Dining tables usually take up a lot of space. So this is an important piece of furniture to optimize for a small space.
There are a ton of great designs out there and in this article, we will take a closer look at some of the best space-saving dining tables for small spaces.
Let’s take a look some REALLY creative and clever solutions
We will start with extendable dining tables.
Extendable Dining Tables
These types of dining tables have been around for ages. This also means that designers have had a lot of time to redesign and improve on them.
Let’s start with our favorite piece of furniture at all times: The Goliath table!
Modern (extreme) extendable dining table
The king of this category is the Goliath table. A very stylish and modern dining table.
It’s a dining table design that used to be really expensive but today there are several copies and variations build around this idea.
If you’re interested in buying this table you can find more information on where to get the best price in our article over here.
As you can see, the table can be pulled out to seat around 8 or 10 people. A great solution for hiding a modern-looking dining table in a tiny apartment.
We have tried to build our own take on this table and it was quite hard. The results turned out quite nice though. Here are some pictures.
Here you can see the table when it is completely collapsed.
Here’s a picture where we are inserting the leaflets. We have built it to fit around 10 people so we have five leaflets we can insert.
As I mentioned it was really hard to build this table right. There are several retractable parts that need to work exactly like planned and we ended up paying more for the materials than this table sells for today.
We spend around 1,200 on the materials and you can find it online for around $1,000!
We have dedicated a separate article to this amazing piece of furniture. Go here to read everything about pull-out dining tables (including the Goliath).
Let’s start with the famous and classic extendable tables.
These are really great because they allow you to extend the table whenever you need to have more people seated at the table.
These kinds of dining tables have been popular for many decades. They are great because you can often hide the leaflets under the table. They are very affordable because the design is simple and easy to make.
Drop-Leaf Dining Tables
This is also a classic way to make more space around the dining table when it is needed.
Most people only need seating for 3-5 people on a daily basis but it’s great to have the opportunity to seat more people when you have guests over for dinner.
Here are some clever takes on the classic drop leaf tables
This table is so simple and great. The only thing these dining tables does differently is the position of the drop leaflets. Normally you will have the drop leaves at the ends on the table but this table can fold down each side of the tabletop at full-length.
Very clever and creative solutions!
Folding Dining Tables
The majority of the tables in this article are folding dining tables. They are really great because you can move them around as they are not attached to the wall.
They come in all shapes and sizes. We will look at some off of best and most creative DIY solutions as well as solutions you can pick up at an online store.
We will start with some of the really well-designed tables you can buy online.
We have divided this section into:
- Free-standing models
- Coffee tables that fold into dining tables
- Wall-mounted tables
The free-standing models are great because she can move them around. When you live in a tiny apartment it’s important to have the possibility to make the most of each room. A big part of this has to do with the ability to move your furniture around as you like.
These models can be moved together or you can take them to another room when you have a dining party.
Let’s start by looking at a great minimalistic and white design.
We found this table at this online store.
You can also have it in a darker finish.
This is what it looks like when you place it against the wall. It can double function as a console table and when you move it out from the wall you can flip the tabletop. By doing so you will double the amount of space on the tabletop.
It’s very simple and very easy to operate.
A great design for a small home!
We found this table at this online store.
The next table is a homemade solution we found in a tiny house on wheels.
We have filmed more than a dozen tiny homes on wheels and this is one of the better table solutions we have found. You can have it up against the wall (as a very long table) or you can pull it out from the wall and fold it together.
This turns it into a square table that can fit 6-8 people.
Take a look here as the builder of the house transforms the table.
If you want to see more tables from tiny homes you should visit this article with a tour of the best 11 tiny houses we have found.
The next solution is actually two tables that you can place close together to become one giant dining table.
It’s originally designed for meeting rooms and conference rooms. You can store a lot of these tables up against the wall if you have to and for private use, you will probably have it folded out most of the time. But you will have the option to place a table like this up against the wall if you want to transform your studio apartment to a dancing hall.
Here’s how are you do it:
The next model is a round folding table. They are pretty rare and (unfortunately) we cannot remember where we found this design. A round table normally can’t be folded but this design is pretty clever.
The round tabletop is cut into the three pieces which are mounted together by hinges. This way you can flip it around and store it in a small space. It will probably fit under a bed or beside a wardrobe.
Dining Table That Rotates To Seat 4 Extra People
This table is really cool as well. And you can actually buy it online! (link below).
The trouble with many of these tables is generally that they were made by a designer who never got them into production. But not this one. It’s for sale over at Expand Furniture.
Ultra-Compact Dining Table
We found this dining set at Wayfair and we were amazed at how cheap it was.
Very nice design. The 4 chairs fit perfectly on the rounded corners of the table.
