Let’s face it. I live in a small apartment. Making the choice to live in a studio apartment on Seattle’s Capitol Hill was definitely a calculated choice. I’ve always said I’d rather live in a small apartment in the best neighborhood than a big place out in the suburbs. It’s a lesson I learned years ago after purchasing a condo 20 miles north of Seattle. That decision left me with at times a 90 minute commute and I swore I’d never be so careless with location ever again.

Living in a studio apartment has it’s own challenges, of course. With space at a premium I’ve learned to be really calculated with each item I bring into my space. One thing I was unwilling to sacrifice, however, was a dining room. I felt confident that I could live well in such a small place, and make room for dinners, crafts, and all that having a dining table can offer. So today I’m sharing some quick tips on creating the perfect dining space in your small space.

1. Go with full size furniture.

One thing that sometimes happens in small apartments is people tend to fill them with tiny “apartment-size” furniture. Although this can give you more space, it can also make even a small place feel empty or unfinished. Here I’ve used a full-size 42″ West Elm dining table that I found on Craigslist.

2. Utilize wall space.

Once you bring in a piece of full-size furniture, you might need to get creative with how you place it in the room. I found that pushing my dining table against one wall not only made room for it, but gave me more of a focal point in the room. I had previously tried hanging pendant lighting above the table, but ended up taking them out. Since the table takes up a fair amount of space, it’s much better to have some open space around the table to open up the space.

3. Make a statement.

Speaking of focal points, don’t be afraid to make a big statement in a small space. Whether it’s one bold piece of art or a gallery wall like I’ve done here, every room, no matter how small, should have one big statement to grab your attention and make you want to come in and sit down. I love this gallery wall for so many reasons, but mostly because it not only livens up my dining room, it is also visible from the living room. It’s so eye-catching, and although the pieces aren’t a perfect match, they stick to a color palette.

4. Stick to a color palette.

It’s always a good idea to select your color palette and stick to it to ensure the room is cohesive and feels finished. Like the rest of my apartment, I went with a neutral base of black white and grey, with pops of color in art and accessories. I went for it in the textiles with bold printed chairs, which play nicely with the neutral sofa in the next room. Yellow is my favorite color and ties in with the kitchen, so that was an obvious choice alongside the cobalt blue of my favorite salad plates. I also reflected yellow and blue in the art. I’m not usually into matchy-matchy decorating, but this is enough of what I refer to as a ‘slant match’ that it works.

5. Decorate with things you love.

One thing that I adore about my home is that it is a carefully curated group of items, both decorative and utilitarian, that reflects my life and adventures. I love decorating with things I’ve brought home from my travels so I can enjoy those memories everyday. These place settings are a great example. The blue floral salad plates came home with me in my suitcase from Taiwan. These tiny teacups were found while antiquing with my mama at my favorite shop in my hometown. These linen napkins were purchased at my favorite little beach town on the Oregon coast. These yellow placemats were inspired by a set I saw at a charity event my mother coordinated for the non-profit she works for, and later she surprised me with my own set. Fill your home, and your dining room, with things that make you smile.

Well, there you have it! A few things to keep in mind to make sure your small space dining room has some big style. What are your best tips for designing a dining space? I’d love to hear your thoughts! As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. I love hearing from you!

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Thank you so much for stopping by Lindsay Living!

xo, Lindsay

Home Office Details

dining table, West Elm via Craigslist | black and white printed dining chairs, TJ Maxx | shield back dining chair, Goodwill | Deborah Butterfield print, Mercer Island Thrift Store | small tiger painting, Jesse Link | lipstick painting by me | yellow and white spice jar, Home Goods | metal cursive L, Pottery Barn (old)

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