5 Secrets to Styling a Small Living Room + Dining Room Combo


The house my family lives in has one large great room that serves as the living room and dining room. It’s not very big – only 21 feet long by 14.5 feet wide – but it’s the main area we all spend our time in, so it needs to be super functional but cozy and nice to look at all at the same time.

Here are my secrets to pulling together a small multi-function space that is both comfortable and stylish using farmhouse and industrial-inspired elements.

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Secret #1: Use a rug to define space

To help define a separate living room area from the dining room space, I used a Jute Soha Area Rug as the foundation for the living room. The rug isn’t very large – only 5’ x 8’, which is perfect for fitting between the media center and the front edge of the Abbot Sofa. This way the room still gets defined edges without seeming overwhelmed. Be sure to use a Rug Pad with the rug to keep it from slipping.

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Secret #2: Add Pretty-Yet-Functional Storage

My room is jam-packed with storage spots from the Charlotte Lined Baskets in my media cabinet to the two Extra Large Lynette Hyacinth Tote Baskets on either side of the TV. One is filled with blankets and extra pillows, but the other one makes a great sneaky toy box! The bottom half is filled with toys but then you just cover with a blanket and add a couple pillows on top and nobody would ever know.

Secret #3: Use Trays to Organize

Whether it’s a stack of magazines or your morning coffee, using a tray like the Large Round Iron Tea Tray helps keeps things easy to move around as well visually uncluttered. Adding a terrarium with a Faux Echeveria Succulent Plant infuses a touch of style to an otherwise utilitarian set-up.

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Secret #4: Use a Bench in Your Dining Area

The Caylee Dining Table is perfect for this space because it’s relatively narrow so not only does it fit in my small space but it doesn’t dominate the room. By putting the Bistro Chairs on just one side and using the Verona Bench on the other, we reduce how much space we need around the dining table for seating. Benches not only have a small footprint but don’t need as much space as a chair to use. It’s also great because our small kids are easily able to climb on and off of the bench while chairs are still a little tricky.

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Secret #5: Use Cohesive Elements Throughout the Room

In this space I used both a color scheme and similar accessories to keep the rooms feeling cohesive. The blue, white, grey and wood tones are used in each part of the space. I also put succulents and candles on the mantel, dining table, coffee table and back wall to help the different parts of the space feel like they still belong together.

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I hope I’ve left you inspired to try some of these secrets in your own small space!

Shop this post:
Living Room- 
Abbott Sofa in Azure Blue | Wood and Metal Aiden Coffee Table | 5’x8’ Blue Persian Style Print Jute Soha Area Rug | Extra Large Hyacinth Lynnette Basket | Gray Geo Print Jackson Grommet Top Curtains | Warm Floral Embroidered Wool Throw Pillow | Grey Knitted Indoor Outdoor Throw Pillow | Macrame Gray Chambray Lumbar Pillow | Grey Dots Woven Throw | Large Round Iron Tea Tray | Geo Terrarium (small) | Echeveria Stems | Chalk Ceramic French Press | Blue and White Porcelain Teacups | White Windowpane Frame | Daphne Kitchen Clock | Flameless LED Candles

Back Wall- White Windowpane Frame | Wood and Metal Sliding Calendar | Mini Succulents in Cement Pots | Whitewashed Helena Heart Frame | Telescoping Tabletop Frames | Rectangular Scalloped Amelia Frame

Dining Room- Wood and Metal Caylee Dining Table | Antique Black Verona Bench | Black Bistro Side Chairs |  Light Gray Buffet Napkins | White Nantucket Dinner Plates | White Nantucket Salad Plates | Blue and White Porcelain Bowls | Succulent Napkin Rings | Stemless White Wine Glasses | Connoisseur Crystal Bordeaux Glasses | Hammered Flatware Collection | Mini Succulents in Cement Pots


  • Jeannine Niles

    I absolutely love your use of navy. It is feminine without being intimidating to a male.

  • L H

    Instead of a coffee table which takes up floor space, I would have placed a small table on either side of the sofa.

  • Marian

    Do you sell the gate-like piece on the mantel. Love it, would like to buy that for my home.

    • Carissa Bonham

      The gates above the mantel are garden gates I found in my yard when I purchased my home. World Market does have a great mirror with a similar shape you might like – check out the “Black Windowpane Andrea Mirror”

  • Angie

    Yes, ditto to DeeDee. What is the name of the of the storage cabinet underneath the window pane frames on the wall behind the sofa? Thanks!

  • DeeDee

    How about the bench/table on the back wall?

  • Amy Anderson

    I love that rug and dining table. It all comes together so well!


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