Dining room storage ideas can really impact a space by keeping it tidy and clutter-free. From practical storage that houses all the essentials in one place, built-in storage that is tailored to suit a specific space, or multifunctional storage that ticks lots of boxes, well-designed storage will make a dining room run more smoothly and efficiently.
Few of us have the luxury of a separate dining room these days. For most of us, a dining table is part of an open-plan living room or is the centre of all the action in a kitchen. Which means we need to be canny about where we store all the bits and bobs we need to make mealtimes possible.
Dining room storage ideas
Well planned fittings make a dining room idea more efficient – and beautiful. Dining room storage goes beyond the trusty sideboard these days. With combined kitchen-diners, dining rooms that double up as home offices and shared living and dining spaces, storage needs to work extra hard to earn its spot.
Style is a key factor too. From display pieces that showcase a collection of decorative dinnerware, statement-making furniture that gives a room a focal point, or understated classics that work quietly away in the background.
So whether it’s form or function you’re after – or a combination of both – these dining room storage ideas have got it covered
1. Squeeze in a china cabinet
Make use of empty alcoves in a dining room by slotting in a slimline storage cabinet. Alcoves often vary in width, so it can be tricky finding furniture that’s an exact fit, but a single width cabinet should fit most alcoves, with a little breathing space either side. This is also a great solution for a small dining room idea.
Choose a design with adjustable shelving inside so you can arrange the heights to suit what you’ll be storing, such as dinnerware and glasses or taller jugs and vases.
2. Slot in a longline shelf for display
Combine storage and display space in a modern dining room by installing a run of floating shelving. Keep it simple with just a single row of shelving positioned at picture rail level with an edited collection of crockery and glassware to avoid a cluttered look.
Add subtle colour to wall alcoves in a white dining room, by adding a soft wash of colour. Use water-down emulsion in pale grey or soft nude tones to give the effect of weathered concrete or faded plasterwork.
3. Build dining storage to fit your space
Create a tailor-made piece at an off-the-peg price using flatpack modular furniture. Buy simple wooden units and push them together in multiples to create one long bank of units to fit the available space. Add work tops, paint door fronts, or customise with different legs and handles to create a bespoke look.
Buy now: Ivar double cabinets, £65 each, IKEA
4. Create a storage wall
Max out on dining room storage by fixing up a whole wall of shelving. Build a simple wooden framework to cover one wall, adding horizontals and verticals to create different-sized boxes and cubbyholes. Paint the background white or try a combination of colours in different sections, for an imaginative dining room paint idea, then put favourite tableware and decorative pieces on display.
5. Showcase everyday essentials
While there’s a lot to be said for hiding clutter away behind closed doors, having favourite things on show gives heart to a home – like an open kitchen pantry idea. Tableware looks great displayed en masse – whether it’s simple all-white china, decorative glassware or earthenware serving dishes and platters – and a simple glass-fronted cabinet makes a great showcase. Glass doors will keep breakables safe and dust-free too.
6. Save space with under-seat storage
If dining room space is tight, make use of under-seat space to pack in some handy extra storage. Low-level cupboards can double-up as bench seats with space inside for storing crockery and glassware. Just add a longline seat cushion on top for comfort – make your own from a length of foam cut to size and covered in a chic fabric.
7. Go halves with sliding storage
Strike a compromise when it comes to kitchen-diner storage, with a multi-tasking unit large enough to hold all the essentials. This display cabinet combines shelf and drawer space inside, and has a sliding front panel so you can alternate with what you have out on display and what stays hidden.
8. Style it out with a statement sideboard
Elegant, as well as practical, when it comes to dining room storage, a classic sideboard is always a winner. Less cumbersome than a full-height kitchen dresser or display cabinet, a sideboard combines practical hidden storage with an area for display on top.
Traditionally, long and low in size, if dining room space is tight, choose a compact sideboard with a little extra height so you can pack more in. Adjustable shelves are a worthwhile option too, so you can tailor the interior to suit what you’ll be storing inside.
9. Double-up on storage in a shared space
Working from home means that dining rooms often have to do double-duty as a small home office idea too. Cover all bases with neat alcove storage that can house office kit or dining room essentials. A slimline console table tucked against a wall will create landing space for a lap top – just add a rack on the wall above for a spot to stash stationery.
10. Add slimline shelving for a dining room display
Try a no-fuss way to put collections on display by adding a couple of narrow picture ledges on one wall. Position one above the other for a structured, formal look or arrange at staggered heights for a more relaxed dining room wall decor idea.
Perfect for showcasing decorative plates or favourite artwork, ledges offer a less-permanent option than hanging pieces individually on a wall – with items easy to arrange (and rearrange) if you fancy a change later on.
11. Create a serving nook in a kitchen-diner
Find an alternative use for an alcove by setting up a mini serving nook. Add a row or two of shelving and stock with tableware, serving dishes, tea and coffee making kit and condiments, so that all your essentials are to hand. If there’s space underneath, you could slot in a kitchen trolley or bar cart too.
12. Create an artful dining room display
Turn storage into a display opportunity with a bespoke arrangement of wall-mounted cubes. Vary shapes, sizes and colours to create an eye-catching composition, leaving some sections open and adding doors and drawers to others.
