Is the Dining Room Disappearing?

Is the formal dining room going away?  With home design trending towards great rooms and eat-in kitchens, is a dining room a room of the past? 

The separate dining room is actually a fairly new concept that came about in the early years of the Victorian era, which was the trend of the mid to late 19th Century that actually became known for using décor and design to show off wealth.  So, with this room tending to be used only on occasion by many, is that the purpose of the traditional dining room, and could it be heading towards extinction?

We hope not, but dining room design is trending towards multi-purpose use rather than an unused dedicated dining room.  One trend that is coming to the forefront is combining a library den and dining room, to make a well-used, functional space. Adding books and a television to the room can also add coziness, and a smaller table can function as a desk and a dining area.

But this room will need be able to function for entertaining company at meal times as well, so you need to be able to transition the purposes easily and seamlessly:

  • Use a smaller, round table for everyday dining.  Part of the reason some dining rooms aren’t used on a regular basis is that it seems silly for smaller families to sit at a large, ten person table for a meal.  Using the smaller table makes more sense for use on a regular basis.  To be able to add instant space for entertaining, have leaves or extensions ready, willing and able to take on a larger function.
  • Make the television easy to hide and tuck away if you’re going to use it in the dining room.  A smaller flat screen will do the trick, but consider investing in a lift top cabinet to hide it away with the touch of a button, as a dinner party with a television in the room is just not conducive to an entertaining meal.
  • Make sure there’s plenty of storage to tuck away non-meal related items when you need to call the room into strictly dining room duty.  Built-in cabinetry, bookshelves and closed door storage is necessary for a dual-purpose room.

With more people working at home, and lifestyles becoming more casual, look for more dining rooms to become multi-functional rooms.