Blue Kitchen Island

Don’t have room for a more formal dining room? No problem. Just because your dining room shares a space with your kitchen doesn’t mean both areas can’t be functional, stylish, and well-designed. In today’s interior design blog, we discuss kitchen dining room ideas for making the most of your kitchen dining room combo.

What is a Kitchen Dining Room Combo?

Generally speaking, a kitchen dining room combo is a room in a home that serves a dual purpose as both the kitchen and the dining room. Often, kitchen and dining rooms are combined as a space saver in small homes and apartments or a result of a more open floor plan concept. In some homes and apartments, the dining room might also be combined with the living room, or if it’s part of a studio apartment, there might not be any architectural distinction between the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bedroom.

Kitchen Dining Room Furniture Ideas

When it comes to decorating a kitchen dining room combo, the first thing you need to consider is the furniture—starting with finding the perfect dining room table. In addition to finding functional pieces that meet your kitchen and dining room needs, you’ll also need to make sure the pieces properly fit in the space. Here are some of our favorite small kitchen table ideas to help take advantage of a room serving as both the kitchen and dining room.

Stick with a Kitchen Island

Especially if you’re dealing with a small kitchen that also has to function as a dining room, it might make the most sense to choose a kitchen island instead of more traditional dining room sets. What makes kitchen islands so great is that they can effortlessly serve multiple purposes, including extra counter space when preparing an ambitious dinner or as a dining table where your family can gather to eat the delicious food you prepared. Kitchen islands also work great as space for your child do their homework where they can easily ask you questions while you cook or as a designated workspace when working remotely.

Embrace the Breakfast Nook

Before you can embrace the breakfast nook, you have to understand what it is and isn’t. Breakfast nooks aren’t just for breakfast. Generally speaking, a breakfast nook is a corner or portion of the kitchen that is dedicated to a small kitchen table. Traditionally, breakfast nooks have featured built-in tables, booth seating, or upholstered benches, though as they regain popularity, you’ll find many different interior design and furniture styles represented.  Despite their name, breakfast nooks serve many functions. Not only can they be used to gather as a family for meals, but their proximity to the kitchen makes them great for kids, as they can spend time doing homework or crafts at the table while still being in sight of their parent in the kitchen. Creating your own breakfast nook is a great way to marry the kitchen and dining room together into one well-functioning space.

Make Entertaining Easy with Counter-Height Tables

Many people whose kitchens and dining rooms share a distinct space tend to have a kitchen island countertop in addition to a dining room table. If that’s your arrangement, you might consider choosing a counter-height kitchen table to best complement your kitchen island. Not only will a counter-height dining table better match the height of your bar or kitchen island, but it can also be great for entertaining guests, since the people sitting at the table reach roughly the same height as people standing. Even if you choose a small counter-height table, you’ll still have the extra kitchen island seating for dinner parties, and the casual look is perfect for the less traditional kitchen dining room combo.

Go with a Glass Kitchen Table

If you’re looking for small kitchen table ideas, consider going glass. Not only do glass kitchen and dining room tables look great, but they’re incredibly easy to clean and won’t stain if someone accidentally knocks over a glass of wine. Plus, glass tables can make the room feel bigger and more open, which is great if you’re trying to split space between the kitchen and the dining room. Hoping to make the room pop? Pair your glass table with a colorful rug. The glass top will draw attention to the rug and add a level of flair to your dining room. Just make sure you choose the right size rug for your space.

Save Space with a Storage Table

One of our favorite small kitchen table ideas is to save space with a storage table. Especially when you’re dealing with a kitchen dining room combo, saving space can be vital to the style and practicality of the room. With storage tables, you can utilize the same amount of space for multiple uses. Whether it’s counter-height table with built-in cabinets or a small kitchen table with drawers, cabinets, and wine cubbies, storage tables can help keep your space uncluttered and functional without sacrificing style.

Round Tables Mean More Room

Looking for small kitchen table ideas for your kitchen dining room combo? Try a round kitchen or dining room table. In general, round tables tend to be either circular or oval-shaped. While circular and oval-shaped dining tables can be made in a wide-range of sizes, in general, round tables tend to be smaller, and it’s the diameter you’ll want to pay attention to when choosing what size round table to choose for your home. Because of their shape, round tables tend to take up less space, which is great when you’re trying to save space by combining two different functions to the same room.