Coffee tables that fold into dining tables
The next set of dining tables are built around coffee tables.
You always have space for the coffee table so this is a great place to hide your dining table.
This model is made with pistons as you know it from office chairs. You just press down on the table top in order to lift the tabletop. This will extend the table from coffee table height to the height of a normal dining table.
The tabletop is made with a high-gloss finish and the legs are made of glossy steel.
We tested out this table in Copenhagen at one point and it’s really easy to operate. The transformation only takes a couple of seconds.
We found this table at this online store. (From $499!)
There’s also a cheaper alternative we found at Wayfair. This table is quite similar and it was actually hard to find. It’s not easy to find all the good designs for sale. As you will notice, the best ideas typically never make it to production because they are too expensive to mass produce.
But this one is available online for less than $300 over here at Wayfair!
A REALLY good price for a foldable dining table of this kind!
The next table is quite amazing.
The first time you see it you won’t believe it can turn into a full-size dining table!
The table will pop-up much like the table above. When you have raised the legs it’s time to pull and fold out the tabletop. You simply pull the two pieces of the tabletop apart and inside you find the leaflets to extend the table to its full length.
As you can see, the table is made in several colors. Personally, I like the dark wood finish over the high-gloss white finish.
We found this table at this online store.
These are tables in the higher end of the price scale. But as soon as you touch them and see how well they operate you will understand why. They are Italian designs and they have a reputation for being very picky when it comes to details.
The next table is another folding coffee table we found a small design shop in Copenhagen.
This is a rather unique design.
Here are the steps to turn this coffee table into the dining table:
- Turn the table top 90 degrees
- Fold over the tabletop to double its size
- Lift up the table top to dining height (pistons)
Let’s move on to look at some wall-mounted models.
Another great solution to save space around the dining table is to mount it on the wall.
I wall-mounted dining table can be folded up against the wall to remove it completely. This is a really great solution and the only downside here is that you cannot move the table to another place. It will stay fixed to this area but if you’re fine with that this is typically the best and cheapest solution.
Here are some great designs.
Small fold-down dining tables
That basic idea below comes in many shapes.
They can be big or small and they can have a mirror or a picture mounted on the back.
The small dining tables are really great because they cannot hide away completely. They look nice when they are folded down and they also look really nice when they are up against the wall. And the best part is that anyone can fold it down in seconds.
The next model has little more functions added to it.
It’s deeper and has built-in shelves for kitchen storage. It’s a great way to store a handful of plates, glasses, and cups. Sometimes, this will be all you need for a small apartment.
On the front, there is storage for newspapers, books etc.
Everything will stay in place when you pull down the table and this is a really cool feature with this one.
It’s very simple and elegant and it’s a great way to combine a kitchen table with storage for tableware and paper.
Under pictures above you can see what it looks like in two different colors.
Below we have a picture of the table while folded down.
As you can see, there is quite a lot of storage inside this kitchen cabinet. The top shelf can be closed off with its own little cabinet door so this is a great place to store wine glasses and other things that can break.
These types of tables are available here for $174 including shipping.
The next model is actually not wall-mounted. At least not permanently. It can hang on the wall but you can take it down and place it wherever you want to.
It’s a really cool minimalistic design and a double function as a mirror when you hang it on the wall.
The legs and the tabletop are really thin. That way you won’t even notice that this wall mirror hides a decent dining table inside its structure. We haven’t found anywhere to buy this solution so it’s probably built as a DIY project for someone.
Let’s take a look at a DIY fold-down table.
Things don’t have to be complicated and you definitely build a space-saving dining table for cheap.
This is another really cool photo table we found in a tiny house we filmed. It’s found inside a 270 sq.ft. (25 m2) tiny house and these cute little houses are great for finding space saving ideas for small apartments.
This kitchen table is something everyone can build. It’s great for daily use and it can easily fit three people for dining.
Full-Size Folding Kitchen Tables
Here’s another REALLY cool solution. This table is built into the kitchen furniture and you can swing out when you need seating for many people.
If you have a long kitchen counter space this is a great way to incorporate a dining table into the design. You can hide when you need the floor space for the kids to play or if you don’t have much floor space at all.
Check out the idea here:
I love how simple it is and how little space it takes up when the design is folded in below the kitchen counter.
This is another way to hide a dining table below the kitchen counter.
This table can be pulled out to extend the kitchen counter space when you have the whole family over for dinner.
You will need higher chairs like barstools to make this work because the height of the table will be higher than a normal dinner table. We use a similar solution in our small apartment and it works just fine. It’s no problem with the added height of the table.
You can also build a full-size classic pull-down table if you have a high ceiling.
This table looks really great and it can seat four people comfortably. You can probably also place a person at the end of the table if you need to serve five people.
