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Dining Rooms: Necessity or Wasted Space?

Dining Rooms: Necessity or Wasted Space?

Designated dining rooms are not as high on the priority list of Canadian homeowners as they used to be. Homes are getting smaller, main floors have fewer walls defining specific areas, and condos, which dictate efficient use of space, are increasing in popularity. I visit homes every week where the dining room has been given up in favor of other family needs such as desk space, play space or TV watching space. If the clients are selling the home, invariably the room reverts back to a dining room as a solid selling strategy. If it is a decorating decision, however, the homeowner’s needs win out and sadly, this may mean the loss of the dining room.

That is not to say that dining rooms don’t have inherent value, depending on your needs. Dining rooms are quite often one of the first rooms viewed as the home is entered, may be one of few grown-up spaces offered and can be the showcase room within the home. Dining rooms typically offer something extra, such as an exquisite chandelier, bold wallpaper, a beautiful rug and furniture that is chosen for its beauty as much as its functionality.

Create a beautiful and functional space:

It’s possible to double up the function in the dining room so that non-dining activities can be done in and around a dining set up. For example, homework gets done at the dining room table. Most days the room may be cluttered with books and pens and papers, but the study clutter can be whipped out of sight pretty quick when a designated dining space is needed to show off and use. Likewise a combined library/office/dining room can serve each function very well with just the slightest re-dressing. If your room is large enough, consider a secondary function at one end of the room such as a couple of reading chairs, table and lamp to increase the usefulness of the space. On the other hand if it’s a playroom that’s needed, and who wouldn’t love a play room right next to the kitchen where you can keep an eye on the little ones, perhaps storing the dining room furniture is the best option with future plans to revert back when the children are older.

Create a secondary functional area in the room:

If you are creating, improving, or reverting back to, a dining room, it will be time for some fresh ideas. Probably your first decision will be the dining table and chairs. Questions to ask yourself will be ideal size and shape, as in what fits the room and how many you want to seat; style that will conform with the rest of the house and make you very happy; and ability to stand up to the family demands you will be placing on it as you dine, study and/or work in the room. At some point early in this process you can identify your preferred wall treatments and whether you want an accent wall. Remember, there are almost unlimited paint colors to choose from so it can help to keep an open mind on this until all your other main elements are confirmed. Next, choose storage and sideboard space as needed to display on and serve from. Follow up with any secondary seating arrangement, desk space, or shelving desired. Confirm your wall colours and lastly, place the decor bits to complete the space which may include lighting, window coverings, rugs, table top decor, plants and artwork. Each and every element will play an important role in ensuring your dining room is beautiful and functional; like the pictures in this blog, all available at Wicker Emporium, pulling together to make a worthy room indeed.

Melanie Orr

About Melanie Orr

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Interiors by Melanie has been providing staging and decorating services in the Halifax area since 2004, with a true passion and talent for all things to do with home design and decor. Our mission: To provide a superior service to clients by creating the best use and beauty of their home, whether the goal is to sell or to make it their own.

Wicker Emporium offers fine wooden furniture and home decor from our stores in greater Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Atlantic Canada.

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