Those of you who are lucky and have a home with a dining room should consider making it a real part of your home. For me, some of the best nights take place with family and friends gathered around a meal in our dining room. Sharing stories, nourishing food, good wine and even better company. Some of you are keeping it as a homage to grandma by using her ornate table and china cabinet.
Many people nowadays want less formality. You can achieve this by exchanging your formal dining room furniture for multipurpose pieces. Besides a great table you also need chairs that can be sat in for long periods of time, and they should have washable fabrics. Light fixtures should be able to not only have the soft glow needed for a dinner party, but also be able to be turned up when needed. Even items like china cabinets are disappearing since so many people are just using everyday dishes.
Having a multipurpose table and chairs is especially important if your kitchen is small and your kids need a space to do their homework. Or if this is your preferred space to have family game night, you don’t want to worry about your table or other furnishings getting damaged.
Our dining table and chairs accomplish all of these things. Sometimes it acts as an office when our office is overwhelmed with projects and papers. It has served as a dining table, a buffet table for parties, a place to sew, a crafting area, a place to play games or work puzzles and even a workspace for me to lay out a bunch of design options and see what feels best together.
Another big advantage is that people are more relaxed in an informal setting. No one is worried about spilling or messing anything up, and the conversation just seems to flow better. That's probably why guests tend to hang out in the kitchen. In an informal setting everyone tends to linger longer at the table.
Don't get me wrong, if you live in a big home, a formal dining room might still suit your needs and your lifestyle, but if that's simply not you, think about changing it. Sure it’s an expense to redo your dining room, however, the amount of extra space and the comfort of using it for other various tasks without worrying about hurting the pieces, is really, really worth it. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. And with many homes being smaller, and space at a premium, you shouldn’t allow a space like a dining room to be used only for a special event.
If you need any ideas or inspiration, I’m here to help!