Asked on Jun 25, 2014

Need more space!!! Help

by Sandiklein
I need ideas to make this small eat in kitchen area work better for our family. There are 5 of us and this small table just doesn't work. The chairs are always in the way of the path to the deck and the chairs are too large to all slide under the table. I'm wondering what it would look like if I got a rectangular (farmhouse) table with a bench seat pushed closer to the wall . Of course the light fixture would need to be moved so it would center the table. Need opinions and examples if anyone else has a similar set up, please :)
need more space help, home decor, living room ideas, Small eating area
Small eating area
  42 answers
  • Sandiklein Sandiklein on Jun 25, 2014
    Thank you, Becky. I think I need a larger table and the only way that will work is if I move it closer to the wall using some sort of bench seating.

  • Carole Carole on Jun 25, 2014
    I think you already know the answer to this one! Keep the chairs and get a large rectangular table to go with them. Make a banquette along the back wall that way you won't have the backs of chairs hitting the wall and making marks on it. The chairs will tuck under a rectangular table. I agree you will need to change the placement of the light fitting to suit the new space. Good luck!

  • Sandiklein Sandiklein on Jun 25, 2014
    Thanks Carol;) you're right I did know the answer:) Now I'm thinking/dreaming about maybe some kind of shallow built ins on each side of the bench? I would love to see pictures of similar set ups if anyone has any ?

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    • Change of Art Change of Art on Jun 26, 2014
      That just means your path to the deck is perfect. Adding my two cents about the dining table being narrower: I've fit 10 adults in my booth using an old hollow core on sawhorses when I first set it up. There isn't much room for a big centerpiece, but there's plenty of space for plates/glasses. I LOVE the examples that Donna Byram has shown, especially the center pic. Trestle tables are just so perfect for booths – no banging knees on the legs!

  • Becky Wood Becky Wood on Jun 25, 2014
    If you are thinking of making your own table build a little narrower than a normal table. You could put some sort of wheels on the legs then you can slide it over the bench. If your chairs fit snuggly under the table,it would give you a little extra room. You could also use a drop leaf table. Narrow table: Chairs that fit snuggly under table (think this is actually a child's table, but gives you the idea of what I mean): I have also seen a table on casters as I described, but can remember where. If I find it, I'll post the link later.

  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on Jun 25, 2014
    Here's a few pictures. One has the narrow table that Becky Wood was suggesting and a picture of one with a storage unit at the end.

  • Debbie Saracina Debbie Saracina on Jun 26, 2014
    Look for a rectangular peg leg table, they can be opened in a flash.

  • Nilsa Cintron Nilsa Cintron on Jun 26, 2014
    Glass top table

  • Adastra62 Adastra62 on Jun 26, 2014
    Paint it a much lighter color for starters. That will give the appearance of space. Also install full length mirrors.

  • Cathy K Cathy K on Jun 26, 2014
    I had a similar situation in our last home...yes, table up against the wall...and as for the light, you can 'swag' if over to hang over the table....if there is enough chain...if not, the light can be redone with light kits, complete with chain and everything you need. And it's a simple job! Leave the original base and just put in a hook where it's needed on the ceiling...

  • Joffler Joffler on Jun 26, 2014
    First of all, great wall piece and wall color! Now, the good thing is the slider is on the side closest to the kitchen counter. You need to guard/protect/do not interfere with at least 30 inches off the kitchen cabinets. That's your circulation space to access the deck and it looks like the breakfast room is pretty much open to the rest of the house so that's advantageous for you. This tells me you can definitely have a farmhouse style table, not terribly long or wide, but definitely with one of the short ends against the far wall and maybe 2 or 3 stools between it and the sliders and a bench on the opposite side. That could potentially give you seating for six, but definitely 5 reasonably comfortably. At least that's my initial thought. Note, SCALE is important, as you've learned from trying to use 5 chairs on a 36" diameter table (thereabouts). That's why I suggest the stools and bench. I know it seems informal, maybe too casual, but practical. And I think a minimum of 24"to a maximum of 30" table top width should be adequate for your purposes. It looks like you have a keen eye for decorating and coordinating so I think you could pull it off.

  • Andrea Andrea on Jun 26, 2014
    i had a similar situation in my first house. The light is an easy fix. Everyone seems to agree - table up to the wall similar to Donna's pics.

  • Lisa Schneider Lisa Schneider on Jun 26, 2014
    We have a similar layout. We took out the peninsula in the kitchen and have a good sized round table. I love the idea of putting a banquette against the wall.

  • LK LK on Jun 26, 2014
    you'll never have more space than with a round table , Maybe a lazy Susan but as far as improving your traffic pattern yes a banquet with a large farm table would give you that. Kids do not really need the full size space your adult chairs are offering, but for a dinner party your current table is the best t

  • Anny Palanzi Anny Palanzi on Jun 26, 2014
    The dropleaf table is a good idea but in the meantime, take a couple of chairs away from the table, move them to the sidewall, then rearrange the other 3 so that they're out of the path of the slider...I do like the wall hanging but maybe a large mirror would be better.

  • Lisa Schneider Lisa Schneider on Jun 26, 2014
    I am obsessed with this look and had I not had a built in buffet against my back wall I would have gone this way.

  • Change of Art Change of Art on Jun 26, 2014
    Maybe a mirror on the wall? I'm not usually a fan of seeing yourself eating (though, maybe I would eat less?), it looks like a mirror could reflect the view to your yard. Or, maybe a nice gallery wall with wide white mats? That would brighten up the space and the glass would serve a similar purpose as a mirror, reflecting light from your doors.

    • Sandiklein Sandiklein on Jun 26, 2014
      I've never been happy with that wall thing but I don't know about a mirror, I've never thought of that in that area. It would help reflect the light

  • Delightfully Noted Delightfully Noted on Jun 26, 2014
    We're house hunting and this one particular kitchen I saw reminds me a lot of your space and it looks like they did exactly what you have in mind

  • Le' Le' on Jun 26, 2014
    I would do what Jennifer suggested with light colors and no dangling light fixture.

  • Carmen Carmen on Jun 26, 2014
    there is rectangular table that has 2 leafs that when pulledup is round/oval; seems it occupies less space. Chairs I’d mix it up and have acrylic see through, which gives illusionof space (Ikes has one I like)

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 26, 2014
    In small spaces, it seems round tables do not work well. I have the same problem! I appears that you may have room for a rectangle table that is long enough for 2 chairs on each side and one on each end. 30" wide by about 50-52" should give you plenty of room. You could actually make it a little longer and push it against the wall until another space if needed. I found I had to buy chairs with straight legs...and flair in the legs made it awkward! 30" is plenty wide enough and I wish I had kept my 48" long table and gotten the straight leg chairs...I only need 3 places. You can custom build a table or buy one and change out the top.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 27, 2014
      @Sandiklein I found some smaller chairs that have straight legs and it really makes a difference. I wish I had kept the base to my 30"x48" table and then fashioned a different top that was actually about 1' longer.

  • Sandiklein Sandiklein on Jun 26, 2014
    Thank you so much for all the great suggestions!!

  • Blaise Allen Blaise Allen on Jun 26, 2014
    Lighten the walls and move the iron wall hanging. It's like a stop sign for the eye.

  • MJ MJ on Jun 26, 2014
    I agree with Jennifer@delightfully Noted. That is perfect!

  • Melodie Hoffman Melodie Hoffman on Jun 26, 2014
    I have the same set up in my kitchen.I used a rectangular table and moved it close to the wall and left two chairs out making the doorway accessible. If I have guests I have enough room to pull the table out and add the chairs back.

  • Le' Le' on Jun 26, 2014
    The thing about a dangling light fixture (although lovely) is that they say "put the table squared up under me." I'd get a large ceiling hugging large light then you can put your furniture anywhere.

  • Elizabeth E Elizabeth E on Jun 26, 2014
    What about taking out the sliding glass and putting in a one sided french or a large door so you have more wall space. Its a common lay out for a eating space and it drives me nuts.

