I have been back and forth on something & thought I would share with you my dilemma in the hopes it brings me clarity. There has been a lot of debate as to whether or not to switch up my dining room for a den/study area. I really do LOVE my dining room but it is rarely used. Most of our dinners are spent at our kitchen bar and if we have small gatherings it is spent in the kitchen huddled around the bar. On birthdays and holidays, when we host we do use it but I know I can create other seating areas to compensate.
The argument for the den/study….
It would be great to have an area off the kitchen where we can relax while dinner is being cooked, maybe read, do homework possibly? A place I can see them, where we feel like we are all together. We do have a large family room but it always seems like they are on the other side of the world. And to be honest we all like cozy spaces here and the FM is mighty spacious! I know we would use it way more if it was a den but….there is still that nagging idea that I NEED a formal dining room. I am also at a point in my life that I want real life function for my house and not just something that is pretty to look at.
The argument for the formal dining room….
When we first bought this house I was so excited to have a dining room. In my head I imagined these formal dinners, holidays spent with family & friends. I don’t think I factored in having a 1 & 6-year-old at the time I fantasized about these festive gatherings but none the less the dream was there. When we lived in Colorado we had an open concept so the dining room table was attached to the kitchen and oh did I long for a formal space. Because I had wanted one for so long I treasured this space in our new home. I was beyond grateful for it. It’s funny when we showed my dad this house for the first time he mentioned it would be a great den and of course I poo pooed the idea. Sorry dad! So basically it’s pretty, functional 2-3 times a year and I have always wanted one. To be also fair we could make an effort to use it more. My sister-in-law uses her formal dining room when they do take out, that way they use it more and it’s not a lot of extra work. She says it makes it feel special and they actually spend more time eating & chatting.
Some needed perspective on the switch up, if it happens. I am not changing anything but furniture and function. I am not knocking down walls, moving plumbing or electricity (I need to hear this, lol,) nothing is permanent.
In case it is hard to visualize, here is an open canvas of the room before…..
So the plan if I take the plunge….
Keep walls and drapes the same
Add woven wood shades
Add a soft neutral wool rug
Bring in my favorite Chesterfield sofa of all time
Create 2 round, maybe live edge wood coffee tables
Use my leather chair
Keep my round chandelier
Get a more modern console
Add television on hidden wall
Make the built-ins feel more like a library with a floating ladder
Layer in cozy textures with pillows and throws
Use neutrals and indigos
Add some plant life
Bring in some awesome art work
Create hexagonal shelves
Keep part of built-in a bar
So I have laid it all out. I would love to know what your experience and relationship is with your formal dining room + if you have any insight to offer:).
Ironically I am over at Better Homes & Gardens sharing more of my love for the classic and timeless Chesterfield sofa. And 5 styles that can work this look well, you may be surprised by a few….
Hope you have a beautiful fall day!