Give Dining Benches a Try

If you’re decorating a kitchen dining room combo room, it’s likely you’ll need to find creative ideas to save space. One of our favorite small kitchen ideas is to try buying dining benches instead of dining chairs. Not only are dining benches great for extra seating, especially for kids, but they also save space, as you can easily tuck them under the table when they aren’t in use. Plus, while you can often find great furniture deals on dining room sets, dining benches are often more economical than purchasing the equivalent amount of dining room chairs. Because dining benches continue to increase in popularity, you should be able to find them available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and budgets.

Try a Folding Dining Room Table

If you’re short on space in your kitchen dining room combo, try finding a folding dining room table. That way, when you aren’t using your kitchen table, you can put the ends down, opening up additional space. That extra space can make all the difference in the traffic flow of the room, making it easier to move around and use other parts of the kitchen. Folding tables can also help keep the room from feeling cluttered with large furniture.

Kitchen Dining Room Color & Décor Ideas

Different color schemes and décor ideas can help combine the kitchen and dining room into a functional and stylish space. Here are some of our favorite color and décor ideas to help you get started.

Light Walls Create the Illusion of Space

If you’re working with a small space for your kitchen and dining room, it might make sense to choose a color scheme that can help make the room look bigger and more spacious. Generally speaking, light-colored walls better reflect light and can help create the illusion of space. Consider choosing an even lighter color for any trim and moldings, as this can create an optical illusion where the walls appear to have more depth.

Choose Complementary Colors for Both Spaces

When integrating a dining space into the kitchen, it might help to use similar or complementary colors in both spaces. You might, for example, choose to have the walls in the kitchen area feature a different, but complementary color to the walls in the dining area. To tie the eat-in kitchen area together, try choosing décor and accent pieces that feature the dominant color in the opposite space. So, if you have a shade of green on the wall behind the stove, try choosing a runner for the table that matches the shade to create a more connected feel.

Use an Area Rug to Divide Space

When you’re working with an open floor plan or trying to create distinct spaces within a smaller area, it helps to find a way to visually divide the room. One great way to do this is by strategically using rugs. A large rug under a kitchen dining table, for example, can give the eating space a more distinguished look, even if it shares walls with the kitchen area. Remember, it’s all about balance, so while you may want to choose a rug to help the eating space stand out on its own, you might want to choose colors from the kitchen area to help pull the distinct spaces together.

Take Advantage of Mirrors

Especially if your space is limited, combining a kitchen and dining room can create a space that feels small and cluttered. Decorating with wall mirrors is a great way to take advantage of natural and artificial light, which can in turn make the room feel bright, airy, and spacious. For the best results, try arranging mirrors next to light sources or across from windows. While light can make the room look more cheerful and open, the reflection from the window can add depth and visual interest to the room.

Think Function Over Form

When you’re decorating with limited space, it’s especially important to prioritize function over form, meaning that how you will use a piece of furniture should take precedent over what it looks like. This will help you keep your space from being cluttered with pieces that don’t serve a practical function, and it will keep you from choosing furniture that looks great but isn’t practical for the space you’re furnishing. Before you simply pick a piece of furniture that looks stylish, make sure you’ve considered how the piece will be used on a daily basis and how it will fit in with the rest of the furniture in the room.

Shopping at Star Furniture

When you shop at Star Furniture & Mattress, you’ll find a wide range of kitchen and dining room furniture to help you design the kitchen dining room combo of your dreams. Not only do we have great furniture deals on functional and stylish furniture, but we offer free interior design services at our stores, so you can take advantage of our decades of design experiences. Plus, we have dining room furniture in every style and budget, including traditional dining room furniture, modern dining room furniture, transitional dining room furniture, and farmhouse style dining room furniture. We even offer a free room planner tool, which allows you to try out different furniture arrangements before you make a purchase.

Whether you’re decorating a kitchen dining room combo, a more formal dining room, or a dining room combined with a living room, Star Furniture & Mattress can help. In addition to these great kitchen dining room decorating ideas, we have a huge selection of dining room furniture for sale, including dining sets, dining benches, barstools and counter stools, china cabinets, curios, buffet servers, and bar carts and wine cabinets. In the meantime, check out our interior design blog, where we cover everything from what to do with a dining room you don’t use to how to decorate a hutch.

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How to Make a Home Office in a Small Space

by Jane K on July 8, 2020

Small Home Office with Writing Desk

Wondering how to make a home office in a small space? These small home office ideas from the interior design experts at Star Furniture should help!

