For a house with young children, dining room storage solutions must be child-friendly and clever enough to keep little hands away. Designer Christopher Grubb recommends using bench storage or a window seat with drawers to keep curiosity at bay. "Children will be less inclined to open something that doesn't appear to be a cabinet," he says. Design by HGTV fan TABCAD
Bench seating is ideal for a dining area with limited space. Layla Palmer of the Lettered Cottage says creativity is key for small spaces. "Bench seats with lidded tops can hide your Tupperware!" she says.
Even the simplest piece can stand out in a large dining area. "A shelf with a couple of statement pieces or something on top of a buffet or a serving surface is a great way to make a focal point," designer Luis Caicedo says. "There is such pleasure in getting things out for a wonderful occasion because it makes it a bit more special and worth the extra effort." Design by HGTV fan susu5
Organized and Functional Baskets
This rustic, open buffet from HGTV Green Home 2008 offers a practical yet stylish solution to child-friendly storage. If your dining area serves as a multi-purpose room for the kids, designer Lori Dennis suggests baskets and lots of them. "Somehow, at the end of the day when all of the toys or books are in them, a room looks neat and friendly," she says. Mix baskets of different shapes and sizes to accommodate the stored-away items.
This contemporary dining room offers storage without taking away room space. Designer Andreas Charalambous and FORMA Design created this custom dining room cabinetry to maintain the simplicity of the decor. The built-in unit houses a coat closet, AV equipment and dishes and serving equipment for the dining area, he says.
Display shelves are the best storage idea for small spaces, designer Christopher Grubb suggests. "Wall-mounted cabinets or narrow display shelves are great because they keep heavy furniture off the floor and make the room appear larger and more open," he says. To keep the room from looking cluttered, select a few key pieces for shelf decor. Design by Christopher Grubb
Bookshelves can represent any decorating style. In her dining room design, designer Lori Dennis prefers tall bookshelves to create a multi-functional space for the entire family. "I love using bookcases to line a dining room with room for storage baskets. It automatically allows the space to do double duty," she says.
Practical Floating Buffet
Freestanding furniture is great for rearranging, but if you're looking for something more permanent, a floating storage buffet can create the perfect statement. According to designer Christopher Grubb, the floating buffet "makes the room appear larger by keeping the floor space clear." Design by Christopher Grubb
Open storage solutions, like shelves and cubbies, allow books, dishes and favorite pieces to be proudly showcased. Layla Palmer of the Lettered Cottage favors open storage in dining room designs. "I think if you can find ways to display the treasures that would normally be stuffed inside a kitchen cabinet, do it!" she says. Design by Leta Palatino-Ash
Traditional Storage Cabinet
For a traditional dining room, designer Luis Caicedo suggests using an antique buffet or china cabinet to keep special-occasion items safely stored but still ready to use. "A buffet is always a great surface when having guests, especially in a small home where space is an issue." Design by HGTV fan Patrick