Monday, November 23, 2009
When I was about 10 years old, I remember attending a family event at a local historic inn in my hometown on Long Island. There were about twelve of us there for a sit-down dinner, and we had a private room off the main restaurant. At one time, the room must have been a library because there were floor-to-12'ceiling bookshelves overstuffed with leather bound books! I remember dining by candle light in that room and feeling sooooo royal. I had never seen anything like it.
Fast forward a couple of decades (okay...three), and here we are maximizing functionality of rooms in our own (often less regal) homes. So much so, that it is not uncommon for people to utilize what is typically the most under used room in the house, the dining room, as a library/study space (when the table is not functioning as a pedestal base for a turkey platter).
Part of loving your space is USING it, and finding ways to maximize every inch of it. I started seeing examples of dual-purposing dining rooms a few years ago. It's much more common now, and we are enjoying these spaces on a daily basis instead of just once or twice a year. Makes sense since we tend to spend a lot of money to furnish it well.
Also, try not to lock yourself in to the room names indicated on your home's blueprints! One of the best things I ever did for a client was flip-flop the locations of their family room and dining room. The "family room" became a cozy, intimate space for TV viewing, and the "dining room" became the main living area of the home...complete with oval table, settee, oversized upholstered chairs...fireplace, bookshelves and French doors to a beautiful covered flagstone patio. It's definitely the most used room of the house now.
As you're gathered around the dining table this Thursday, as most of us will be, think about how you use your dining room...and what you can do to this space to enjoy it on a more regular basis!