Today, many homes and lifestyles function most effectively with multi purpose dining room designs as shown in the image above with a library and seating area that fits right into the Dining Room
While some of us love our traditional dining room decor, that specific purpose space is too confining and underutilized.
So how can you best use the 'dining room' space for your lifestyle?
First, determine what it is that you need in terms of usage for your room.
For some, it's home office space. And, you don't necessarily have to 'work from home' to have a legitimate need for office space.
Others may desire a reading or conversation area away from the living room of their home.
An area set aside for craft projects is essential for some creative homeowners. The image below shows a happy and colorful Dining Area with a home office nestled into the space quite nicely.
Spacious Dining Room before the Makeover
See how this spacious Dining Room goes from ho-hum to spectacular and multi functional in this makeover from our friends at bhg.com. Designer Stephen Saint-Onge creates color, personality and function in this pretty space.
I like the light finish and chunky look to the Dining table as well as the darker fabric on the chairs for contrast.
Fireplace area before the Makeover
The fireplace was looking a bit lonely and far away from the rest of the space.
Now there is a cozy seating area with open shelving bookcases, reading material amongst the shelving decor, and a grouping of family photos on the mantel.
This is a fine example of a pretty and well coordinated space that combines an area for eating, plenty of storage and window seating.
I love the soft color palette as well as the glass front cabinets that are not only functional but also add personality and decorative finishes to the area.
The image above shows how to use Traditional styling to create a multi function eating and seating area. The drop leaf table can be opened up to serve a number of guests or just a couple.
Below we have a small dining table nestled near the fireplace, with built in shelving that houses a book collection.
Occasional overnight guests may require sleeping quarters. (Hint: think Daybed!)
And, it may be very helpful for some homeowners to have a small area set aside for casual dining in the 'dining room'.
What is on your list? There might be one, two or even three of the above, or a need that has not been mentioned.
Let's say you determine that a:
would be a fantastic use for your dining room, which is a 12' x 14' rectangular space.
1. The casual dining area is the largest space needed.
Consider the non-traditional options, such as a square or circular gathering table/chairs, glass topped 'garden' iron table/chairs, antique drop leaf table with side chairs (they don't have to match!), etc.
Purchase a small rectangular area rug, 5 x 7 for example, and place it at an angle in one section of the space. Place the table/chairs on the rug.
2. The home office work space could be a small writing desk/chair, a sofa table, built-in desk under a window (great views!), etc.
Place that in the area opposite the table/chairs. If you need file drawer space purchase a two drawer file cabinet, or use a small nightstand, for example.
Because this is a multi purpose dining room design, try to avoid adding too many odds and ends for storage.
3. Find a small upholstered chair, end table/small bookshelf/etc. and lamp. Nestle that little grouping in an open corner of the space, or near a window.
Now, step back and look at how your three functional areas are placed.
Make sure the room is balanced - you don't want to have all the larger pieces on one side of the room, or it will look lopsided.
Move things around until you are happy with the multi purpose dining room design.
See a transformation from ho-hum dining area into the fabulous multi functional space shown below, courtesy of bhg.com:
Once these areas are actually used, you might tweak the placement again, and in fact you probably will. There is no magic 'right way' to place these pieces.
Have fun with this room and create a space that truly fulfills your lifestyle needs!