Monday, April 29, 2013

Use it or lose it: the Formal Dining Room

Urban Grace Interiors
Wowza!!!! When I was a newlywed, THIS was the stuff dreams were made of...what with the 3 full sets of china I got for wedding gifts (and I eloped for Pete's sake!) Now our house is the meetup for most family gatherings and we STILL don't EVER use the dining room. NEVER. I guess the upside of that is that it stays pretty tidy...good news for the first room you see when you walk in the front door! The bad news is that it SHOULD look good and I've dropped some dough on making it that way but we don't really use it.

So I've come to a decision...drumroll please... I will not be having a dining room going forward. For our family, it is truly a wasted space. And since we're moving, now is the time to make the change. Seriously, as we speak my dining room furniture is on my beloved craigslist. (Yep, that was a shameless sales pitch.)  I'm not exactly sure what I'll do since most dwellings have a dedicated dining room. Buckle up and join me for the journey.  Here are a few ideas from some of my peeps:

Like myself, Jacki had the full blown table for ten, complete with china cabinet and buffet, in her last house.
Jacki's former, formal dining room.

After using that room twice in ten years, her hubby made a pilgrimage to Florida (from NC) to get this Brunswick Gold Crown pool table. It's from the 1930's, and has started to grow on her. Like a good wife, she decided, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and made the best dang pool room her 'hood has ever seen. The paint color is SW Mannered Gold in case you are wondering.
Jacki's Billiards room, otherwise know as the formal dining room.
In case you need to set up a buffet line, all you need is some plywood and a couple of oversized tablecloths to turn this pool table into a wonderful server.

We all know Jacki's a trendsetter... Check out what her friend Kelly did with her formerly unused formal space.

Before: Kelly's Dining Room

billiards room
After: Kelly's Billiards Room

Jacki's sister-in-law followed suit and turned her dining room into a place where her kids can do homework and they can enjoy displaying books and other family treasures.

alternative to formal dining room
Formal Dining Room

Um, yeah. This is where the "AFTER" pic should be but it wasn't available at press time (read: Jenny call your sis-in-law back ASAP please!)

I love the idea of turning the formal dining room into a home office. You can still use it for dining on those special occasions.

Check out what Emily Clark did with her dining room:

I love all these ideas! Stay tuned to see what I end up doing at my next home...

Tell us, what's going on in YOUR dining room? Are you USING it or LOSING it?

Linking up with The Dedicated House:


  1. In my defense, I HAD to clean it before the photo shoot! :)

  2. Love this...ours is a sitting room and it's stinkin' CUTE!


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