Small Dining Room Ideas: How to Make the Most of Your Dining Space

small dining room ideas 2 seater dining table for small dining rooms

Small dining room? Small matter. Anything is possible with a little imagination and the right furniture, and we’re here to help you get your feet under the table – quite literally. Here at Nöa & Nani we know a thing or two about interior spaces and how the right furniture and a little visual creativity can make all the difference. With this in mind, we’re going to share our favourite small dining room ideas to help you make every inch count.

Extending Tables

small dining room ideas extending dining table

Big family, small dining room? It’s a common issue many of us find ourselves stuck with, and oftentimes we feel we have to choose between a small table that won’t accommodate visiting family, or a huge table that dominates the room at all times. This is where extendable dining tables come in very handy for economising on space. An extending table features fold-down leaves at one or both ends, which allow you to conjure up extra dining space as if from nowhere. This means you can accommodate visiting guests whenever you need to, and then fold the extensions neatly away afterwards to get back that much-needed space.

Dining Benches

small dining room ideas dining benches

If you want all the seating capacity without compromising as much on floor space, dining benches make perfect small dining room ideas for making the most of every inch. Aside from the fact that they are incredibly stylish and give a wonderfully minimal, Scandi-style aesthetic, dining benches are master space savers. Designed to slot perfectly underneath dining tables, a dining bench can be pushed underneath and out of the way while your table is not in use, opening up a bit of breathing space and keeping a small dining room from feeling too cluttered.

Table for Two?

small dining room ideas 2 seater dining table for small dining rooms

While a large dining table looks grand and elegant, sometimes they’re simply just not necessary. If it suits your lifestyle, a simple dining table for two is often all you need and will keep your dining space feeling much larger than it is. Rather than cramming in a classic 6-seater, an elegant bistro-style table is the ideal small dining room solution and can often seat up to four people. This means you can still have guests over for dinner without the unwanted squeezing and awkward shuffling that comes with forcing oversized tables into small spaces.

Bright Colours

Now you’ve got your furniture sorted, we’ve got one or two more small dining room ideas to help you maximise your space even further. Starting with colour.

small dining room ideas bright coloured wall for small rooms

It’s amazing just how much of a difference a simple change of colour palette can make to our visual perception of space. Bright colours, when used in a balanced way, can add depth and intrigue to a small space. The absolute best way to introduce bright colour to your small dining room is by picking out your favourite vibrant hue and applying it to one main wall, with the other walls painted white, cream, pale grey or any other harmonising neutral shade. This will open up your space while adding a pop of colour that draws the eye, thereby drawing attention away from the actual size of the space itself.

Add complementing colour accents with cushions, artwork or table ornaments for a coordinated look and don’t forget to add a suitable amount of lighting to give a brightness boost for small dining rooms with less available natural light. A mirror also wouldn’t go amiss; we’ve all heard of the magic they can work when it comes to enlarging the appearance of small spaces, and mirrors make the perfect decorative touches for a dining room.

Take to the Walls

small dining room ideas shelving and wall space

When you’re short on floor space, the only way to go is up. Your walls are your salvation in small spaces, and they open up plenty of opportunities for testing out a range of small dining room ideas when it comes to storage. Getting savvy with your space is a must when you have limited amounts of it, so investing in some wall-mounted storage is essential. Whether it’s a wall cabinet, shelving or a storage rack, you can free up lots of floor space while also creating design statements and attractive displays.

For example, you could use floating shelves to display plants and ornaments for a barely-there look, or use slim wall-mounted cabinets to store functional things such as wine glasses or condiments without the need for bulky sideboards.

We hope we’ve given you plenty of small dining room ideas to help you realise your home’s full potential and get the most out of your dining room furniture. Remember, small spaces don’t necessarily mean compromise; a little creativity is all that’s needed to create the perfect dining space.

How to Keep the Kids Entertained in Half Term

School’s out, the kids are home and the weather is miserable. How are you meant to entertain restless little ones without causing burnout for yourself? Don’t stress – we’ve put together five brilliant ideas that are super easy to organise and promise to keep children from going stir crazy this half term. Who knows, you might even have fun yourself!

Baking

We couldn’t think of a more cosy and joyful activity than baking a cake on a rainy afternoon. Not only does baking entertain kids for hours, but they also get to eat their delicious creation at the end. Fun activity plus sweat treat? It’s a no-brainer. From chocolate chip cookies to pretty fairy cakes, there are loads of simple and scrumptious recipes online for children. Extra points if you convince them to do the washing up!

