No Room for a Dining Table? 12 Ideas You Can Do Instead

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If you live in a small apartment or home, you probably know the feeling of not having enough room to fit essential furniture.

But a small space doesn’t mean sacrificing essentials, like your dining table. Don’t believe us? Read on to find out 12 ways you can make a dining table work (and alternatives if it’s really not an option).

no room for dining table

1. Wall mount a table

If you have the wall space, why not add a wall-mounted folding table? You can even utilize the free wall space between your kitchen cupboards and appliances. Alternatively, any wall space in your apartment will do. 

Look for slim designs that can be easily folded away when not in use.  This eco-friendly MM MELISEN Wall Mounted Folding Table from Amazon comes in various sizes, is easy to clean and install, and has an easy-to-use fingertip release mechanism. 

MM MELISEN Wall Mounted Folding Table for Laundry Room, Wall Mounted Fold Down Desk for Small Saving Spaces, Kids Floating Desk for Dining, Room, Study, Kitchen, Dinner, Bar

Bear in mind that these wall-mounted options aren’t typically large, so they’re better suited to one or two people. 

2. Purchase a drop leaf table

Although not wall mounted, a drop leaf table can be tucked against a wall and folded open when needed. As a result, it takes up minimal space and is usually compact. 

When folded, the table shrinks to half its size. Popping it nearby a window will keep it out of high-traffic areas, and you may even enjoy a meal with a view. 

This basic Winsome Wood Hannah Dining, Light Oak drop leaf table from Amazon is easy to assemble, casual looking, and compact. Other funky, modern-looking designs are available online and in-store if you are looking for more of an accent piece. 

Winsome Wood Hannah Dining, Light Oak

3. A kitchen island or table

Use an existing kitchen island or purchase an island (if you have the space) that can be used as a prep space and dining area. 

Suppose you can tuck some stools underneath the island worktop; even better! Alternatively, add a table extension to one side of your island to create an overhanging worktop.

Another suggestion is adding a small kitchen table as your prepping station and dining table. This Modern Bistro Pub Table from Amazon is simple yet elegant and takes up minimal space. 

DKLGG 3-Pieces Bar Table and Chairs Set, Kitchen Dining Bar Height Table with 2 Bar Stools, Modern Bistro Pub Table Breakfast Square Bar Table Small Space for Kitchen, Living Room, Party Room, White

4. The mobile island 

If you cannot extend your kitchen island or don’t have the budget or space for a new one, consider a mobile island.

Place it in the center of your kitchen as an additional workspace, come dining table, or roll it out of the way when not needed. 

How clever is this Winsome Suzanne 3-PC Set Space Saver Kitchen from Amazon? The stools tuck neatly under the table, it has a drop leaf expandable tabletop, a handy handle for moving it about, and the casters make it easy to roll from room to room. 

Winsome Suzanne 3-PC Set Space Saver Kitchen, Coffee Finish, 29.61x29.13x32.76

5. The mobile trolley 

What’s fantastic about the trolley table option is that it is portable. Not only can you store it away when not in use, but you can wheel it to any room of the house that you would like to dine in.  

Numerous options are available, yet this N&V Double Layer Trolly Side Table is minimalist and affordable, perfect for everyday use.

N&V Double Layer Trolly Side Table (White) 

6. Use your balcony.

If you are fortunate enough to have a balcony, use it. 

Not only does it free up your indoor space, but there is nothing nicer than open-air dining, especially in summer. But, of course, you can always install a balcony heater if you find it chilly in the winter. 

Balcony railing hanging table

Several folding bistro table options work well on small balconies. This FURNIKNA Balcony Bar Table for Railings from Amazon is available in various sizes and can fit any balcony railing type.  

FURNIKNA Balcony Bar Table for Railings, Balcony Railing Hanging Table Folding Balcony Table Hanging Adjustable Deck Table for Patio, Garden

Balcony accent bistro table

If you prefer to sit at a traditional table, why not jazz up your balcony space with this VCUTEKA Mosaic Patio Side Table from Amazon. These bistro tables come in multiple designs and will most definitely make a statement. 

VCUTEKA Mosaic Patio Side Table Outdoor Accent Table Bistro Coffee Table Plant End Table Small Porch Table Indoor Round Glass Balcony Dragonfly Plant Table Stands

7. An ottoman

If you have no space for a table and fancy dining in the lounge while watching a show, consider utilizing an ottoman as a table. 

Look for flat ottomans and choose a size that fits your space and the number of diners you wish to accommodate. Then, pop a tray on top to protect the surface of the ottoman, and add some poufs or cushions for additional seating. 

