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While tray dinners in front of the TV on the weekends feels like a treat it’s not a preferable solution to a dining table for everyday mealtimes. And while not every kitchen can accommodate a full-sized dining table, you’d be surprised how many smart small kitchen table ideas can offer even the tiniest kitchen layout a fine place to dine.
With extending tables and smart space-saving designs there’s a small kitchen table idea to suit all spaces, to ensure you can take a seat for dinner – that’s not the sofa.
Small Kitchen Table Ideas
‘From a design perspective, a dining table is a clever way of creating the illusion of a bigger kitchen, thanks to the light that beams through the empty space that sits underneath the table’ explains Andy Briggs, Interior Designer at Optiplan Kitchens. ‘As a result, the effect of a larger floor plan is created, making your kitchen feel bigger and brighter.’
‘For those whose tastes are ever-changing or homeowners who like to keep up with the latest trends, dining tables can be replaced very easily and fairly cost-effectively. They can be spruced up with a new set of chairs, refreshed by injecting colour with soft furnishings or accessories. They can also be moved, turned and pushed against a wall if more space needs to be made.’
Let’s explore those small kitchen table ideas to maximise your living space…
1. Soften the edges to make it more compact
There’s something about soft edges in design that makes furniture pieces feel less oppressive, especially when talking tables – in small kitchen layouts. Choosing a round or at least rounded edge table will help to create a sense of flow, rather than feeling like a block shaped in a small space.
Same goes for the chairs you choose to match. Opting for rounder designs automatically makes them feel less intrusive to the space.
2. Make a small table multifunctional
A small kitchen table is best used as a multipurpose surface – from a kitchen work prep small kitchen island idea to a tiny dining table the next. Choose a design of small kitchen table that can lend itself to all manner of kitchen tasks.
Choosing a lightweight design will ensure the table can be manoeuvred with ease around the space, to create a sense of freedom and flow. Moveable kitchen furniture aids a small kitchen idea because it feels less restrictive.
3. Incorporate storage to save space
When space is limited smart design is a must. To afford the space for a small kitchen table try seeking a multifunctional design that doubles as a savvy small kitchen storage idea. This brilliantly clever design at IKEA, the experts of problem solving furniture solutions, provides additional storage while serving as a dining table.
The underside of the table features storage compartments to keep placemats, tableware and kitchen clutter – even laptops and home office must-haves if needed. The smart design also accommodates the chairs when not in use, to prevent them taking up valuable floorspace.
‘IKEA’s range of drop-leaf tables, such as the new KALLHÄLL table, can be pressed up against any free wall space, and extended only when needed’ explains Clotilde Passalacqua at IKEA. ‘The table also multi-tasks as storage where you can keep foldable chairs when not in use.’ Genius.
Buy now: KALLHÄLL Gateleg Table, £179, IKEA
4. Keep the dining chairs to a minimum
When your kitchen is lacking space any surface is valuable, whether it be for dining or preparing food – so how you organise a small kitchen is key. By keeping the seating less formal your kitchen table can feel more flexible in use. For example small table placed adjacent to the units can create a galley-style kitchen and form more of a worktop when not being used as a dining table.
Choose a similar style tabletop to the kitchen counter makes it feel even more forgiving – creating a sense of an extension of worktops.
5. Seek space-saving bench seating to tuck under
When space is tight it helps to keep furniture to a minimum, to avoid a feeling of overcrowding. Having said that what’s the point of having a dining table with no chairs? The smart solution to provide seating and save space at the same time is bench seating. Bench seating is flexible enough to provide plentiful seating while also having the ability to hide away, under the table out of sight, when not in use.
Having seating that disappears is also a great solution if you have a wall to push the table flush against. This gives you the freedom to move the table to one side and use the wall as a buffer for stacking items against. Or also idea for a party buffet table, over to one side out pf the way.
6. Create a window seat dining area
Place a small kitchen table idea directly in from of a window seat to create a banquette booth-style arrangement. The window seat idea will provide plentiful seating to one side to balance the feel of the small room. Use low level stools on the opposite side of the table so they don’t feel imposing.When not in use they can simply be tucked under the table out of the way, a smart way to make a small kitchen look bigger.
An extending table design is always a welcome way of making more of a limited space.
7. Set aside a small bistro table and chairs
To avoid breaking the flow and feel of a compact kitchen choose a less intimidating small bistro table and chairs set. The round shape offers a softer feel, without hard edges to avoid as you manoeuvre around the space, making it flow more freely.
There’s a reason bistro sets are so popular for balcony spaces, because they offer a small-space seating solution fit for purpose without taking up more space than needed.
8. Choose highly adaptable designs
‘With kitchens being the place for entertaining guests, everyday dining and grabbing a quick morning coffee – it’s often a space we need to adapt to several different scenarios’ says Clotilde Passalacqua, Interior Design Manager at IKEA UK & Ireland. ‘Even if your kitchen is cosy, there are clever table solutions that allow you to entertain, without compromising your day-to-day space.’
As with any kitchen, but particularly in a small kitchen, choosing multifunctional designs allows you to tailer your space to suit your needs. A drop leaf table that extends means you can go from slimline breakfast bar feel to a generous banquette table in no time at all. Folding chairs ensure surplus seats aren’t taking up unwanted space when not in use.
9. Make a small table feel like an extension of the kitchen design
Look for a small kitchen table idea that reflects the feel and design of your existing kitchen to ensure it blends seamlessly. When the dining set is made of similar material in the same colour palette to that of the kitchen design it helps the space feel more coordinated, and therefore less cluttered.
Keep walls and flooring choices in the same cohesive palette to create a calming colour scheme to stop the small space from feeling overwhelmed.
10. Opt for a wall-mounted design
A wall-mounted table is always a winning way to save valuable floorspace in a small room. Elevating the design frees up the space below, leaving room for extra storage and even a moveable kitchen trolley. As long as there is space for legs to fit under the small table when seated, anything goes.
How do you put a table in a small kitchen?
Put a table in a small kitchen with careful consideration. The last thing you want to do is make the already small space feel constricted by a bulky table. Choose a smart design, one that extends, folds away or offers a storage solution to make it multifunctional and therefore justifiable for the space.
‘Even if you have a smaller kitchen, keep the dining table central to the room so people are still immersed in the space’ advises Andy Briggs, Interior Designer at Optiplan Kitchens.
Choose a smart design that works harder in a compact space. ‘Whether you’re planning an intimate sit down dinner party, or simply need a functional space to enjoy dinner with your housemate, as opposed to squeezing on the sofa, the NORDVIKEN, INGATORP and IDANÄS drop leaf tables are great options’ says Clotilde Passalacqua, Interior Design Manager at IKEA. ‘They give you an all-important space to sit properly for meals.’
It’s likely if a kitchen is on the small size the rest of the downstairs will be limited for space, meaning it’s important to give each room its own identity to help make the layout feel more generous.
What shape table is best for a small kitchen?
Generally speaking the best shape table for a small kitchen is round from a visual perspective – because the soft edges feel less structured and therefore less intrusive on the small space. If you’re looking for more of a classic dining table the best shape is a narrow oblong, to take up less space but still provide plenty of room to cater for your dining requirements.
Any extending table shape is ideal for small kitchens because it can be made bigger or smaller depending on the needs of the occasion.