The depression era was also not the decade of McMansions. People built for efficiency, not extravagance. The original dwelling had two small bedrooms, one bath, a living room, tiny kitchen and a screened in porch that later became the dining room. In the 1960's the original owners, still in possession of the home, added a master bedroom and bath.
When my husband and I bought the home, we loved the charming footprint, but we decided that the teeny, tiny kitchen was just not functional for modern family living, so we put on an addition to enlarge it. By now the basement had been finished and the living room was lovely, but my husband was craving an old fashioned den in his newly remodeled home. He wanted to take over the old dining room, add a tv and a couch. After all, he debated, we eat in the kitchen, how many dining rooms do we need?
It was a good question. As much as I had always longed for a formal dining room, it really wasn't a practical space in a home where square footage was at a premium. So I gave in and we turned that old dining room into a very well loved and constantly used family room.
The Old Dining Room
So where do we dine? Well, in the kitchen of course!
We actually have two tables in the room. One is a pretty round table that is tucked into a windowed corner, overlooking the pool and the yard.
The other is our old kitchen table. We were looking for an island in the same style and when we were unable to find one at a reasonable price, we made one instead, by replacing the short legs on our existing table with tall stair balusters. Now, we have a very functional kitchen island and frankly, it has become our main kitchen table. The round table, for some unknown reason, has been relegated to more formal dining occasions.
Ho Ho Ho!
I guess things work out the way they are meant to, because in hindsight, I don't know what I was thinking when I wanted so desperately to keep that more formal eating area. The old dining room was actually quite small. There is no way we would've been able to fit my very large family in there for holidays. Yet in the kitchen, AKA my dining room, I can add a leaf to the round table, seat people at the island and poof, seating for at least eighteen.
Of course, in recent years, there has been the predictable addition of boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives and a few truly delicious babies to the family. Even with the leaf, there is in fact no way I can fit everyone around the tables. I can barely fit them in the house! So I set the tables and those who would like to sit there, sit. Those who crave warmth, settle in front of the living room fireplace with their plate and those who cannot bare to separate themselves from football, nosh in front the family room or basement tvs. They sit perched with china in hand, on their lap or placed on the coffee table. A tiny home, calls for creative dining solutions.
So who says I don't have a dining room? Clearly on these days, I have several; just about every room in my home could be deemed a dining room, full of family, lively conversation, some sort of table and great food!
Well, every room except the bedrooms...definitely not dining rooms. No one eats in there.
Unless you ask my kids. Their answer may vary.
Do you have a formal dining room?
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