With more people downsizing their living spaces, some are finding that they have no room for a standard dining room set. By getting creative, you can set up a dining area for your family or guests just about anywhere in your home.

Drop-down Tables and Folding Chairs

If you can have a bed that stores itself in the wall, why not a table? Better yet, there are wall-mounted units whose fronts drop down to reveal storage space to stash your silverware, table mats, salt-and-pepper shakers and other small dining items. There is even a version that is a large picture frame that converts into a table. Save space with folding chairs that hang right up on the wall to keep them out of the way. Maybe you can use the chairs to hang clothes and store things when you aren't using them.

Dual-purpose Furniture

If you need a desk more than you need a dining room table, you can actually have two in one. Choose a piece of furniture that can serve in both capacities, and it can be a desk by day, a table by night. Those folding chairs work well with this setup too. A set of stacking stools that tuck away underneath the desk/table is also a big space saver. There are also small kitchen islands that convert into a table-for-two with benches that stash inside the unit.

The Multi-purpose Bar

If you entertain a lot, you need that bar, but you can also use it for eating. Keep it pushed against the wall to save space, and add casters to the bottom so that it can easily roll out for access to supplies in the back. If you have very little cabinet space, this is a great place to stash glasses and dishes.   

The Under-the-bed Table

For those tiny abodes that have absolutely no wall space to hold even a drop-down dining room table, there is always the option of stashing a folding table under the bed that you can pull out for company and entertaining. There are some beautiful, stylish tables available that fold out to a full-size or half-size dining table and them back down into no more than an 8" profile that fits neatly under a bed. Some even include folding benches and one even fits into its own carrying case.

Living in a small space is a challenge, especially if you have a family or like to entertain. The good news is that more manufacturers are designing dining room furniture especially suited to smaller abodes, so the selection is growing. Talk to your local furniture dealer about the small-space dining room solutions he offers.