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Time to Say Goodbye… To Your Dining Room?

by RestonNow.com Sponsor November 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm 12 Comments

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This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact her at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and check out her work on HouzzPinterestTwitter and Facebook.

Now that Thanksgiving is right behind us and we are off full speed ahead into Christmas, let’s think about how many times did you use your dining room this year. Once? Twice??? Or maybe three times?

If you are like most Americans, you use your dining room just a few times a year and it is really just the storage room for grandma’s china. They’re usually small and blocked off, and that’s not how people want to live anymore. Sound familiar? Then it might be time to bid it farewell.

According to Wikipedia, in the Middle Agesupper class Britons and other European nobility in castles or large manor houses dined in the great hall, away from the kitchen, as that was someone else’s job.

Today people enjoy cooking as families and for their families and friends. Breaking the barrier between the dining and cooking area, and making it into quality time for all.

In our blog about trends we explored the latest growing trend of opening the kitchen to the rest of the house and creating a multi-functional room, and just like that, the dining room became one with the kitchen. Not only does this type of layout offer better flow on the main level, but most times it also helps gain that extra square footage needed to add everything you wanted in your new kitchen design. Based on your space, you may still be able to keep a full-size dining room table as well.


Just because your dining area is now part of the main floor, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautifully designed dining space. Combining a classic dining table with built in cabinets, can create a stunning mix of materials and colors. Now you can display Grandma’s china and enjoy the view and the memories every day and not only when you are dusting.


Poll: How often do you eat in your dining room?

Adding built in storage in the dining area, is not only beautiful but also functional. Base cabinets can alleviate some the storage from the kitchen. All the holiday dishes that take half of the pantry can be stored in the dining room space but close enough for daily or weekly use.


The dining room is a precious piece of real-estate in the house. With rising home prices and smaller parcels of lands available in big metro areas. People opt out to convert those dust rooms to much more livable space. What should you do with your dining room? Many homeowners choose to convert the space to main floor bedrooms for aging parents, home office, playrooms, music rooms, homework station and more. Spaces that the family can enjoy on daily basis and not just on Thanksgiving.

  • Jocelyn Colvin-Donald

    I agree Anna, that living rooms don’t get used much (and it’s the neatest room in my house–lol) but how do you redesign a long narrow living room/dining room combination with 7 windows and a big bay window?

    • Anna AKG

      Hi Jocelyn, Thanks for the question. For that I really need see the space, but we can chat on what other functions you would like to use the space for and we can rearrange / add furniture based on those needs..

  • Why do you bother?

    My kitchen’s always a mess, which is why I like my dining room – don’t have to see the kitchen

    • Anna AKG

      So do you actually use or just sitting pretty? And why is your kitchen is a mes do have lack of storage or is the work space not organized correctly for all that happening in the kitchen throughout the day?

      • Why do you bother?

        I’m a slob. And I use my dining room every day. I also pretty much live in my living room – my den is on the lower level and I use it as a studio.

        • Anna AKG

          Well if you ever need some help we have fantastic organisers on staff to help you declutter and organize the main floor.

          • Why do you bother?


  • Greg

    We have a Fairfield Williamsburg home (Westmoreland model) designed in the late 70s or early 80s and built in 1984. While it’s authentic and charming outside, the interior layout has always been terrible with too many rooms all of which are too small. The house was built in such a way that it’s impossible to open up most of the walls as they support the upper floor and contain the utilities. We do have a first-floor master bedroom, but all of the bathrooms are tiny with no ability to expand them.

    We even hired the builder’s son to redesign the first floor, but it was a $350k project and would have required us to move out for at least three months.

    • Adventurous

      On the off chance that this will break some code how about taking down walls and merging rooms? It could be fun, if you have time and a part time contractor…

      • Anna AKG

        This can be done, but from what Greg stated, it will be costly. Removing wall will require installing new beams and moving utilities, so at this point may as well demo the whole house and rebuild it.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    Have thought about this, but we have a center-hall Colonial style variation – central hall upstairs, staircase smack in the middle, rooms around the staircase on the main level, kitchen all the way at one end. Most of the walls seem to be either structural or have plumbing/vents running through them.

    There are one or two we could open up, to make a sort of California-shaped dining room/family room area, but then we’d have nowhere to put the bookcase and cabinet on those walls and it honestly wouldn’t help the space issue much as far as the dining room table – we’d still have to walk around it a lot. Not sure how expensive it would be.

    I’d love to combine the kitchen and family room at this point (kids are teens – no longer need to keep them out of the kitchen for anything 😉 ), but there’s a bathroom in between, and the stove is on the wall backing to the bathroom. Would be very expensive and time-consuming to move all that.

    • Anna AKG

      Some homes are more challanging in thier initial structure to reconfigure. This type of projrct would be based on how much does it bother you and how long are you planning to stay. If this is your forever home and love your location, I would say yes worth the investment, but if you are planning to down size after the kids leaving home, I would let it be. I can see the trend even in Virginia and our mostly colonial build, that builders are planning combined rooms where and dinning is open to the kitchen or part of the kitchen.


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