Body Content

As our country deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are being granted the freedom to work from home. But if you’re not used to remote working, you may not have a designated workspace in your home. In today’s interior design blog, we cover how to make a home office in a small space using some of our favorite small home office ideas.

Small Home Office Idea #1: Commandeer a Closet

Especially if you live in a small home or apartment, you might not have an extra room to turn into a home office. You can, however, take advantage of existing space like a spare closet. Not only are reach-in closets roughly the same size and depth as small writing desks, but they often come with existing shelves that can be used for storage. Take the doors off for ease of use or leave them so you can easily close up shop at the end of the night, effectively hiding your remote workspace from view.

Small Home Office Idea #2: Find a Clear Corner

If you don’t have an entire room to dedicate to creating a small home office, try fitting an office into the corner of another living space. While living room office combinations are popular, dining rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms might also have free space you can dedicate to your home office needs. While it’s best if you can add a small writing desk and comfortable office chair, you can also transform a dining room table, breakfast nook, kitchen island, or vanity into a functioning workspace.

Small Home Office Idea #3: Lift-Top Coffee Table Desk

While it’s important to have a dedicated home office space when working remotely, you don’t necessarily need to use a traditional desk. In fact, if you enjoy working from the couch, you can easily repurpose a lift-top coffee table to function as your office desk. The best part? When it’s not in use, you can store your computer and other office supplies in the storage portion of the coffee table.

Small Home Office Idea #4: Try an Entryway Office

Looking for entryway decorating ideas and a space for your small home office? Try turning your foyer into a remote workspace. You can either repurpose your existing console table into a makeshift desk or replace it entirely with a small writing desk with drawers. Either way, with a few floating shelves and a push-in chair, you can create a stylish and functional home office for working from home.

Looking for home office inspiration? Visit one of our Star Furniture stores throughout Texas, where we carry a wide range of home office furniture options to fit your unique needs. In the meantime, check out our interior design blog where we cover everything from how to lighten a dark room with no natural light to our complete guide to home office design.

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How to Protect a Wooden Dining Room Table

by Jane K on June 15, 2020

Wood Dining Table With Upholstered Chairs

Once you’ve successfully chosen a dining room table, you’ll want to research the best way to care for it so it will last for years to come. In today’s blog, the furniture care experts at Star Furniture discuss how to protect a wooden dining room table.

Wood Table Care Tip #1: Dust Regularly

Dust may seem harmless, but when it comes to how to care for wood furniture, regular dusting is incredibly important. Dust buildup can quickly lead to scratches in the wood finish, so make sure you make a habit of regularly dusting your wooden dining room table. Not sure how to get started? The best way to dust wood furniture is with a microfiber cloth, which naturally clings to dust. You can also use a slightly damp cloth to get the job done. In general, its best to stay away from specialized dust polishes like Pledge, as they often contain silicones that can slowly soak into the grain of the wood causing permanent damage to your wood table.

Wood Table Care Tip #2: Use Dish Soap to Wash & Spot Clean

The best way to clean wood tables is with a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution made of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. First, dust the table. Once you’ve tested a small area, you can then apply the solution to the area you need to spot clean or the entire table. Because moisture can easily damage wood, make sure that you dry the table thoroughly after washing.

Wood Table Care Tip #3: Keep Your Table Away from the Radiator

When choosing your dining room layout, make sure to keep your wood dining table away from radiators, heat registers, and fireplaces, because high heat and temperature swings can cause warping and splitting in the wood. You’ll also want to be careful about where you store extra table leafs, avoiding areas with high temperatures and humidity like attics and basements.

Wood Table Care Tip #4: Manage Humidity

One of the best ways to care for wood furniture is to manage the humidity level in your home. In general, humidity levels should be between 40-45% if you want to prevent cracking and swelling in your wood table. In most climates, this requires running a humidifier in the winter and using an air conditioner or a dehumidifier in the summer months.

Shop online or visit a Star Furniture & Mattress store in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, or Bryan, Texas, where we have a wide selection of wooden dining room tables and other stylish dining room furniture for you to choose from. In the meantime, check out our interior design blog where we cover everything from how to clean an upholstery couch to dining room decorating tips.

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There are certain rooms in a home or apartment that present more design challenges than others. The basements, the dens, and smaller bedrooms can all be plagued with little to no natural light. Luckily, the simple act of brightening a room instantly makes a space feel larger and more open. It’s no wonder rooms with large windows typically feel the most welcoming.

