Functionality Over Formality:  The Extinction of the Dining Room

As open house plans and functionality seem to be at the forefront of new construction and renovations these days, the formal dining room is becoming a thing of the past.  Let’s just be honest – most formal dining rooms are likely used for one or two holidays a year (if that), or as a museum for expensive, rarely touched china.  And, with the cost of housing per square foot in today’s booming real estate market, that is one costly room.  Do not dismay – there are some beautiful and functional alternatives to the formal dining room that do not disappoint!

1. The Casual Farm Table
-Formal dining rooms are typically just that – more formal in their décor.  However, the trend today is a more casual look, and repurposed or antique furniture is hot!  With open floor plans being the choice design layout, it is important to select dining tables and chairs that fit with the overall design of your home.  That’s where the timeless and classic farm table comes into play!


2.The Breakfast Nook
-A cozy, little breakfast nook is a perfect way to maximize your everyday living space. In addition to their practicality, they can also serve to spice up an otherwise neutral space through the use of upholstered seating, vibrant pillows, and interesting window treatments.


3. Island Seating
-Kitchen islands serve many important purposes.  From a design perspective, they are often the focal point of the room.  And, while they provide a functional workspace and can be a hub for a significant amount of storage, they also provide a perfect opportunity for a daily dining spot.


So, tonight, I will be having an easy dinner with my family of four at our kitchen island.  And, tomorrow night, our clan will take over the farm table as we have a casual dinner party with friends and family.  The good news is that I will use those same two spaces off and on for the duration, effectively costing me a heck of a lot less than the once a year formal dining room. Doesn’t get much better than that!