In today's tiny homes the squareness of the dining space can be a problem. Placing a square or rectangular table in a square space only accents the small, box-like quality.
Of course, one way to lessen this "boxiness" is to use a round table. An elegant round glass top, half or three-quarters of an inch thick with a polished edge, placed on a richly grained wood cube base will do a lot to stretch the room visually, merely by minimizing the volume of the table top.
But there are folks who like square tables. I recently had a client who insisted on a square table in a square room. The table top was a beautiful 54-inch square of bronze glass. To counteract the parallel lines of a square within square, I turned the table at 45-degree angles so each of its corners point to the middle of each wall. This diagonal thrust lessens the look of squareness and makes the large top seem perfectly at home in the square room.
The table can easily seat eight by using two chairs on each of the four sides for company. These eight folding chairs are stored in the coat closet; made of chrome and see-through Plexiglas seats and backs, they use little storage space folded flat, and very little visual space when they are placed around the table. When the table is in use for this family of four, however, four roomy wicker arm chairs, modern reproductions of another era, amply fill the large dimension of the table top.
I found the perfect companion piece, a traditional corner cupboard at a furniture-in-the-raw shop. Its unfinished state made a perfect match for the wicker arm chairs. I placed it in the corner opposite the door, its front parallel with the diagonal glass edge of the table.
The two small windows are covered with shutters, also from this unfinished furniture store, painted gloss white to match the chair and crown moldings and the baseboard. I used a strudy cube to support the glass top and painted this white to match the shutters.
I left the wood floor in its pale oak finish, adding to the rich natural palette of the room finishes. I accented these by painted the walls two shades of pale rose, the lighter shade above, the darker shade below the chair rail.
Dishes on display in the cupboard, and table top accessories repeat this rosy shade, a warm background for diagonal dining in this inexpensive, but elegant setting.