So, what can be done with those rooms with little to no access to outside lighting? Here at Star Furniture, we’ve compiled these lighting solutions for anyone who wants to learn how to lighten a dark room with no natural light.

Lighting Ideas for Dark Rooms #1: Artificial Lighting

While it may seem obvious, one of the best ways to deal with a home or apartment with no natural light is to incorporate artificial lighting sources like lamps and overhead lighting. Overhead track lighting fixtures with the right bulbs allow for you to highlight certain areas of a room, casting shadows and bouncing light around to fill up the room. You can also utilize stylish table lamps, floor lamps, and other accent lighting to illuminate specific areas of the room and give the room a decorative flair. Not sure how to get started? These living room lighting ideas might help.

Lighting Ideas for Dark Rooms #2: Color Palettes

Another way to brighten a dark room through decorative changes is to choose the right color palette. For the darker rooms in your home, opting for a lighter color palette for the walls will allow for a brighter living experience. You’ll want to stay away from darker colors or richer tones as they will only accentuate the lack of natural light in the room. Instead, we recommend choosing colors with slightly paler shades, as they will help bolster the natural light of the room. Pastels, ivory, and cream are all helpful lighting solutions for dark rooms.

Lighting Ideas for Dark Rooms #3: Reflective Surfaces

Nothing opens up a room and tricks the brain more than wall mirrors, glass, and other reflective surfaces. We recommend first a mirror, as it’s both useful as well as helpful in lightening up a room. Place your mirrors in strategic places so that they’ll catch the most reflective light. Oftentimes, simply having a floor or table lamp near a mirror will do the trick. Adding a subtle, reflective gloss to the walls is another simple but smart way to add reflection to your room.

Lighting Ideas for Dark Rooms #4: A Pop of Life

Adding plants and other greenery can be a smart move when decorating a house or apartment with no natural light. Not only do they give the room a more natural feel, but they can even make a dark room feel brighter. Try choosing plants with bright, colorful pots, which can add a splash of color and brightness to the room. That said, when picking plants, you’ll want to find species that can tolerate low light. Species like ferns, spider plants, and silk plants are best, but you’ll want to speak with your local florist for more information. If you don’t have a green thumb, even artificial plants can do the trick.

Now that you know how to lighten a dark room with no natural light, you can move onto other interior design tips and tricks. Check out our furniture blog, where we cover topics ranging from everything you need to know about accent furniture to our favorite home décor trends of 2020. You can also shop Star Furniture in-store or online to find everything you need to create the home of your dreams!

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Interior Design Rules: Function Over Form

June 10, 2020

We’ve all seen houses that look more like magazine spreads than places where real people actually live. One look at the kitchen quickly tells you that no one ever cooks there. While aesthetics are important, one of the most important interior design rules is to prioritize function over form. Function Over Form Meaning The term […]

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Our Favorite Writing Desks for Sale at Star Furniture

June 9, 2020

Suddenly find yourself working from home? Writing desks are a wonderful piece of furniture if you’re looking to add a remote workspace to a foyer, home office, living room, or even your kitchen! Not only are they a great place to work remotely, they also allow for extra storage space while only taking up a […]

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Sectional Sofa Guide: How to Choose a Sectional

June 5, 2020

What is a Sectional Sofa? Sectional Vs. Sofa: Why Choose a Sectional? Popular Sectional Shapes & Types How to Choose a Sectional? Different Ways to Arrange a Sectional Considering buying a sectional? This sectional sofa guide covers everything you need to know about how to choose a sectional for your living room. What is a […]

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Entryway Decorating Ideas to Take Your Foyer to the Next Level

May 13, 2020

No matter how you slice it, the entryway is typically the first space guests see upon entering your home, so you want to make sure you establish a great first impression. The look and feel of your foyer set up the overall decorating style and dynamic theme of your entire home, so that first bit […]

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Our 4 Favorite Lift Chairs for Sale at Star Furniture

May 12, 2020

Just because you have mobility issues doesn’t mean you can’t sit in comfort and style. Star Furniture offers a handful of practical and stylish power lift recliners designed with the lounger in mind. In today’s blog, we explain what a lift chair is and suggest some of the best lift chairs for sale at Star […]

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Are Memory Foam Mattresses Hot?

May 11, 2020

Memory foam has been a mainstream product for decades, but in the last few years, it’s taken off as one of the primary materials for mattresses and pillows. With mattresses, some argue that memory foam has a tendency to run a bit hotter than a traditional innerspring mattress. While something like a pillowtop mattress might […]

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