Small Dining Room- House Design

AnnalynngJune 18, 2013

We are in the process of designing a home and are adapting a plan that we love, but I'm worried that we will regret the size of the dining room. It measures at 9 ft x 12 ft. It is open to a fairly spacious galley kitchen, but not open to any other spaces.

We are a family of 5, and we DO love to spend time around the dining room table. It's not rare to have 7 or 8 gathered around our table.

I want the space to be cozy (I love the old home feel of fairly separated rooms), but I don't want it to be claustrophobic. Anyone have experience with a smaller dining room like this?

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I think you will be fine since it opens up on one side to your kitchen.
My dining space is part of an L-shaped living/dining room. I was able to expand the table to seat twelve. Yes, the end seat were a bit cramped, but certainly doable.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 8:44AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

If it is 12 feet wide, I'd say no worries, but if it is only nine feet wide, then it could be crowded if people want to hang out and relax after the meal-if they push the chairs back much, there won't be a lot of space to get around the pushed-back chairs. A very narrow table could help solve that, though. I have been searching for a 30" wide antique harvest table for years for just that reason (saw one once, but didn't buy it then-stupid me).

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 4:00PM
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Ditto what cyn said.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Mine is 11' 5" wide and I wouldn't go smaller. I have an octagonal table and it allows a comfortable space to walk behind the chairs.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:19PM
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Here is a photo of my 11.5 wide by 10.5 long dining room. We have just enough room. The table is 42 wide, and is flanked on either side by a small marble top table and a somewhat narrow buffet. I didn't have the leaf inserted when the photo was taken. So if you'll use the room regularly, you might want it wider, unless you don't have anything on the wall beside it, since yours opens up on one side. Mine does not open up except on the width to the living room, from where the photo was taken. Hope this helps someone, as I'm seeing this was posted a while back.

This post was edited by southernstitcher on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 20:07

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:51PM
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My diningroom is 10 ft. wide with cabinets built into recesses on one side beyond that. The rectangular dining table is 38" wide. We don't have difficulty walking around the table with everyone seated but am unclear if 6" less on each side would be tight. I would tape off a diningroom that size, put your table in the middle and see how things feel to you.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 12:47AM
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My breakfast room is 9' x 19', with one short end open to the kitchen/family room. We have a 42'' round table in there, and it feels too tight...not enough room for traffic.

A narrow rectangular table (32''-36'' wide, 6'-7' long) would work much much better. Then on the short end wall, add a 5'-6' long buffet (or something like that) with a painting above... it would look great.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:29AM
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You could consider a banquet-type seat on a wall side which would leave you much more room.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:27PM
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Funny, I recently posted on a DRM like Ilovecookie's on another forum. 9' wide, very long, first home purchased by a kid specifically for this room that could seat his large extended family. Their family style was a table groaning with serving dishes full of food, so the tables (end to end and draped) had to be at least 42", likely 48" wide (it's been a couple decades).

It was too narrow to "walk around." The table was pushed more toward one wall so that old and large folk could walk up to chairs on the other side. On the "inside" wall everyone got in by sliding along the chairs. When someone needed to get out, everyone in the way slid out. A set of nice windows on the small far end, but that's all.

It may sound undesirable, but it worked so well that I was genuinely impressed and actually measured the room to note what could be done for the future. We're not family and didn't have to go, but were always glad to be invited there.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Ours is about 9x9 open to the kitchen, we've had 4 people in there.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Problem can be sorted out by deploying small chairs for children if place permits..........

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 1:14PM
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One of the biggest mistakes in new homes is a dining area that is too small. A dining area that will be realistically comfortable would be no less than 11, preferably twelve. It's no fun squeezing behind someone. Ours is 11 and I consider adequate, would much prefer 12 or 13.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 3:01AM
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Eclecticcottage: I love your small country dining room. Very cozy and warm looking.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 10:09AM
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Nice dining room but it does not look small to me ... I think that the ideal size for dining. But I also depends on the family member that how many family members are in family. I think your are 4 as there are only 4 chairs :-)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 3:14AM
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Anicee- I've been gone a lot, this last year...did you sell your house and buy a new one? Sorry, but I can't remember. I know you wanted to and had a really nice one picked out, at one time :)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:15PM
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