The formal dining room. What is it good for?
There are a lot of things I can do without: cooking shows, golf, hairdryers, certain American presidents, spiders, blizzards, country music…but one thing I cannot do without is a formal dining room.
Formal dining rooms might appear old-fashioned in this era of open floor plans and eat-in kitchen areas, however I, for one, still love this space, and the possibilities it inspires.
And as it happens, I’m not alone: Rumblings in the real estate world suggest that the formal dining-room might be making a comeback.
There are lots of homebuyers who are definitely looking for homes with formal dining rooms. Living rooms are falling out of favour, but families still want one place in the house where they can celebrate the holidays and other special occasions and that’s the dining room.
Though open floor plan concepts are still very popular, I often espouse the merits of having a formal dining room.
I can state from personal experience that having a designated dining room is square footage missed if not there. Here are some reasons to rethink that room that you think you don’t need.
A formal dining room elevates your everyday life
The kitchen may be the most important room in the house, but the dining room is special. There’s a sophistication and elegance to this room found in no other. Friends and family prove to be a bit more mindful of their manners when seated around a well-set table. It is a space worthy of the cook’s efforts and of intellectual conversation.
Formal dining rooms let you keep the mess in the kitchen
Good cooking is hot and messy. Great cooking sometimes leaves your kitchen looking like a small bomb went off. No one wants to look at all that mess (and consider the upcoming clean up). A formal dining room lets you shut that mess out of my mind while enjoying the meal.
Noise and other clutter
I like keeping the cooking area separate as it helps focus on the matter at hand. It is easy to get distracted from cooking if you are also hosting visitors, trying to carry on a meaningful (or meaningless) conversation, opening the wine and trying to keep thinks somewhat orderly and clean.
It does not have to be a dining room
I’ve noticed in many new homes that builders don’t seem to know where to put the dinging room. They often put it out front, just off the front foyer when the kitchen is at the back of the house. You almost need a donkey and a map to get the food and the dishes to the dining room table (and back again). But formal dining rooms don’t have to be used as formal dining rooms. Instead, use that space for a kid’s play area or a homework room or an office or, or, or…