Narrow dining room ideas — 7 ways to bring in style for intimate gatherings

Our experts spill on narrow dining room ideas that are chic and cozy

Narrow dining room ideas can be stylish, too. Here is a dark green dining room with a long wooden table with colorful candles, flowers, and tableware on it, with two wooden and black iron curved chairs underneath it and a scalloped jute rug underneath that
(Image credit: Wayfair)

Narrow dining room ideas may be the ones for you if you've felt a little cramped in your space while enjoying dinner with friends and family.

We've spoken with interior designers and design experts — including a dining table pro — to find out what you can do to maximize space while bringing in style. Space-saving furniture and streamlined floor finishes are just a couple of their favorite tips.

If you're on the hunt for small dining room ideas and are dealing with a narrow-shaped place, finding tricks for these specifically will come in useful.

Narrow dining room ideas

Whether you have small dining nooks or a whole room, these narrow dining room ideas from our experts are sure to help inspiration strike.

They have mentioned handy furniture and decor throughout, which we have shopped in case you want to steal their style.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Choose space-saving furniture

A colorful dining room with a navy blue and orange accent wall, a white rectangular dining table, two black curved chairs with white seats, a multicolored rug, and a wooden sideboard and tall leafy plant next to it

(Image credit: Foster Decor Interiors / Jasmine Gonzalez Photography)

A big challenge when dealing with a narrow dining room is trying to fit in all the furniture you need. 

“This is why using space-saving furniture will be your best friend in creating more space,” says Amanda Foster, interior designer and founder of Foster Decor.

A picture of Amanda Foster, a woman in a black shirt with cobalt blue trousers sitting on the floor with a black side table with a spider plant on it to her left
Amanda Foster

Amanda Foster is an award-winning , accredited (BA in Interior design) Californians international eDesigner and interior designer, who specializes in creating bold, vibrant and colorful spaces throughout the home. Known for thinking outside the box and with edgy designs, Amanda works with home owners to create a space to truly reflect their personalities. 

“Consider using bench-style seating and slim chairs that can be tucked under your table when not in use,” she adds. 

Along with this, Amanda suggests choosing tables with leaf inserts can also help to save space in a narrow dining room.

2. Create a focal point

A mint green dining room with a colorful dining room with two vases of flowers and a purple dining runner, dusky pink velvet chairs, and a white rug underneath

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Instead of worrying about what you don’t have, you can shine a light on what you do have by creating a striking central statement in your narrow dining room area.

“Anchor the dining space with a pendant light above the table to draw attention to its features rather than the limited space,” explains Ayten Nadeau, founder and principal designer of i-Ten Designs.

A picture of Ayten Nadeau, a woman with a blonde bob wearing a white puffed shirt and white jeans leaning on a white counter sitting down, with a black counter in the background
Ayten Nadeau

Ayten Nadeau is the founder and principal designer of i-Ten Designs based in Raleigh North Carolina. Her interior and architecture studio is infused with global perspectives for clients who are looking for unique and discerning spaces and rooms, as well as experiences. 

As well as this, you could always tablescape your dining room table with the best candles (the NEOM Real Luxury Candle on Amazon is a Real Homes favorite) or fabulous flowers to make this an eye-catching feature.

3. Opt for lighter colors

A white dining room with a white circular table with flowers and yellow tableware, two light brown plastic chairs, a pendant light over the table, and glass windows looking onto a house and balcony

(Image credit: Ayten Nadeau / Tugba Tuncer Photography)

Keeping walls and floors breezy and beautiful with the best colors for small spaces will create the illusion of more space than there is.

“Light, neutral colors for walls and floors can make a narrow space more open and airy,” explains Amanda Groebner, design expert and co-owner of Timeworn USA.

A picture of Amanda Groebner, a woman wearing black glasses and a white jumper and white t-shirt with brown hair tied back
Amanda Groebner

Amanda Groebner holds a Bachelor's degree in Interior Design from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a focus on Historic Restoration. With a background in restaurant design and a focus on communal tables and table tops, she has a thorough understanding of how to decorate narrow dining rooms for functionality and aesthetics.

She continues, “Adding texture through wood elements introduces warmth and character without clutter.”

When you’re choosing materials and colors, be sure to grab sample cards and bring them back into your narrow dining room to see what works best. We like the ease of the Lick peel-and-stick paint samples

4. Bring in mirrors

A pale green wall with a rattan circular mirror with a light brown wooden dining table in front of it with green and gray glassware, plates tall plants, a terracotta pan on it

(Image credit: Wayfair)

One of our go-to tricks for making a small room look bigger has to be bringing in mirrors, which can add serious elegance to a narrow dining area.

Amanda Foster explains, “This sounds simple, but by using mirrors you can make the entire space feel brighter and larger which will open up the narrow dining room. There's a lot of different funky shapes and sizes to add interest and double as a mirror as well as art.’

Whether you hang them up or lean them against the wall or sideboard, they can make the whole room shimmer.

5. Pick a long table

A dark green dining room with a long wooden table with colorful candles, flowers, and tableware on it, with two wooden and black iron curved chairs underneath it and a scalloped jute rug underneath that

(Image credit: Wayfair)

To complement your narrow dining room, one of the best small dining room table ideas is choosing one which fits the shape of the space.

“Use a long and narrow table, which will go with the dimensions of the room,” suggests Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, which has twice been honored as finalists in the international SBID Awards and acknowledged in the NYCxDESIGN Awards. He has a decade of extensive and global residential and commercial interior design experience in spaces large, small, narrow, and everything in between.

“This also optimizes seating as well as improves the linear look of the room,” he adds.

You could DIY your own dining table so you have one which fits the space properly. Or, if you aren’t too handy with a hammer, this ChVans Dinner Table from Walmart is seriously elegant.

6. Vary the lighting

A colorful dining room with a white rectangular table with black candlebras in the middle and lime green circular covers either end, two dark brown plastic seats, an multicolored rug, and a blue painted pendant shade

(Image credit: Foster Decor Interiors / Jasmine Gonzalez Photography)

Harnessing beautiful lighting ideas will give your narrow dining room an ambient glow, making it a cozy, intimate place to gather for feasts.

“Choosing various lighting sources such as wall-mounted sconces and strategically placed pendant lights, can add both warmth and a sense of depth, making the dining area appear more spacious,” says Amanda Groebner.

Even if you’re renting you can still get sconces with adhesives which won’t damage the walls, such as these Koopala LED Sconces on Amazon which are Amazon’s choice.

7. Keep the floor undecorated

A dining room with white walls with a pink and orange wall art print, a circular pendant light, two pink cabinets one light and one dark, and a wooden circular dining table with yellow chairs and a bouquet

(Image credit: Mustard)

While we do love throwing down rugs to add color to a space (we always shop the best Amazon rugs), in narrow dining rooms it’s best to leave the floor itself as it is.

Ayten explains, “I like to maintain a uniform floor finish in the narrow dining room to create a seamless continuation with the surrounding floor.”

You could always relocate any rugs in your narrow dining rooms to other places in the home for a pop of pattern or donate it to a secondhand furniture store such as Goodwill so someone else can fall in love with it.

When decorating this shaped space, using a mixture of practical and personal features will help you bring yourself into the space while enhancing its appearance.

Ayten finishes by saying, “In narrow dining rooms, always keep in mind using highly functional and properly scaled furniture with bold and timeless design.”

For those with a whole house with weirdly-shaped rooms, we’ve also got you covered with narrow bedroom ideas which are oh-so dreamy.

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses.