional needs. A dimmer can provide bright task lighting for after dinner homework sessions or set the mood for a romantic dinner for two.