A dedicated dining room is a beautiful thing.  For formal dinners, parties, special occasions, holiday meals, and all kinds of entertaining, the dining room can be a lovely addition to your home.  However, not everyone makes frequent enough use of the dining room and it becomes a space to be maintained, dusted, and cleaned without contributing something useful to the life of the family.  As a professional interior designer, I can let you in on a little secret:  You don’t HAVE to have a dining room!    If you have an unused dining room 364 days out of the year, ask yourself what you’d rather do in the space.  What do you wish you had room for?  If your dining room is unused space, here are some ideas on what you can do with that room instead.

If you have a young and growing family, formal dinners may be several years in the future.  Why not turn the dining room into a playroom for the children?  They will be close at hand and easy to monitor while playing.  I like the idea of a playroom that incorporates adult-sized seating, such as a comfy sofa, for story time or family movie night.  A playroom lets you get creative with the design and color palette — the whole idea is to have fun!

A sunny play room by Interiors Joan and Associates.

A sunny play room by Interiors Joan and Associates.

Fun play room by MaK Interiors.

Fun play room by MaK Interiors.

An unused dining room can also be transformed into the perfect home office, craft room, or art studio.  Because the dining room is typically located on the main floor of the home, windows tend to provide plenty of natural light, perfect for working and creating.  The extra space in a dining room provides opportunities to install lots of storage as well as generously sized work surfaces. 

Pretty home office by Laurel Bern.

Pretty home office by Laurel Bern.

Craft room by Studio M Interiors.

Craft room by Studio M Interiors.

Wonderful light in this art studio by Bill Fry Construction.

Wonderful light in this art studio by Bill Fry Construction.

If you’ve always dreamed of a home library, game room, or music room, consider trading in your dining room for one of these options.  A dining room with a high ceiling can accommodate a lot of books!  Having a game room with a bar, billiards table, and seating designed for socializing could suit your entertaining style better than a traditional dining room.  If music is your passion, the dining room might make the perfect music studio for practicing and enjoying your favorite instruments. 

Love this home library by Kemble Interiors!

Love this home library by Kemble Interiors!

Game room designed by Laura U, Inc.

Game room designed by Laura U, Inc.

Music room by Dillard Pierce Design Associates.

Music room by Dillard Pierce Design Associates.

Taking the dining room, or any room, that you don’t utilize to its full potential and turning it into the kind of space that you truly love is always a great idea!

 

 

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