Crafts

It’s amazing how a table full of glitter, coloured card, paint, felt tip pens and feathers can keep budding artists occupied for an entire afternoon. Ask them to draw each family member or make an animal mask. Getting arty is a brilliant way to strengthen children’s creative skills… as well as giving parents some much-needed peace and quiet!

Sleepover

Was there anything more exciting than having a sleepover with all your besties when you were little? But now you’re a parent, throwing a sleepover for a bunch of excitable kids doesn’t sound quite so thrilling… Relax – it doesn’t have to be a raucous pyjama party! Simply set the kids up with a funky den area, classic movie and buckets of popcorn and they’ll be out of your hair all evening.

 

Our Isabella Day Bed is perfect for sleepovers

Country Walk

Got cabin fever? If the weather permits, a country walk is perfect for engaging overactive children. Check out the National Trust website for loads of interesting places to visit that are sure to delight curious kids. From bird spotting on nature trails to feeding animals at stately home farms, the great outdoors offers endless adventures for mini explorers.

Cinema

Still raining? Visiting the cinema is an exciting excursion when the day is miserable and you’ve OD’d on the glitter crafts and cookie baking. Most cinemas offer discounted adult and children tickets for morning viewings of classic family films at the weekends and half term. With most tickets costing only £2.50, it’s a cheap and enthralling day out for all the family!

What have you got planned for half term? If sleepovers are on the cards, check out our Day Bed collection to ensure you can accommodate extra sleepy heads!

Big Ideas For Small Bedrooms: How To Decorate A Box Room

If your little one has been begging for a chance to decorate their room or want a way to make their bedroom more ‘grown up’, then here at Noa & Nani we have plenty of exciting ideas. Whether you’re redesigning their room for the short term or long term, there are so many ways to decorate a child’s room for an attractive finish, ensuring they’ll want to more spend time there!

Children’s Box Room Ideas

Many youngsters will have a small room to deal with when it comes to sleeping and playing, so researching space-savvy children’s box bedroom ideas can help when it comes to making use of the room effectively. The best way to make a box room work better for your child is to invest in a classic cabin bed. Cabin beds for small rooms can make so much difference due to the extra storage space underneath – not to mention, they can be so much fun!

The Noa & Nani cabin beds for kids can provide the perfect place to play, relax or study in the space directly beneath the bed itself. Teens can enjoy the practicality of being able to do their homework in peace and quiet, in their room on the desk below their bed. Little ones (and parents!) can take pride in the ample storage space provided with inbuilt drawers and cabinets, keeping the minimal floor space clear of clutter. Cabin beds with ladders for small bedrooms is a fun way to give your child a fun way to tackle bedtime, promising an engaging way to spend time in their room.

Themed Bedrooms

Creating a space your child will want to both sleep and play can be tricky, so what could be more fun than going to sleep in a bedroom designed around your favourite interests? Little boys and girls will love having a themed bedroom with accessories, wallpaper and bedding focused on their much-loved character or hobby. Our range of cabin beds with tents offers an exciting selection of fairytale designs with a tower for the princess, cute fairies and even the ever-so-popular Hello Kitty!

Playful pirates can jump aboard their pirate ship themed bed and sail off to sleep in style with our cabin beds suitable for small bedrooms. Choose a colour palette to reflect the theme, apply fun decals or art to the walls and add themed bedding to ensure their box room is where they will enjoy spending time independently.

Modern Bedroom Decor

If you’re keen to echo a modern look throughout your home and stick to neutral design elements in your child’s box room, this can be easily achieved with a few key decor considerations. This neutral design can work well in a bedroom for an older child or when children are sharing a bedroom with bunk beds to satisfy both tastes (and avoid arguments!). A monochrome colour palette with accent colours can really give a bedroom a contemporary refresh; think Nordic inspired white and shades of grey for bedding and curtains or blinds, with mustard or navy accessories for a pop of colour.

Coordinate bedroom furniture for a uniform look by opting for white bedroom drawers, beds, shelves and wardrobes. Our collection of bedroom furniture is a great place to discover sleek furniture options that are versatile enough to work with many decor possibilities through the years and changing tastes.

We hope that our children’s bedroom ideas have sparked inspiration on how you can decorate and transform their room with a well-designed cabin bed and further accessories. View the full ranges of midsleeper cabin beds at Noa & Nani and our bed tents to change up your child’s bedroom and impress them with a new look!

