The Death of the Dining Room
How many loads does this hold?
Ma’am, this is a dining room table…
And your point is?
I spent a lot of time fantasizing about my future dining room during all those
years I lived in apartments with eat-in kitchens. It was my favorite section of
home décor magazines, my favorite before-after Grand Reveals on HGTV shows,
my favorite section of furniture stores... you get the idea: one day, I would
have one of these glamorous rooms where I would host elegant dinner parties.
Fast forward a few years, to now having a home that does have one of these
rooms that’s technically labeled a “dining room”. The chairs have been moved to
the side to make room for the kids’ play area, the top of the table holds laundry
piles – as true to the joke as if I had written it myself – and no one has actually
consumed a meal in that room since.... well, since we bought the house!
And it’s not just our family, and being parents to small children that has created
this phenomenon. I can count on one hand the number of dinner parties hosted
by my child-less friends or empty-nesters, during which we all sat in a dining
room. Just like we do in our house, we’ve eaten mostly at our friends’ kitchen
counters and kitchen islands, with the occasional meal in outdoor seating areas or
even plate-on-knee balancing acts in a living room... basically anywhere BUT a
The most popular of these gathering spots is, of course, the kitchen island. And
who can blame us? We want to enjoy our company while we’re putting the
finishing touches on the meal. We want to easily switch between courses without
having to shlep serving platters back and forth between rooms, and we want our
guests to feel at home by letting them participate and help with the prep work,
the serving, and even the cleaning.
Sure there are still rare big occasions that may call for more formal seating.
Afterall a kitchen island may be tough to gather around for Thanksgiving or
Christmas dinner. But as I think forward to my next remodel project, I am not
squandering my budget on a room I may never use. I’m learning everything I
can to maximize the space where my life happens. Trendy door styles, exciting
color trends, statement countertops, and family-pleasing islands; that is where my
heart will be.
As for the “Dining Room,” I’m sure I can find a use for that old space. One that
better fits my life journey. For now, it’s a fabulous place to fold laundry!