Modern and crafty

This Kakotito Modern Round Storage Ottoman with Wooden Lid from Amazon has a removable wooden lid that is great for cleaning and keeping your dinner plates and glasses sturdy. You can even store some dining essentials inside the ottoman to simplify things further.

Kakotito Modern Round Storage Ottoman with Wooden Lid,Circle Ottoman Handmade Coffee End Table & Footstool for Living Room (Light Gray)

Traditional and spacious

The Modway Engage Mid-Century Modern Upholstered Fabric Ottoman in Laguna from Amazon is one of the many fabric ottoman options available. This ottoman is highly rated for its durability and excellent value for money.

Modway Engage Mid-Century Modern Upholstered Fabric Ottoman in Laguna

8. Make use of your coffee table

If an ottoman is not your style and you prefer eating at a table, some great coffee table options are available. 

Height-adjustable coffee table

I love this Bidiso Lift Top Coffee Table from Amazon. It boasts a hidden storage space, and the tabletop can easily be lowered and lifted. In addition, the beautiful design complements most room styles. 

Bidiso Lift Top Coffee Table, Easy-to-Assembly Center Table with Hidden Storage Compartment, Modern Dining Table for Living Room Reception/Home Office, Walnut

Low Japanese-style coffee table

This is the ultimate in relaxed and informal dining. This low coffee table design is modern and currently all the rage. 

The CENZEN Bamboo Coffee Table for Living Room Unique Coffee Tables Low Table from Amazon is perfect for living room dining.

CENZEN Bamboo Coffee Table for Living Room Unique Coffee Tables Low Japanese Style Table for Sitting on The Floor Accent Furniture

Pop a couple of poufs, similar to these MAHAO Straw Flat Seat Cushion and Handmade Floor Pouf Mat from Amazon, around the table, and you are good to go.

MAHAO Straw Flat Seat Cushion, Handmade Floor Pouf Mat, Ottoman Footstool for Meditation, Zen, Yoga Practice or Buddha ((19.7" Dia. x 6.7" H))

This is, of course, not everyone’s cup of tea. But if your home or apartment style fit this style, this can be a great option.  

9. Sofa tables

A good option if you are in a tight squeeze and your living space is minimal. 

Clip on trays

You get these nifty Arm Table Clip On Tray Sofa Table for Wide Couches from Amazon that fit snugly on your sofa and can easily hold a glass and dinner plate. 

Arm Table Clip On Tray Sofa for Wide Couches. Couch Table, Portable TV and Side Tables Small Spaces. Stable Eating Drink

Sofa side table 

This WLIVE Snack Side Table from Amazon is a great space saver. It can slide under the couch when used and offers a sturdy table top for snacks or meals. 

WLIVE Side Table Set of 2, C Shaped End Table for Couch, Sofa and Bed, Large Desktop C Table for Living Room, Bedroom, Gray and Black

Tray tables

Not the top dining option, but it still works well and can be easily folded away and stored until the next meal. It’s also easy to clean and an inexpensive alternative to a dining table. 

You won’t have trouble finding a tray table online or in-store. Still, this Bamboo Bed Tray Table with Foldable Legs from Amazon is a best seller for a reason. It comes in various colors, has built-in carry handles, and is made with sustainable bamboo. That ticks all my boxes.  

Bamboo Bed Tray Table with Foldable Legs, Breakfast Tray for Sofa, Bed, Eating, Working, Used As Laptop Desk Snack Tray by Pipishell

10. Accent table

You may not have space for a dining table, but you can easily add an accent table to your entrance or living area, which can be used as your new dining spot. 

This way, the table brings functionality and beauty to your apartment or home without adding to your space problems. 

11. Sideboard or buffet table

You may own a side or buffet table in one of your living rooms. This can be easily doubled up and used as a dining table. 

If you are purchasing a new sideboard, try to find one that is not too low and has dimensions suitable for dining. 

The Meridian Furniture Bellissimo Collection Modern | Contemporary Lacquer Sideboard/Buffet from Amazon looks excellent in a room. It is 31 inches, considered an ideal standard dining room table height. 

Meridian Furniture Bellissimo Collection Modern | Contemporary Lacquer Sideboard/Buffet Tipped Acrylic Legs Wood Design, 64" W x 18" D x 31" H, White/Gold

A standard height for a dining table is 28 – 30 inches (71 -76 cm) from the floor to the tabletop surface. Keep this in mind when shopping around for sideboard alternatives. 

12. A windowsill

If your apartment has wide windowsills, you can easily pop a stool under the windowsill and enjoy your breakfast, lunch, and dinner right there. There would be no need to add extra furniture to your small apartment or home except, perhaps, a fold-up stool. 

This dining table alternative will only work for those living solo and, although not ideal, can still serve as a temporary solution. 

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