  • Teresa Grant Teresa Grant on Jun 26, 2014
    I think using a farm style table with benches that can be pushed under the table with a couple of sassy chairs would look really good

  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Jun 26, 2014
    The room looks so dark in the photo, is it in real life?

  • Cindy Fuller Cindy Fuller on Jun 27, 2014
    Large Mirror/s on the wall open the space up and will reflect light from the window also, I agree, paint the walls a lovely light colour.

  • Le' Le' on Jun 27, 2014
    Yes, I agree with Elizabeth. Put one French door to the left which will give you more space and as Cindy said, add a large mirror (really large).

  • Rosemary Dixon Rosemary Dixon on Jun 27, 2014
    I have the same problem in my dining room, I am going to do the exact thing you are thinking. It wold solve the traffic problem with my sliding glass patio doors.

  • Sandiklein Sandiklein on Jun 27, 2014
    Changing the door isn't in the budget and a door opening to the inside would make it even more crowded anyway. The last thing I want I'd my kids banging a door into chairs all day long! :) The room isn't dark at all, it's just the time of day I took the picture, I guess.

  • Sandiklein Sandiklein on Jun 27, 2014
    Is this any better?

  • Bbe325969 Bbe325969 on Jun 27, 2014
    You can get a strong hook and swag the chandelier over the rectangular table that you will put closer to the wall. You may need to add chain, but it would be an inexpensive solution.

  • Sandiklein Sandiklein on Jun 27, 2014
    I've thought of that but It doesn't look like there is enough wire or chain? It has to be something I can do myself because my husband thinks it's fine the way it is :( men!!! Lol

  • Nancy Hatcher Nancy Hatcher on Jun 28, 2014
    I would still paint the walls a very light reflective color, take down the wrought iron and replace it with a mirror for it's space giving illusion, a square wood table or glass topped table would all give your room an enlarged feel.

  • Claudia welsh Claudia welsh on Jun 28, 2014
    What about a built in storage bench against the far wall, a farm table a bench and a chair at each end. And of course you would have to swag the light.

    • Sandiklein Sandiklein on Jun 28, 2014
      That's exactly what I want! Our home isn't large so I can alway use the storage the bench would add !

  • Christine Willson Christine Willson on Jun 28, 2014
    It is hard to see, but I like the round table and rectangular would take up more room. I think a lighter paint wold help, and it don't mind what is on your wall. Go with YOUR gut.

  • Angela Angela on Jun 30, 2014
    There are some very good comments already and I agree, lighten the wall color and even small framed mirrors will expand the space. Storage bench seating works great in small spaces! If building your own storage bench isn't an option try using two storage or cedar chests with a single long cushion on top to create bench seating. Just another idea.

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Jun 30, 2014
    If someone in your family is handy, try this. Make an L shaped kitchen bankette. The L turn could be small. You can make storage under the bankette, use your current table but with just two chairs. This should save you quite a bit of room and give you more storage! search kitchen bankettes on for ideas.

  • Comet Comet on Jul 03, 2014
    There are easy kits to make the chain and wire on these fixtures longer---I am sure Lowes has them or any lighting store should have them. Unplug the fixture and take it down; read the instruction (YouTube and HOUZZ have instructions also) on how to remove the wire from the top of the lamp (Or you could just use an extension cord!) and thread the wire thru the chain---cut to the proper length---and use a CEILING HANGING LIGHT SCREW FITTING to make a new place to hang it. Just make sure that if this is going into plasterboard and not a stud you get the right size for the weight and that it has the "Wings" to support it. Lowes also sells the proper chain in several finishes by the foot/yard --just ask! I agree with you 100%---use a rectangle table and either one or two storage benches---you can find these for not too much at unfinished wood places and paint or stain yourself. And you can buy "Camping foam mattress" at Lowes for around $15 to make padded tops--(This is WAY cheaper than the fabric store or pre-made bench toppers!) -just sew an "envelope" or "Pillow case" type cover so you can take it off and wash it. I would also move the wrought iron ===maybe to the patio!!!---and put some framed photos and art up there--break up the space and oddly enough it will look larger. One big mirror can be creepy if you are watching your self eat--and kids will always be making faces in it!