Should the dining room go or stay?

(20 Posts)
bluepolkadot Mon 17-Mar-14 16:17:26

Currently deciding whether to knock through our kitchen and dining room into one large space or keep them separate.

Our kitchen is not a bad size but not a huge room - 5.7m x 3.7m, but we are planning new kitchen units which will include a central island with a hob and seating area, so we are going to do away with the small kitchen table as can't really have both.

The dining room is 4.2m x 3.7m so again, not small but not big. We use it fairly infrequently, maybe a few times a month and if we have friends for dinner, although will use it more I guess when the kitchen table has gone. My children are 12 & 13, so don't hang around the kitchen so much - in and out for food!

Knocking through won't give us a better view, or access to the garden - it will simply give us a larger space and maybe a lighter room.

Just not sure whether I would miss the separate dining room if it was to go for good?

MrsJamin Mon 17-Mar-14 17:44:38

Definitely ditch the separate dining room, what on earth is the point of having a room you use so infrequently? We're just about to knock through and I can't wait, can't stand having separates. You will see a lot more of your teenagers if you have some chill out space in your dining area, I reckon. You'd probably have space for a sofa, bookcase? I'm looking forward to having a family space without a screen.

truelymadlysleepy Mon 17-Mar-14 17:51:02

So your new room will be nearly 10 m long?
You could have the kitchen bit at one end and the table at the other and have loads of space. Sounds lovely.

BrownSauceSandwich Mon 17-Mar-14 18:26:08

Our dining room was very much underused, but it's a lovely, sunny room. We "deformalised" it by shunting the dining space to one end, and having a couple of easy chairs and a bookcase at the other, by the French windows. It's now become our preferred daytime sitting room, and somehow more appealing for dining too... Probably because it feels less fussy.

Anyway, my point is really that, while I totally agree that an unused room is a waste of expensive space, there are other solutions than open plan. And some you can try for free (or near enough). Really comes down to what works for your gang.

Bonsoir Mon 17-Mar-14 18:36:26

We have a huge dining room and didn't want to not use it every day - it seemed such a waste. So we made it into a sort of library/media room/music room/play room with a massive wooden "library table" in the middle and good overhead lighting. We have bookcases, a television, a piano, computers and periphery and DD's many dolls houses in there, and it is still easy to have dinner parties if we clear stuff off the table.

Flopsygrowsup Mon 17-Mar-14 19:57:06

Can I join in -we're hoping to buy a house with a reception/dining room which is 6m x 3m I was thinking of putting couple of easy chairs in bay, then bench type table and interesting chairs with book shelves so its a study/dining room there is only 3 of us but when we entertain we would need a bigger table than we could get in kitchen.

lurkerspeaks Mon 17-Mar-14 23:22:20

Depends on your lifestyle.

I love my all in one space cooking/entertaining room.

My top tip though is to get some kind of screening for kitchen mess. An upstanding of a foot on the edge of the kitchen units which face the table screens mess from guests and provides useful plug sockets too in my experience.

Nothing worse than sitting down to lovely food and seeing the mess you have to clear up winking at you!

ClownsLeftJokersRight Mon 17-Mar-14 23:33:36

I want to turn our dining room into more of a sitting room with books etc. We mainly eat in the kitchen diner anyway.

I would occasionally still like to use the dining room for Christmas, friends over etc. I've been wondering about getting a large fold up table. Once it's laid up for dinner, who could really tell it's not an expensive table? And then being able to put it away would mean you get the space back again for everyday use. Dh looked confused at this suggestion thoughgrin

BackforGood Mon 17-Mar-14 23:39:40

We really use the two Reception rooms plus kitchen we have. As your kitchen is big enough to be able to eat in, I think it would be a really negative thing to do to lose a room. We only 'dine' in what we call our dining room about 3 times a year too, but it's great that one person can watch TV in the lounge while another either : plays piano / guitar / flute or x-boxes or puts a DVD to watch in the X-box or sits at the table to work or has a meeting in the other room. Different person will be listening to their music in the kitchen, etc.

I wouldn't want guests who do actually dine in our dining room on those odd occasions to be exposed to the chaos that is our kitchen either, tbh.

legoplayingmumsunite Mon 17-Mar-14 23:45:58

We eat all our meals in our dining room, am I the only person who does that? Kids do their homework there, all craft projects. Would hate for it to be joined up to the kitchen. We'd lose storage space and gain mess.

playftseforme Mon 17-Mar-14 23:50:24

Our dining room has the dining table in it pushed right up against the wall, which gets dragged out for the odd big occasion. For the rest of the time, the room is a play room full of toys, homework and craft projects. I find the separate space really helpful because it keeps the mess out of the kitchen, and is easier for dd to concentrate.

maggiemight Tue 18-Mar-14 00:04:47

I hate kitchen diners as I prefer to cook alone with Radio4 blaring. However, we have a house in the US (whose ideas we seem to copy here) and it has a family room, which is kitchen with separate isle, breakfast area (table and chairs) and sofa and tv area. So probably a good idea if you think you might sell in the future, but if it is where you might end your days do what you prefer.

LondonGirl83 Tue 18-Mar-14 07:01:54

Depends if you want a social kitchen really which would be best achieved by knocking through. However, your existing kitchen dimensions seem a bit narrow for an island. How deep will your island be?

7to25 Tue 18-Mar-14 07:35:42

I was about to echo the thoughts of Lomdon Girl, are you sure about the island?

hootloop Tue 18-Mar-14 07:40:03

I think it should stay.

We eat in our dining room everyday and have breakfast in there at the weekend.

The children do homework in there, when I was teaching I did all my marking and planning in there, we play board games at the table. I do my sewing in there.

It was on my essential list when I bought the house I would find it hard to not have a separate dining room.

primigravida Tue 18-Mar-14 07:42:42

Keep the dining room - we had a kitchen diner and I hated it. We put a wall in to separate the room in two so I now have a lovely separate dining room and kitchen. So much nicer and less mess on display - no children getting underfoot and it just feels nicer eating in a dining room rather than a kitchen. I love having a dining room for the first time since I left home as all of the places I have lived in have had a kitchen-diner or dining table in the living room.

bluepolkadot Tue 18-Mar-14 07:51:24

Thanks everyone! Think I could be swaying towards keeping the dining room. Good to hear that there are plenty out there who still love their room.

I suppose it is the norm now to have these big open spaces, but in reality, maybe cosier separate rooms is the way to go!

We do have a separate den/family room already, so maybe I can make the dining room feel a bit more special and loved - a couple of nice comfy chairs, some books (and no TV!).

TheBigBumTheory Tue 18-Mar-14 08:00:21

Another dining room fan here-ours is in the'through room' on the way to the back kitchen extension, so adjoining the kitchen. We eat there for all meals, I love having a room which is uncluttered just for eating, I don't want to be looking at the pots and pans when I'm eating. We also use it as a quiet room for a cup of tea and chat.

Saying that, I would only have a kitchen diner if I didn't have room for a dining room. For example a second reception/playroom would take priority, esp if you have lots of dcs.

bluepolkadot Tue 18-Mar-14 08:30:34

Re the size of the island - we would only have units along one side of the wall and the island would be in the middle.

I will upload the 2 layouts for you to see - ie. with the wall knocked down, and without.

would you consider sliding barn doors so you could have the room opened up or closed off ?! also only open it all up if you are quite happy with people milling about watching you cook !! open plan isn't for everyone !! my hubby loves to cook with friends around - and I'm the opposite - I prefer to make a mess of it / drop the roast / swear a lot in private !!!

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