How to Choose the Right Furniture for your Home

Understating the importance of furniture to a home is difficult. Often, though, we tend to get snap-happy and buy the first table or chair our eye is immediately drawn to in the store, rather than the piece of furniture that is best suited to our lifestyle and aesthetic.

If you’re doing a home reno or are moving into a new place, then there are a few vital things to take into consideration as you choose your furniture. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you in the process – so read below and get shopping!

 

Image source: Unsplash

Consider functionality and durability

It’s fine to be inspired by the crisp white loungers you see in home interior magazines, but when you’re shopping for your own furniture, you need to put on your practical hat. In other words, functionality and durability need to be your topmost priorities.

To get the most bang for your buck, you need to invest in pieces that will match your lifestyle. If you have a young six-person family, for example, then you’re going to have markedly different furniture need than a single person who barely touches the ground, and your material and fabric choices should reflect that. This means selecting stain-resistant microfiber for sofas and going for darker colours in the case of any nasty spills. Don’t forget size considerations too – what can you actually fit in your home?

Keep your colour scheme and aesthetic consistent

Furniture is typically the last step in the interior design process, meaning you can work from your existing colour palette and décor to guide your furniture choices.

Think of your home’s aesthetic and current pieces as a theme of sorts. Do you absolutely adore rustic chic? Scandi sleek? Eclectic? If you need extra assistance to determine the aesthetic of your home and figure out the furniture to best complement it, you may find recruiting an interior design professional very useful.

Take note of your home’s architecture

The aesthetic is just a surface element of home design. It’s also vital that you consider your home’s architecture and deeper structure. For instance, if your house has exceptionally high or curved ceilings, then you might want to look for symmetrical, square-edged, and expansive sofa sets to balance them out. It’s the silhouette that’s all important!

 

Image source: Unsplash

Shop by room

Different rooms have varying furniture needs. The bedroom, for example, calls for storage-oriented furniture, and all units need to fit around the most focal piece in the room: the bed. In the dining room, though, it’s the table which makes the statement – so choose your wood type carefully. Lastly, the living room is the real heart of the home: here, you can play around a little more, and you’ll probably want to invest most of your time and resources into selecting the right furniture for this space.

Think long-term

It can be tempting, especially for new homeowners, to opt for the cheapest furniture options. What will really pay off, however, is choosing quality furniture which will last the test of time. Purchase according to your abiding taste, and not necessarily according to the most popular trends. Select furniture that you won’t outgrow (sure, you may be a twosome now, but if kids are in the five-year plan, then you’ll need to do some fore-planning!).

Image source: Unsplash

Select the right supplier

So, you’ve done your measurements and chosen the style of furniture to suit your home: it’s time to buy! Before you rush in, though, make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. If possible, compare the prices of furniture suppliers near you to figure out the best deal, and if you’re buying custom-made pieces, make sure you ask around or look online for reviews first. And once you’ve done that – hello, beautifully-furnished home!

Guest Author:

Cloe Matheson | Explore more of her published work here.

Top Tips for Beating the January Blues

Miserable weather, the dreaded Christmas comedown and nothing to look forward to till spring… January is depressing! But it doesn’t have to be this way. After the hectic festive schedule, January is a brilliant time to relax, unwind and spend a bit of me-time. Alternatively, why not make the most of the New Year freshness and start something new?

With a little bit of work, January can be transformed from a miserable month to one that is exciting, life-changing and invigorating! Need some ideas? Read our tips below:

Redecorate

Research proves that surroundings influence your state of mind. From decluttering to repainting, refreshing your home is bound to have a positive impact on your mood. A tidy home equals a tidy mind, so why not start the spring clean early and have a colossal clear out? Alternatively, paint the walls in your house a lighter colour to uplift the vibe and play around with colourful and fun accessories. The January blues will be banished in no time.

 

Malme Set of 2 Nesting Tables, £29.00

Exercising

It may be a cliché to start a new fitness regime in January, but upping your fitness game is a New Year ritual for a reason! Moving your body releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones, and is an instant hack to brighten your mood. If you can, brave the great outdoors, because there’s nothing quite like a crisp January wind to revitalise your system and blow away those cobwebs. Country walks, morning runs and bike rides with friends are all wonderful ways to get your blood pumping and energy moving.

Try Something New

With Christmas and the New Year but a memory, give yourself something exciting to look forward to by partaking in a new activity. Whether that’s starting a new hobby, learning a new language or visiting a new place, the novel experience will stimulate your mind and distract it from negative thoughts, whilst giving you something interesting to focus on.

