Formal dining rooms, who needs them you say. For many over-scheduled families, “dining” has been reduced in recent years to grabbing a plate of food at a kitchen island or on an ottoman in front of a screen. Even in homes that have a separate dining room, the table is regularly piled with papers and used as the provebial drop off station.
But you start to reminisce about simpler times and dinner at Grandma’s house. There were no hurried plates of food eaten on the run or in front of the TV. No cell phones present. Everyone actually sat around the dining table at the same time and conversation flowed from one to another. These memories makes you smile and you long again for those sort of dinners with your family.
Meals bring people together and the dining room is the place to make this happen. You know that it is not realistic to expect this sit down every night. But for family celebrations, holidays, Sunday dinner and whenever you can accomodate it, you need a space for this to happen and it is the formal dining room.
Families Are Tired Of Dining In The Living Room
There are signs that we are heading back to the dinner table, designers say. Their clients are tiring of grabbing meals in the “living room,” a more informal, open space that often accommodates drive-by eating and lounging. Or they’re annoyed with noisy restaurants and want to do more entertaining at home. Many young families are looking for a more structured family dinner hour around a real table.
These are some reasons to keep your formal dining room. Here are a few other reasons:
- Formal dining rooms allow you to host dinner parties with friends and family.
- Keeps the kitchen separate and allows you to be more relaxed when serving a larger crowd.
- The dining room is a retreat away from the messy kitchen
- Formal Dining rooms can entice you to keep it formal, bring out the linen tablecloth and napkins and your best cutlery , crystal and fine stemware.
- The room sets the tone. It is an area focused on eating and conversation. With everything so casual these day it is a welcome change. Cell phones will be forbidden of course.
- The dining room is a much more peaceful place to dine. Away from the noisy kitchen with the fridge buzzing and dishwasher going
Dining Rooms: A Place For Families To Gather
For a long time, dining rooms were seen as stiff, formal rooms that gathered dust and held Grandma’s pristine china that you did not touch. But as homes have become more modern, and hosting gatherings at home is becoming increasingly popular, we have started seeing a rise in people wanting a formal dining space.
People want to have a separate space so that when there is time for the family to sit down and enjoy a meal together, they can do so without other distractions around the home. These dining rooms are shifting from formal spaces to comfortable family environments, and with many families pressed for time, they are becoming evermore popular among new homeowners to enjoy the little time together in a family setting.
While kitchens must be cozy and functional, dining rooms can be full of flair. The idea of being dignified while taking the roast chicken out of the oven with guest around the kitchen table is a far stretch. Horror of horrors — what if you just happened to drop that casserole — there is no recovery with your guest staring at you. You cannot scrape it up and hope for the best. Also do you really need Aunt Jane’s unsolicited advice about how to thicken your sauce or gravy.
Adorn your table with your favourite tablecloths, decorative table runners, fine crystal wine glasses and small bouquets of your favourite flowers. Make it warm and inviting. They are a wonderful opportunity to bring out your playful side.
It is imperative to have comfortable dining chairs. A calming, inviting place. This is a place to unwind, relax and share conversation. A place where people like to linger over good food, good company and after dinner drinks . Brandy, cognac, anyone?
Things To Note When Planning Your Dining Room
Pay attention to light fixture height. Many dining rooms have chandeliers hung too high. Lighting should be kept about 30 to 36 inches above the table. You want to sit across the table and not have the fixture in the way, but you want to bring the light and attention down to everyone’s faces.
Soften it up. Window treatments and flooring are important in a dining room. With a lot of hardwood it is important to soften it up with textiles. Curtains and a favourite rug on wooden floors will keep it soft. Beautiful photo collage, your favourites can come into play here. Have some fun.
Break up your dining room set. Many dining rooms have too much furniture. Why not put your buffet or server in a different room? Separating the pieces allows you to make use of the sideboard to arrange appetizers on before dinner.
Mix it up. Don’t be so matchy-matchy. Go for a different look for the host chairs at either end of the table to make a statement. Also, instead of the usual chandelier hanging over the centre of the table, try two pendants.This room should be as functional for everyday meals as it is for formal dining.
Family Dining Together, You Can See It
Can you envision it. Your family all seated around the dining table enjoying the meal that you have spent so much time preparing. The conversation is flowing and you get that wonderful feeling of family harmony. There is laughter and shared stories.
You made this happen. Everyone seated together enjoying a meal, without interruptions, just like at Grandma’s. You get that same warm feeling you felt at Grandma’s house. Everyone is connecting. This now becomes a ritual for you and your family. A ritual that will bring your family together week after week. This will help to build the strong bonds that unite a family and keep them together.