That is a question worth asking and a question worth answering…
To get the best possible answer on this question we have to interpret how modern families live. We are busier than ever, our days are short and fast. Children today have more activities and homework than in previous generations. The biggest difference is in the fact that today both parents are usually employed and work most of the day.
The days when mother’s stayed at home, were housewives and greeted their husband and kids at the end of the day with a hot meal are over. Today, family members come and go at different times. Because of that it is not unusual that we have forgotten what a family meal means. For those who sit and plan a family meal this can be a big job, needing a lot of coordination and effort.
All of this is in a big way connected to the dining room.
How often do you use your dining room?
Our way of life has a tendency to be more relaxed, and our home is a direct reflection of that. Older homes, with smaller kitchens, have built in dining rooms next to the kitchen. Once the meal would end and the family would move from the dining room to another room, the living room perhaps. Dining rooms, that were once used daily, today are used maybe once a week.
It all depends on the way of life and habits. A small number of people use the dining room daily, most of them use it as a space for parties or holidays, when the whole family gathers.
Where do we eat in our homes?
Our kitchens are more busy and used, maybe more than any room in the house. This is the case especially in urban families, where everybody races to do their thing. The kitchen has become a center not in just our homes, but in our lives. Our kitchens have music, some even have TV’s. In some homes this has become the unofficial living room.
Today a kitchen is a lot bigger than before and they often have a 6 person table. And it is not unusual to see a kitchen counter surrounded by chairs. Do we really need a dining room if we have that?
Then what happens to the dining room?
Many of them stay empty and collect dust. But, being aware that this is a space that doesn’t serve a purpose, people have decided to use the room the best they can. Today we can see dining rooms turned into play spaces, handy rooms, exercise rooms, libraries, offices, art rooms. You can even install some blinds and make it a very intimate space.
Walls are going down to get a new open space
Bigger rooms and open spaces in apartments and homes are now very popular. Newer homes are built by this demand, and older ones are reconstructed and renovated. For many this is ideal, not only does it open up their home, but it makes it bigger. For the families that have kids this is a way to keep control. Such houses have open kitchens where the dining room disappears and melts in with the open space.
Small homes have connected dining rooms and kitchens
Most Americans and Europeans live in homes that are too small for separate dining rooms. For them the kitchen is the center of the house. It serves the purpose of entertainment, gathering just like the dining room. In the same way like we said before, the table is in the kitchen and becomes multifunctional, because next to having lunch, it is used for doing homework, playing games and more.
No matter if the dining room is a wish or need, it depends on the way of life and the size of the house. Those who see this space as outdated, choose to make it their office or something similar. Some, choose to make their office a dining room if they see it as being more important. It is up to you to decide what is more important.
By Milan Budimkic
Milan Budimkic is a creative freelance writer for industries that include but are not limited to travel, sport, entertainment, internet marketing, and much more. When not blogging, Milan is an avid traveler and reader.