Eat Healthily

It comes as no surprise that your body craves health after the indulgence of the festive season. But did you know your brain needs nutrition too? Processed food, sugar and high fatty treats can wreak havoc on your mood and energy, so dig out your blender and whizz up some green smoothies. Use ingredients such as bananas to boost your serotonin levels and nuts or seeds for mood enhancing omega-3 fatty acids. Your energy levels will skyrocket in no time.

 

Socialise

Socialise, really? After all those parties and family gatherings? Relax, you don’t need to throw a rip-roaring bash. Simply meeting up with an old friend for an afternoon coffee is beneficial for your mental health. Psychological wellbeing is linked to strong social networks, so don’t turn into a hermit just because it’s January. Making new friends also boosts your happiness – volunteering or attending craft classes are all brilliant ways to meet new peeps.

See, January isn’t so bad after all! These simple improvements to your daily routine will create good habits that promise to last all year. Happy January everyone! 

How to Decorate your Dining Table this Christmas

Sharing delicious food and sipping mulled wine around the dining table is the most cherished part of Christmas. The epicentre of action during the festive season, the dining area is a bustling place where all the family come together, so it’s important to create a magical space your guests won’t forget.

It’s not all about the turkey and Christmas pud however, the table’s decorations and aesthetics play a part too. Here’s how to dazzle your family and friends when festive feasting this Christmas.

Choose a Colour Theme

To avoid a haphazardly decorated dining table, choose a Christmassy colour scheme first. Will you go for glistening metallics, frosty whites or traditional red, white and green? For a harmonious style, complement your chosen colour theme with your current dining room décor.

Create an Enchanting Centrepiece

For the ultimate wow-factor, a captivating centrepiece is essential. A wonderful opportunity to get your creative juices flowing, Christmas centrepieces can be dramatic displays that span the length of the table or feature just a simple, elegant ornament. From rustic wooden boxes filled with pine garland, snow-dusted pinecones and cranberries to a simple, sophisticated lantern – the ideas are truly endless.

Essential Tableware

Dig out your finest plates, cutlery and drinkware – this is their time to shine! Invest in a festive tablecloth or runner, a set of luxury napkins and don’t forget the Christmas crackers!

Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise

This is where the magic truly happens. Scatter beautiful accessories across your table for a picture-perfect display. Festive flowers such as amaryllis or red carnations alongside bowls of glimmering baubles will delight diners, whilst draped fairy-lights and cinnamon candles are sure to turn the spirit up.

Alternatively, why not get the kids involved and create your own decorations? Mini Christmas trees can easily be made from a couple of twigs picked up on a country walk. Simply attach to a chopped wooden stump and add a touch of metallic spray paint. Let their imaginations run wild!

Finish Off With Luxe Touches

For a sumptuous, Scandi-luxe vibe, layer plush textures over wooden materials. A fur throw slung over the back of a chair or draped across a bench evokes a fairy-tale feel, whilst a lavish sheepskin rug makes an exquisitely cosy base for the table setup.

In need of a new dining table for Christmas? Our Nordic collection is perfect for creating a fresh and modern wintry vibe. Check it out here.

 

Christmas Shopping Tips

Endless mince pies, steaming cups of mulled wine and twinkling trees… if only Christmas was that simple. Unfortunately, if you’re a parent, the pressure of making this ‘the best Christmas ever!’ for your family can turn a magical time into a stressful one. Organising Christmas dinner, festooning the house with decorations and gift shopping for all the family is enough to send even Santa over the edge…

But don’t fret! There’s no need to be a Scrooge. Our Christmas shopping tips will help you save time, money and above all, your sanity, allowing you to whiz down your Christmas to-do list faster than Old Saint Nick himself. So go ahead, grab a cup of gingerbread latte, sit back and read on…

Make a List

Make a list, check it twice, find out who’s…. you get it. Life is easier with lists – even Santa knows this. Make a note of everyone you need to buy a present for, concentrating first on immediate family and close friends.

Create a Budget

Who doesn’t overspend at Christmas? With all the shops tempting you with sparkly gifts and cute stocking fillers, it’s easy to blow your budget before you’re even halfway down your list. This year, it’s time to be a savvy spender. Create a spending limit and divide it amongst each person on your list. E.g. £100 on your daughter, £50 on your spouse, £20 on your nephew and so on. Your bank balance will thank you come January.

