1. BRING IN A MIRROR TO REFLECT MORE NATURAL LIGHT
'If a room isn't well lit, it can feel smaller and more cramped,' say Jen and Mar, founders of Interior Fox. 'Our first suggestion is to try to get more natural light in by using a big mirror to get reflections from the windows.'
2. CHOOSE DARK PAINT COLORS
Dark colors tend to absorb light, thereby giving a space a sense of depth, and endlessness. This is one of the most commonly used design tricks. Think of those small jazz bars or speakeasies you've visited around Europe, with black or deep charcoal walls. The rooms may have been small but did you feel you were trapped inside a small, cramped space?
3. CONSIDER FURNITURE WITH SLEEK, CLEAN LINES
Not only does furnishing your dining room with clean, sleek furniture make it seem like an elegant, welcoming space, it also reduces the visual clutter in the room. Plus, smarter, cleaner furniture profiles are a big dining table trend at the moment.
4. GO FOR A CIRCULAR DINING TABLE
'The dining table can have the biggest impact in the room,' says Jennifer J Morris, founder of JMorris. 'A table that is oval or circular in shape will give extra room and air flow/movement around the table. If you choose a table with a pedestal base, it will make the room seem lighter. A pedestal table also allows seating be flexible, with more people being able to sit around it.'
5. HAVE OPEN BACK CHAIRS
Keeping long, unobstructed sightlines in the room is another great way to make the dining room feel large and airy. While designing a dining room, choose pieces that aren't made of heavy materials, else they will make the room seem bulky.
6. DRAW THE EYES UP WITH PENDANT LIGHTS
'Understanding how the room is lit when it's night or a gloomy day outside is important when designing the dining room lighting scheme,' say interior designers Jen and Mar of Interior Fox. 'Spots with dimmers are always great, if the room is small but if it has tall ceilings try drawing the eye up with a pendant light. If the room is narrow try adding wall lights.'
7. OPT FOR BUILT-IN SEATING
'To make the most efficient use of your dining space, incorporate banquette seating on one side,' says Reena. 'A free-standing dining bench or built-in banquette can be banked against the wall eliminating half of the circulation space that would normally be required in a more conventional centered furniture arrangement. This 'found' space can make room for a larger table or simply create the illusion of a larger dining room.'
8. CREATE A FOCAL POINT
A great way to add personality to a small space is with the trick of distraction. Have one eye-catching element in the room that is so beautiful or overpowering, that it draws attention of the guests and dwellers, making them forget the dimensions of the room.
9. ADD A LARGE AREA RUG
An oversized dining room rug is a great idea, because not only does it add color, texture and style to a space, it can also create the illusion of boosted dimensions.
10. INCREASE THE VISUAL DIMENSIONS WITH LOW SEATING
For something a little different, why not opt for a low dining table in a small space? 'Traditionally Asians are accustomed to sitting on the floor and eating,' says architect Shiraz Jamali. 'It’s also considered healthy, and with all things old making a huge come back, we decided to built this low dining table for our client. Not only does it look great but also opens up the space and makes the room feel more open and airy. The rustic live edge wooden table is juxtaposed with the unusual carved wooden balls for legs creating an interesting blend of styles.'
WHAT COLORS MAKE A DINING ROOM LOOK BIGGER AND BRIGHTER?
Quite naturally, one would gravitate towards a white, to make a small dining room look and feel bigger. It's no secret that light colors make a room look airier and larger. Eggshell or satin finishes will help reflect the light, creating the appearance of even more space. When selecting the best white paint, remember to not go with a cool white, as it might make the room feel stark and cold.