The whole system hides beautifully up against the wall when it’s tucked away.
This is great for studio apartments and families with kids as you can use the floor space for other activities when you want.
It’s pretty cool to see a full-size dining table being hidden on the wall. Normally these types of tables are only made for 2-3 people.
Funny Dining Table Solutions
Let’s finish off with a couple of funny dining tables. These are pretty extreme and probably not something you will find in people’s homes. But they can be great as inspiration because the ideas are really unique. If not anything else they will probably put a smile on your face.
This dining table can be flipped 180 degrees to reveal a bed!
Pretty cool for a one-bedroom apartment or a studio apartment.
You will need to strap the bed sheets in tight and probably need storage elsewhere for the pillow etc. But I love how this guy figured out just another way to hide a table and a bed inside the same piece of furniture!
The model below is a shelving unit that can fold down to become a full-size dining table for four people.
If you make sure to replace everything correctly, you can actually fold it up and down without having to move anything.
Take a look here:
This is another creative idea where people have used a door as a table for playing ping pong.
The solution can also work well as a dining table. If you are 4 to 6 people you can easily fit everyone around this little table if it’s just for a snack or a sandwich. If you are preparing a real dinner it will probably only seat 2 to 4 people.
The coolness factor is all maxed out with this one!
The next table has a side leaf for an extension.
By flipping up that extra part of the table you get a little extra space when you need that.
This next pub/bar table is more stylish and sophisticated, and will also fit in most apartments and small spaces. It’s made in black polished steel and comes with two chairs.
The last one can fit 4 people, but if you want to use it as a dining table you will have to use the kitchen counter for the food. The chairs fit nicely below the table, so they don’t take up space when not needed.
It has a nice finish and clean lines. It’s made of steel and the 4 stools are included.
Wall-Mounted Folding Dining Tables
There are also some great and options for a foldable dining table you can mount on your wall.
It’s a great option to be able to fold down the table during the day when you need the space for play or if you are having friends over. We personally need as much floor space as possible during the day as we have a little toddler who LOVES to drive around on his scooter.
This first option is found here at Wayfair. They have several really great options for tables you can fold down during the day.
It’s VERY affordable and there are several other options as well at the link above.
Here’s a DIY solution that you can easily create yourself.
All it takes is a couple of hinges and a piece of wood. You will be done in no time and it’s a great Saturday project if you are a little handy.
Well, we hope you got inspired. What does your dining area look like?
Great Dining Chairs For Small Spaces
You will also need a good solution for dining chairs in a small apartment. Now that you have probably found a lot of inspiration about how to save space around the dining table is time to look at the chairs.
Super-Thin Collapsible Chairs
These dining chairs are called “Nano Chairs”.
There are a lot of really cool things to say about these chairs. First and foremost, they take up almost no space when they are folded together. The other cool thing about these dining chairs is that you can hang them on the wall.
You can find them online in this shop.
Corner Benches For Small Spaces
Benches are often a good solution for studio apartments and other really small spaces.
If you want to utilize the space the best you can it’s a good idea to place the dining table up against the corner. When you combine this design with a bench (preferably a corner bench) you get great use of the square feet in the room.
You will also have space for storage below the corner bench and sometimes you can even hide stuff inside the seats.
This is especially great if you have kids as they can sit closer together on a bench. Baby chairs and chairs for kids tend to take up just as much space as regular chairs. So for a kids birthday or when you have family visiting you can seat more people around the dining table if you have a bench. Especially if there are several kids.
Do round or rectangular tables take up more space?
A rectangular table will generally take up less space than a round table. A rectangular table can be placed up against a wall and it can also seat more people.
If you have a rectangular table of 26 sq.ft. (2,4 m2) you will typically be able to seat 8 people when you place a person at each end as well. But with a round table, you will only be able to seat 6-7 people for the same amount of sq.ft.
For most tiny spaces you will need to be able to seat as many people as possible and you have more seating around a rectangular (or square) table.
With the round table, it will also be difficult to hide it away when you have to.
How Can I Make A Small Dining Room Look Bigger?
We have filmed many small spaces and the dining area can often be REALLY small in tiny homes and studio apartments. Here are our best tips on how to make them appear bigger than they are.
- Paint the walls white
- Remove or hide electrical cords
- Big windows for natural light
- Declutter and have empty wall space
- Use mirrors (our best tips for using mirrors in small spaces)
- Take out a door
- More ideas on how to make a small room appear bigger.
We always recommend white (or very bright colors) for small spaces. Especially when we want them to seem as big as possible. White colors are great because they open up the room and reflect the light better than darker colors.
You can read more tips here on how to decorate a tiny apartment.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.