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

White Eclectic Dining Room

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: 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

Office Ares in Dining Room

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 Colorful Painting, Wood Dining Table and Metal Stools

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

Green Ding Room With Gold Chairs, Red Bench & Hardwood Floor

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

Black Modern Dining Space With Colorful Books & Acrylic Chairs

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

Dark Modern Accents in Neutral Dining Room

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

Eclectic Dining Room With Wine Racks & Industrial Chandelier

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

Dining room with electric blue walls and a white chandelier.

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

Shop This Look

Next Up

12 Ways to Step Up Your Dining Room Decor for the Holidays

Because the decor should be just as fabulous as the food.

15 Ways to Dress Up Your Dining Room Walls

Not sure what to put on those blank walls? We've got 15 solutions.

8 Double-Duty Furniture Solutions for Your Small Space Dilemma

Company's coming and we've got furniture solutions to ensure every single person can comfortably fit in your tiny abode.

7 of Our Favorite Outdoor Cooking and Dining Areas

A gourmet grill, cozy fireplace and seating for a crowd: these luxury outdoor kitchens and dining rooms make it hard to turn in for the night.

8 Home Office Design Hacks You Need to Try

Check out this round-up of some of our favorite home office design hacks to help you take your space from “meh” to “wow!”

Steal These 10 Things From Home to Transform Your Office Workspace

Cubicle life doesn't have to be devoid of good design.

6 Things You Need for the Ultimate HGTV and Chill Session

Grab a blanket and curl up with our guide to the ultimate HGTV viewing sesh.

13 Coastal-Cool Living Rooms We're Ready to Call Home

You don't have to live on the beach to bring coastal style home.

Not Sure How to Decorate Your Living Room? Here's How to Get Started

Don’t let decorating your living room turn into a disaster. Turn it into a space you love with these expert tips.

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

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.