Over the past 10-15 years, traditional, closed-off dining rooms have become obsolete with the popularity of the open floor plan concept. Instead of a dining room, the majority of our home remodeling clients opted for open, eat-in kitchens with adjacent living/family rooms.
But recently, we’ve seen renewed interest in more elegant dining spaces. Family and friends are returning to valuing simple events like sharing a meal together in a calming environment. And we’re embracing it.
Why? Because eating in the kitchen or living room can lend itself to distractions, and in many cases, these areas have also become workspaces since the pandemic. An intentional dining space is a place to gather with family to focus on each other and enjoy a good meal or to host a dinner party with friends.
How to Make Space for a Dining Room
The first step to designing any space is to define it. Consider how often you’ll use the dining area, how many people will typically eat together at the table, and the types of meals being served. Does your family prefer formal, plated meals or do you dine buffet style from an adjacent surface, or does your family tend to pass dishes around the table?
Even if your home doesn’t have room for a large, separate dining room, that doesn’t mean you can’t visually create a dedicated space for eating and entertaining. It may mean creating a separate workspace or homework space so that the dining table remains available. Work and homework space can be captured along an interior wall with built-ins or an exterior wall with windows or bay windows.
The dining room or dining area can be “elevated” by the use of a special chandelier, an area rug, a choice of table and chairs, colors, and/or a centerpiece. The dining room can be made to feel open and airy by adding windows or a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass.
If you wish to create intimacy or coziness, but don’t want to give up visual connection and flow of light, consider replacing a section of an interior wall with glass.
Dining Room Furniture and Design Choices
Gone are the days of the stuffy, old-fashioned dining room. Today’s contemporary dining rooms can be anything from bold and colorful to casual and rustic to minimalistic.
When creating separate dining room spaces, design choices can be more purposeful and individualistic without having to worry about clashing with adjacent rooms as in an open concept space. People are longing for richer, more inviting dining spaces after a decade of light and neutral-colored walls throughout their homes.
And who doesn’t love a great dining room table? In a larger dining room, a long vintage table can be paired with chairs bearing bold upholstery for a modern look. Just make sure they’re comfortable for those deep conversations that can turn a meal into an event.
If you have a smaller dining room space or want to encourage conversation, try a round table and either keep it in the center of the room or take it slightly to one corner and use the rest of the room as a more informal gathering space to entertain before sitting down to eat.
The lighting over the dining room table is like the cake topper. It creates an ambiance for the entire room and helps you and your company enjoy meals. The once-popular pendant lights are being replaced by modern chandeliers and billiard-style lighting, which is a single fixture with two or more light sources in a row.
The Return of the Dining Room
We predict that 2023 is going to be the great return of the dining room. Think dinner parties, extended tables with place settings, comfy seating, and long, lingering meals. As a space that combines food, drink and all of your favorite people, the dining room is worthy of a modern makeover this year!