If you live in a small house or apartment you may need to think about multifunctional rooms, such as combined living and dining rooms. Incorporating a dining table into your living room can be a design challenge. Choose tables that can serve as multipurpose pieces, such as coffee tables or sofa tables that can expand to accommodate dinner guests. When planning your living-and-dining room, choose pieces that are compatible in style to achieve a cohesive look.
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Adjustable-height Coffee Tables
One way to incorporate a dining table into your living room is with an adjustable-height coffee table. Adjustable-height coffee tables are often made of wood composite or glass, and some have storage underneath. You can raise the table to function as a dining table, and lower it when you want to use it as a coffee table. Lift-top coffee tables feature a mechanism for raising the table top. There are also coffee tables with adjustable legs so you can raise the table to make it the correct height for dining.
Drop-leaf tables are old standbys that can be used as sofa tables or console tables as well as dining tables. When folded down, they can be quite narrow and take up very little space. Not only do they make excellent sofa tables, but they can also be placed unobtrusively under a window or against a wall and serve as a console table. When opened they can seat up to six or more people. Choose chairs that can function as both dining chairs and living room chairs; position them around the room and then pull them up to the dining table when needed.
Higher-than-standard Coffee Tables
Many interior designers today use higher-than-standard coffee tables to double as dining tables. The standard height for a coffee table is 16 to 18 inches. But according to Luciana Samu, a designer in Saratoga, New York, 23 inches is a great height for a coffee table that can double as a dining table. Living room seating, including sofas and love seats, can become dining room seating around the higher-than-standard coffee table. In his book, "Emotional Rooms," top interior designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz blends living and dining spaces by using higher-than-standard coffee tables.
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