Tired of getting creative with card tables when company comes for holiday dinner? Here are a few space-saving items and tricks to help you get the most out of your dining furniture.
Stylish and space-saving, a round or oval pedestal table makes it easier to add a few more place settings. Without table legs in the way, additional guests can sit more comfortably. Its shape and small footprint also improve the traffic and visual flow of the room. For a further sense of space, try a glass-topped table.
As their name suggests, extendable (or expandable) dining tables can be transformed to increase the table surface area. A variety of mechanisms allow additional leaves to be inserted or removed as needed. Drop-leaf tables offer another flexible space-saving solution with hinged sides that can be brought up or folded down. Depending on the table's proportions, they can easily serve other roles as sofa tables, end tables, desks, or media consoles.
Instead of individual seats, maximize space with a bench. Substitute a few chairs with a bench and create the "kids' side" - an alternative to the "kids' table" that keeps everyone together. Many dining sets in a range of styles come with a bench option. Along similar lines is the banquette - upholstered bench seating that's built up against or into the wall, usually wrapping around a corner. A cozy booth in your kitchen or dining room, it may also offer storage space underneath.
Furniture of a smaller scale or with slimmer lines can make a difference in how the room looks and feels spatially. Choose visually lightweight open-backed chairs rather than solid, high-backed chairs. Chairs without arms require less space to maneuver in and out of and can be placed closer together. Even if they aren't official pieces of your particular dining set, a few extra upholstered chairs can find work in other rooms when they aren't needed at the table. They'll look smart and serve a function at the desk, in a bedroom corner, or in the living room. If you do need to stow them away, it is possible to find stylish chairs that don't look like folding chairs.
If the dining experience at your home tends to carry over into the living room, think about getting one or two versatile pieces of furniture. A sofa table is easily repositioned to become a server or bar, offering extra surfaces to hold appetizer trays or silverware and drinks. Multifunctional coffee tables with adjustable-height tops provide solutions for entertaining and beyond - tables with lift-tops are very handy for laptop use. For clever casual seating, check out coffee tables configured with stools that can be tucked under the tabletop when not in use. A cocktail ottoman multitasks as a table, a seat, and a footstool, and often offers storage inside. Go bohemian and arrange a few large cushions that encourage guests to get comfy on the floor.
Whether you're decorating a small space, or just hosting more people than usual, you'll be able to maximize your space and enjoy dining stylishly with family and friends.