Start Early

‘Tis the season to be organised. Start early and buy a few bits each week to spread the cost. By mid-December the majority of your present list will be ticked off, leaving you with plenty of time to spend with your loved ones and enjoy bottomless glasses of Baileys. Because, at the end of the day, that’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? (Spending time with family, not the Baileys…)

But Hold Out for the Sales too…

Buying early can help lighten the load come December, but hold out for some of the bigger, more expensive items and wait for the sales. If Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring you out in a sweat, most brands have sales or discounts before Christmas. Be sure to sign up to your favourite shop’s newsletters and keep your eye out for last minute promotions.

Sign up to Noa and Nani’s newsletter here

Buy Quality over Quantity

Ten presents may seem better than five, but buying your children lots of small toys can be a waste. Most kids are bombarded with gifts at Christmas and the smaller, less important presents are sure to be ignored. Larger gifts with longevity, such as a virtual reality headset, an awesome cabin bed or the latest pair of Nike Air Maxes are bound to be cherished for longer than a selection of small toys and accessories for example.

 

 

3 tips to help you get back to sleep

Lying awake in the middle of the night can be so frustrating. Whether you’ve been woken by a noise outside, a snoring partner or a child suffering from nightmares, when it comes to nodding back off the struggle can be very real indeed. Next time you or the little ones are finding it difficult to drift back into slumber, try these tricks to get you there faster.

Don’t reach for your phone

Our first instinct upon waking can often be to reach for a mobile phone to check the time. Not only will the light of your screen confuse your brain into thinking it’s not bedtime but watching the clock can also hinder your efforts to return to the Land of Nod. Obsessive clock checking tends to make us feel worse about the fact that we’re awake too, causing anxiety that in turn means it’s harder to sleep. And round and round it goes. Then of course there’s the small fact that you might be tempted to check messages or look at social media when your phone is in your hand, which only takes away from those precious moments of rest.

Don’t lie and count sheep

If lying in bed and keeping your eyes closed isn’t cutting it, try being low level active to distract yourself from your sleep worries. When you’ve been awake for more than twenty minutes or so this can help reset you for sleep so you can start again. You could try some light reading or listen to some relaxing music. It’s always a good idea to pop to the toilet too but avoid turning on any bright lights if you can. The aim is to stay fairly relaxed and keep you body in a sleep friendly mode. So getting out of bed then climbing back in could help.

 

Use breathing and relaxation techniques

While counting sheep won’t necessarily help you drop off, following relaxing breathing methods or even using self-hypnotherapy techniques is always worth a go. Try and slow down your breathing naturally and picture yourself in a relaxing spot or perhaps even sleeping. Many people swear by the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Rubbing your ears or rolling your eyes upwards can also help bring on a sleepy state.

pexels-photo-271897

Have a go at indoor camping

As the school holidays come to a close you may be running out of ideas to entertain the kids. If you’ve already been out and about all over the place there’s a good chance they may have exhausted the fun fund too! If you’d like to try something new and inexpensive that’s not weather dependent, have you thought about indoor camping? Our day beds are fantastic for sleepovers in bedrooms dressed as the great outdoors or you could go the whole hog and set up a campsite in your living room. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Setting up camp

Children love the creativity of setting up and decorating their own campsite and it can really spark their imaginations. If you’d like to set up a family camp in a communal space, play tents or a tepee can make a great starting point. Don’t worry if you don’t have any fancy kit though, it’s easy to make tents out of light sheets or blankets flung over chairs and other furniture and weighed down so they stay put. Sleeping bags are great to cosy up in if you have them but snuggly blankets and pillows or cushions can be just as comfy.

Add some sparkle

One of the best bits about camping outdoors is having a view of the stars, so if you have a conservatory it can make an ideal spot for indoor camping. If you don’t you can fake it with some fairy lights. And of course, no camp would be complete without a fire. We don’t suggest you build a real fire in your living room but you can craft one out of red, orange and yellow tissue paper or arrange some LED tea lights in a circle.

Fun and feasts

Once your site is all ready to go, it’s time to start your traditional camping activities, whether you love singing around the camp fire, telling stories by torch light or eating all those yummy camping foods, you can do it all without leaving the living room! When dinnertime comes around indulge in hotdogs, jacket potatoes and chilli. And with the promise of hot chocolate with plenty of marshmallows before bedtime, you may find that everyone is keener than usual to snuggle up for the night.

Indoor camping can be a good family activity that appeals to kids of all ages, what things does your family love doing together indoors over the holidays?

pexels-photo-239584