Design Dilemma: Dining without the Dining Room | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Dining without the Dining Room

Some of us have large and expansive separate dining rooms that are perfect for hosting holiday dinners and family feasts. But many of us — particularly those of us living in space-challenged apartments — only have tiny living rooms for everything we do. And in these cases, we must devise a seating area that can work for both lounging and dining.

So how do you handle this problem? Look for tables and chairs that can serve double-duty. You’ll probably want to avoid heavy overstuffed furniture and opt for lighter pieces that can be easily arranged. Fortunately, there are more tables than ever that can seamlessly convert from cocktail to full-size dining table, allowing those of us with even the smallest apartments to host sit-down gatherings.

For example, The Mascotte Table (below) by Calligaris is a good option for those with a living room but no dining room. The table serves as a comfy little cocktail or coffee table — until you press a button and joila!, the table pops up to dining height. At full height, the table surface can double in size, accommodating four to six diners. Made in Italy, the table costs about $985.

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Similarly, the Hydra table (below) can perform double duty as cocktail or dining table. Introduced in 1996 by Gary Gianakis, the table uses an inventive hydraulic lift operated by foot pedal to maneuver the table top up or down. The table comes in several different variations, including with a glass or corian tabletop and a wooden, steel or chrome base. The table also comes in a variety of diamers and retails for around $1300.

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The Tetra by Bellato is a floor-seated dining table inspired by Asian design.As a cocktail table, the table boasts a “carabottino” style tabletop. But when it’s time to dine, flexible shelves can be pulled out, adding plenty of table space for hungry diners. The table comes in beech with a double-face blue/beige laminate shelves or Iroko with black/beige laminate. It also comes in wenge with white/beige laminate. The table retails for about $1500.

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Finally, The Mealbox by Alet and Dag Igland of Igland Design in Norway starts off as a 27 x 31 inch box that stands less than 18 inches high. But like a magic jack in the box, the box opens up into jigsaw-like pieces that assembles to a length of 90 inches and seats six people.

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One comment so far to “Design Dilemma: Dining without the Dining Room”
  1. Lesley Says:

    We always struggled with this in our small San Francisco condo. We looked at the beautiful convertible tables but we never took the plunge. We had a massive bar/countertop where we ate our nightly meals. When we hosted really big dinner parties, I got out our old Ikea table that we kept in the back of the closet (without the legs on). I had a heavy duty white restaurant tablecloth and ta-da, I could serve 10 at the table. For chairs, I had an assortment of small stools that doubled as end tables.

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