Style up with decorative tableware and serving pieces on display, with less-decorative items like linens and cutlery hidden away inside.
13. Include a multi-tasking bench
Whilst built-in furniture can often be a brilliant way to maximise your storage potential, there are plenty of other options that don’t involve the builders or massive budgets. Instead, before making any new furniture purchases, keep in mind how hard that piece should have to work to be worthy of a place in your home.
Mixing a bench with chairs at the dining table creates a relaxed ambiance, not to mention allowing for squeezing on an extra guest at dinner when the need arises.
14. Create an unpretentious space for everyday life
Replace a formal display cabinet with a vintage-style cupboard with chicken-wire panels instead of glass doors. Store pretty tableware and linen in the cupboard so it doubles up as a decorative feature. Use rustic materials such as natural flooring, chunky wood and battered leather to provide plenty of interesting textures that will create a laid-back, lived-in feel.
15. Think beyond the dining room
If you have the space, consider incorporating a larder-style cupboard into your dining room scheme. Storage on this mighty scale means there shouldn’t be anything left cluttering up your dining room.
Use a tonal colour palette that is in keeping with the rest of the scheme to provide balance. Alternatively, opt for a glass-fronted display unit. Use the visible shelves for decorative accessories and conceal practical pieces in the drawers below or elsewhere.
16. Make it multi-functional
Get super-organised with a fitted bench that doubles as a storage unit. Built-in bench seating like this corner design is an incredibly efficient use of space, especially for smaller kitchen ideas.
Wood is not just practical, it adds texture and warmth to a scheme, too. Include conventional drawers and pull-out baskets under the seat for versatile additional storage that is easy to access and smart and streamlined when not in use.
17. Keep it individual
Factor in a standalone sideboard. Freestanding furniture can provide a more individual solution than costly bespoke built-in storage systems. A sideboard is a great place to store plates, cutlery and glasses out of sight, especially when it is as stylish as this one. If you’re on a tight budget, look out for a second-hand one you can paint – for an affordable upcycled furniture idea.
18. Dress up your dining room storage
Jazz up a corner of your dining room with a painted dresser – this design has lots of display space for your treasured crockery. Alternatively, make the most of ceiling height by fitting extra-tall cupboards, storing those rarely needed items in the harder-to-reach zones.
Line your display cabinets with a unique wallpaper idea for a bespoke touch.
19. Make it versatile
For a hardworking fix, consider freestanding furniture that can work in virtually any room. Standalone designs offer heaps of variety and choice when it comes to keeping an open-plan living space flexible.
A wooden storage chest like the one shown here can be moved in, around and out when redecorating. Finish by styling the top with your favourite accessories, including vases and candle holders.
20. Utilise unloved space
Design a dining scheme around your storage requirements. Take advantage of all the space available with floor-to-ceiling shelving. Fit shelves into unused alcoves and use for books and decorative pieces so you won’t need to provide floor-standing shelves or cupboards. Paint your shelves in a different colour to your walls to provide a neat contrast.
21. Look to your living room
Add a table. The ultimate fuss-free option, a simple round table is a sure winner with those who don’t like larger, fitted pieces of furniture. Storage isn’t always about concealing belongings.
Position a table in an alcove rather than adding built-in cupboards or shelving and use the tabletop for practical as well as decorative objects – such as lighting, ornaments and photo frames. Add a captivating dining room wallpaper idea to add further wow factor.
22. Consider ornamental furniture
Bring a touch of feminine softness to a dining room with a decorative armoire. Opt for a glass-fronted display unit that will show off tableware and glassware rather than keeping it hidden from view.
The curvaceous lines and ornate features of this cabinet bring an on-trend, opulent feel to the dining room. After all, the devil is in the detail.
23. Line up a display shelf
If you have objects that are worthy of showing off then display them along an open shelf. Lay a carefully curated selection of ceramics and pretty trinkets along the top of a false wall, which acts as a shelf.
Alternatively, floating shelves keep a dining room neat and clutter-free and are a good way to make use of every inch, especially if you’re short of floor space for freestanding units. They also add personality to a plain wall.
How do I add storage to my dining room?
Add storage to your dining room to cater for your needs, according to the space you have to utilise. If you have the space a dresser or sideboard is invaluable to provide plentiful storage for all your dinnerware essentials. A dresser also provides an element of concealed storage, to help keep the room clutter-free and tidy.
Open fronted dressers are a great way to display your best serving-ware in a dining room. While the cupboards beneath provide further storage for items less attractive but just as necessary – extra stacks of linens and glassware etc.
Floating shelves are a great way to add storage for items you wish to have out on show in a dining room setting.
What do you put in dining room drawers?
You can use the drawers of a dining sideboard or dresser as the perfect place to keep folded table linens; sets of cutlery; placemats; candle holders and table decorations for special occasions. Depending on the amount of space you have you can also use the dining one drawers to keep surplus kitchen accessories, stored out of sight but close to hand.
Can you put a dresser in the dining room?
A kitchen dresser can happily live in a dining room, thanks to the nature of using your kitchenwares in a dining room. Kitchen dressers also offer maximum storage to keep everything you need handy while using the dining room for entertaining, from hosting dinner parties to simply laying the table for everyday mealtimes.
We hope you liked these dining room storage ideas! How do you store your dining room essentials?