Need help for my dining room

carmentineMay 20, 2013
I have a small dining room, completely open to kitchen and living room. Looking to have custom cabinets for storage of china/glassware/serve ware etc., yet still keep it roomy. Dimensions of room are 10.5' (L) x 9' (W). My current table is 38"x 64" with bench and 2 chairs. Had a larger table and china cabinet before but it was just too cramped. Could never walk around table or get to anything in china cabinet. If anyone wanted to sit in the back chairs had to pull table out. Would appreciate some suggestions on design of cabinets. Should I just do uppers? What's safe height so no one bumps head? If I do floor to ceiling what is the narrowest cabinets can be to look good and still provide storage for plates, etc. should also mention I may want to incorporate heat either in form of baseboard or built in to lower cabinets. Would love some design ideas.
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I can't imagine how you could get all of what you want in a 10 by 9 space. I suggest replacing your bench with a storage bench.

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    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Schroeder Design Group, NCIDQ, Licensed
A couple of ideas that come to mind are, don't add a built in, instead look for a long, shallow ( about 17 " or so ) cabinet for storage and place a large mirror over it with sconces or buffet lamps to make the space appear larger. Or if you want built in cabinets, I can only think of floor to ceiling and on the entire wall in that area...except the dilemma is where to "die" the cabinet considering the ceiling drywall beam is in the way and not in line with the dining floor....and the cabinets have to be shallow enough not to be in the way of the dining table and chairs as you mentioned as well as the window on the left. If the cabinets are lower than ceiling height it will look shortened and choppy.....I see a light color at the cabinet in the dining room, to keep it open and your baseboard is already white, so that may work....kind of take the neutral colors in the floor and bring them up the wall so there is no stop with a dark cabinet color on the wall in the dining room if possible,,,lighter color to keep it open looking...I don't think it has to be the same color as the kitchen cabinetry and if it is neutral, it will just look like it was an original built in , or at least that should be the goal.......what is beyond on the wall past the ceiling beam, you living room? Is it possible to create a total storage, bookcase, tv cabinet...etc etc. wall all the way over ??
    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:24PM
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Your dining area is small. If those are your dining room chairs, I'd say they are too large if you want storage also in the space. Depending on how many spaces you need, a narrow refectory style table with small chairs will work better than large upholstered chairs.

Cabinetry in the dining area will be cramped, as you found out before. Forget about upper cabinets - just not practical. If you need storage, think about shelves that are the depth of built-in bookcases. Or put china cabinet in living area. If you are going to display china, it would look just as good there as in dining area.
    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Jaynel Gilmore
Hi Carmentine,

Beautiful cabinets...would you be open to the possibility of a china cabinet above the left side to the ceiling?you could put some lighting up there and for glasses it may serve as a display. As for plates, I'm not sure but will keep thinking. I don't have a china cabinet so I am unsure if it is primarily for display purposes or storage. My idea would work more for storage.

I don't think your room is too small to make delightful and your own. Bigger cities have mastered the art of small spaces, and having an enormous kitchen isn't necessary to make it charming. I would suggest thinking outside the box about things like dining room tables, chairs and such. Just because it's traditional, doesn't mean everyone needs one. The bar you have is lovely. If it was my space, I would take out the ceiling light above where the dining room table "should" go. I would extend your cabinetry into the dining room and put an island where the dining room table would normally go. Thus eliminating the need for dining room chairs, etc. An island is a great gathering space for cooks and company to enjoy the room. I would choose a few overhead hanging lights.

Good luck!!
    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I think a mirror will open things up. I did wonder, if I chose cabinets, should they be the same color or could I go lighter then kitchen. Wish I could expand th space but it is what it is. Please keep the ideas coming. I agree, city living has giving me inspiration for designing in a small space. I'm sure there will be a great solution!
    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 4:41AM
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