Kitchen Dining Room Ideas: Making the Most of a Kitchen Dining Room Combo

by Jane K on July 8, 2020

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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