Are formal dining rooms dying a slow death?
Are you a dining room family, or a kitchen counter family?
For years, we’ve been a kitchen counter family who aspired to be a dining room family…
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Mostly, I aspired to be a dining room person because unlike my kitchen, my dining room had been renovated. Our dining room was bright and modern and pretty⤵️.
Our kitchen, meanwhile, was still kickin’ it old school 90s style. Nothing had changed in there since the house was originally built in 1994 ⤵️.
But no matter how beautiful the dining room was, and how much I disliked our unattractive, un-remodeled and outdated kitchen, the lure of that dining room was never quite strong enough to pull us in there for meals.
(and let’s go back to some prettier after kitchen renovation pics now, shall we? more on the renovation part shortly…)
Can you relate? And this got me to thinking…
Are Formal Dining Rooms the next Formal Living Rooms?
In other words…are formal dining rooms going the way of the dodo?
Think about it. Homes built all the way through much of the 1990s had formal living rooms. It was an unquestionable thing. But over time, those spaces were used less and less.
**simply click on the image or text link below for any of the products and you will be taken to the retailer for details and shopping options:
- Balboa Counter Stools
- Blue Runner Rug
- Teak Step Stool
- Breakfast Nook White Tulip Table
- Breakfast Nook Rope Chandelier
- Rattan Serving Tray (seen on kitchen island)
- Linen Table Napkins (yellow and white)
- Family Room Curtain Fabric
- Kitchen Island Chandeliers
**items not mentioned are either vintage finds, DIY’s or no longer sold
People began repurposing their living rooms into offices and playrooms.
Gradually, builders caught on, and nowadays, the formal living room has either shrunk to a minuscule size or been eliminated in new homes altogether.
Is the same happening to our dining rooms? I’d say, quite possibly yes!
That version of a new reality would make me sad in a way. Mostly because, as I’ve admitted, I’d love to be a dining room person.
In my mind, an ideal family evening would start with jazz on the radio. Me cutting fresh herbs in the kitchen. Candlelight. And then our family sits down to a fresh, healthy and brilliantly prepared home-cooked meal. And that meal would be enjoyed in a lazy, loungey, loafing kind of way. An hour, or hours-long event…European-style, if you will.
But does this happen? Never. Never, ever have we ever sat down to a meal like this…in ANY room, let alone our formal dining room.
Life here revolves around the kitchen counter.
Like it or not, our life, and probably yours is in constant motion. And the kitchen is the heart of it all.
The place where all the motion comes in and goes out. All life, all activities, all family communication each and every day happens in and around the kitchen counter.
It’s just the way it is.
And so I began to accept the fact that we just weren’t going to use the dining room. C’est la vie. Instead, I became determined to love my kitchen.
And that set us on a path to our $1000 kitchen renovation project (you saw a “before” shot up top).
If you haven’t seen it, the moral of that story is two-fold:
1.) PAINT can be as magical as a wand. And…
2.) Renovation, even if it isn’t your IDEAL renovation can still bring heaps of joy.
There are still things I don’t love about the kitchen, of course. $1000 can only get you so far. Like the arched cabinets, for one 👎. But change takes time.
Our old metal counter stools were pretty sad, too. Originally, they were several different colors, and I spray painted them white to give them a more uniform look and to buy ourselves a little time before we needed to get new ones.
They were functional enough, but I knew they weren’t my forever answer.
But our forever answer has just arrived, and I couldn’t be more excited. We just got some beautiful new counter stools from Serena & Lily. And I am a smitten kitten.
I’ve had my eye on these Balboa counter stools for a long while.
The rattan is sophisticated, but not stuffy. And it brings a natural element into the space that had been lacking before.
Not only are these stools gorgeous to look at, but they are also sturdy (a MUST for a home with kids).
And comfortable. They are much nicer to sit in than the metal stools.
I’m hoping that comfy stools will lend themselves better to comfy, relaxed, looonger…maybe at least bordering on or approaching European-style family meals?? #fingerscrossed
Point is, I decided that instead of wishing our life was a dining room life, I have accepted the truth of how we actually live. We are kitchen counter people.
Instead of fighting the current, I’m embracing it…and investing in it so that the hub and heart of our home is a space we love.
Embrace the kitchen counter life. And invest in it.
Besides the counter stools, I got a couple nice counter accessories, too…
Now, we can all enjoy this wild, crazy, fast-paced, on-the-go world of ours a lot more comfortably –
(even Eddie Van Halen, one of our three beloved guinea pigs likes the changes 😉)…
Beyond comfortable, I gotta say things look more beautiful as well.
So, are dining rooms on the way out? I guess we won’t know the final ruling on that for a while.
But regardless of our pro or anti-formal dining room stance, we can probably all agree that investing more energy into making our kitchen counters a place we love is a great way to embrace and accept our fast-paced lifestyles.
Gotta run…almost time for golf lessons!
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