8 Innovative Ways Your Dining Space Can Do Double-Duty

Revive your dining room with these nontraditional takes on a classic space.

Related To:

Dining rooms are great for entertaining and celebrating special occasions, but what should you do with that space when no one’s visiting? You might be surprised by all of your options. Here are 8 nontraditional ways to make the most of your space.

1: Showcase With Shelves

Eclectic Dining Room With High-Top Dining Table

Eclectic Dining Room With High-Top Dining Table

Coffered ceilings and built-in bookshelves get a coat of fresh, white paint to match the contemporary feel of this dining room. The bubbling, gold fireplace surround spills onto the natural hardwood floors, creating a tactile, artistic effect. Colorful counter height dining chairs bring a cheery element to the space.

Photo by: First Team Estates, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

First Team Estates, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

There’s a lot to love about this eclectic dining room from First Team Estates: the high-top table, the brightly-colored chairs and especially those built-in shelves. While cabinets and cupboards add elegance to a room, they can sometimes consume valuable space in a smaller setting. With built-in shelves, though, you can display your prized possessions without compromising square footage.

2: Opt for an Office

Dining Room and Office Area

Dining Room and Office Area

As seen on Kitchen Cousins, John and Anthony were able to move the Goldsteins' kitchen to a better location, which afforded the family a new, larger dining room that is large enough for a work space.

From: Kitchen Cousins

Photo by: Chris Amaral

Chris Amaral

If you need a quiet workspace but don’t have a room to spare, consider transforming your dining room into a dual-purpose office. In this transitional dining room, an elongated desk creates a clear workspace that coordinates with the table and chairs.

3: Commit to Your Craft

Dining Room With Modern Art Piece and Antique Lockers

Dining Room With Modern Art Piece and Antique Lockers

A large piece of modern art defines this dining room. Its array of colors and unique shape are a perfect complement to the simple, clean-lined dining table and stools. The antique lockers to the side of the table provide storage space and also act as a decorative element.

Photo by: Kelly Sutton Design

Kelly Sutton Design

Alternatively, your dining room can easily double as a craft room. In this industrial space by Kelly Sutton, the clean table and stools not only allow for entertaining guests, but they also make a great spot for crafting. You can even store all of your supplies in an antique locker. 

4: Show Off Your Sportsmanship

Eclectic Dining Room With Vintage Stadium Seating

Eclectic Dining Room With Vintage Stadium Seating

Pale green walls are the backdrop in this dining room featured on HGTV's Home by Novogratz . A set of red stadium chairs pairs with gold Chiavari chairs for an eclectic mix of seating, while hanging pennants, bold artwork and wall trim molding adorn the walls.

If you’ve been searching for a tasteful way to showcase your fandom, look no further. In this eclectic space, stadium-style seats and pennants add vintage color and charm to an otherwise quiet dining room. Bonus? You can use the stadium seats to accomodate more guests in one area. 

5: Live It Up With a Library

Sleek Modern Dining Room With Multicolored Book Display

Sleek Modern Dining Room With Multicolored Book Display

A modern dining room turns its book collection into an eye-catching design statement by organizing them by color in the space-saving built-in bookshelf. A simple picnic table and ghost chairs let the striking dark walls and rainbow colors do the talking.

Photo by: Ann Lowengart

Ann Lowengart

As someone with way too many books (or not enough space to store them, anyway), I love this colorful display. Paired with a simple picnic table and chairs, these built-in bookshelves by Ann Lowengart can be used to store all of your cookbooks and create a cozy library.  

6: Grow a Garden

Neutral Dining Room with Dark Modern Accents

Neutral Dining Room with Dark Modern Accents

As seen on HGTV's Love It Or List It, Too, designer Jillian Harris gave the homeowners a modern dining space. With a table that seats up to six, there is plenty of space for the family to enjoy or to entertain their friends. She then added a modern chandelier to help bring light to the room. The walls are painted a neutral color and are accented by the dark picture frames and the metal of the chandelier.

From: Love It or List It, Too

Photo by: David Owen Strongman / Getty Images

David Owen Strongman / Getty Images

When not hosting Friday night dinners for family and friends, try transforming your dining room into a low-maintenance home garden. Designer Jillian Harris used potted plants to freshen this modern dining room and accentuate its earthy tones.

7: Celebrate With a Wine Cellar

Industrial Chic Dining Room

Industrial Chic Dining Room

Suspended from exposed steel beams, a heavy-duty chandelier works the room.

Photo by: Cory Holland

Cory Holland

Doesn’t living on a vineyard sound like a dream? Now you can make it a budget-friendly reality. In this industrial chic dining space by Harmony Weihs, two floor-to-ceiling cabinets become the perfect spot for storing wine, which makes celebrating special occasions all the more fun.

8: Get Your Game Room On

Eclectic Dining Room

Eclectic Dining Room

Electric-blue walls were a risky pick, but Hampton and Bart knew the splashy color (California Blue by Benjamin Moore) would set off the white table, pleather chairs and the wood buffet from a local antiques shop. Plus the blue helps carry the palette through the home. All those colors make the patchwork rug versatile: Switch rooms, repaint the walls and it still works.

Photo by: Jean Allsopp

Jean Allsopp

Dining rooms were designed for gathering with family and friends, so why not throw a little competition into the mix? With a wooden buffet for storing board games and card decks, this eclectic dining room encourages plenty of family-friendly activities and bonding.   

See the Dining Room From HGTV Smart Home 2016

See All Photos

Dramatic Dining

Two teal and hunter green wingback chairs and bold art add color and drama to the elegant dining room, which faces the front of the house.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Stylish Chairs

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

User-Friendly

The dining room opens to the entryway, living room and kitchen, which helps when serving meals during dinner parties.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Luxe Lighting

The stunning beaded dining room iron chandelier casts a pleasing glow over the table. The home’s smart lighting system allows lights to be controlled by remote, wall switches or smartphones.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Light and Airy

The dining room also enjoys lots of natural light, thanks to the large windows that face the front of the house.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Wow-Worthy Art

The large blue and taupe abstract artwork measures about 8 by 7 feet, making a dramatic statement on the one solid wall of the dining room.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Adding Comfort

Part of the home’s smart thermostat system that can be remotely operated or monitored—which helps save money on utility bills--the AC return was integrated into the design of the dining room.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Tucked Away

A clever cabinet door is both stylish and functional with an air vent tucked away out site. 

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Natural Beauty

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Color and Warmth

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Ideal Location

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Focal Point

The large blue and taupe artwork creates a focal point and adds just the right amount of drama to the room.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Curated Look

The tall white ceramic pieces on top of the dining table give the space a curated look.

Tags: 
  1. white photos

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Decorative Touch

Tall blue and white Chinese porcelain vases decorate the built-in shelves on each side of the front windows.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Extra Warmth

The dining room drapes add a touch of warmth and frame the view to the home's front yard.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Open and Accessible

The open floor plan of the home's expansive main level helps the dining room enjoy good flow with surrounding spaces.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Architectural Interest

A nice feature of the home, architectural beams add interest to the ceiling in the dining room and adjacent kitchen.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts