Advanced search

to think it is just not necessary to have a dining table anymore?

(726 Posts)
LDNmummy Mon 04-Jul-11 13:24:55

Traditionally it has always been the look of a good home to have a dining table, preferably with its own area/ room in a house for family gatherings.

But, with modern life as it is, I just don't think it is necessary to have one anymore, unless of course you genuinely use it at least once a week. But do most families anymore?

I don't know many families who still go through the process of sitting around the dining table every weekend let alone every day, possibly for the fact that it is a little extra effort people are not as formal about anymore and sitting together doesn't have to be around a table but even just in the living room watching the telly together IYSWIM.

Plus, houses are not always big enough to accomodate a large family sized table and some may just feel it isnt worth the hassle to cram one in.

I also think this about the large cabinets that traditionally housed all a households fine dining wear that would come out on special occasions.

Aren't these bulky pieces of furniture that take up lots of space and are rarely used outdated now except with older people?

My MIL has a six seater table in the living room that could easily fit eight diners but is used properly about once a year. Half the reason for that is that it is too big and has to be crammed against a wall so isnt convenient to sit around daily or even weekly anyway. She also has a very large display cabinet full of her best dining wear wich is only used when special guests such as family travelling from abroad are visiting, which is rarely.

She is about 60 and in her eyes these two items of furniture are essential to beautify a home as well as for practical reasons, which IMO is questionable. My DM and all the older women in my family feel the same way.

But isnt this just all outdated and unecessary faff a house can do without in a time when people are no longer as formal when it comes to situations such as dining?

harassedandherbug Mon 04-Jul-11 13:27:06

Where do you eat though?? In front of the tv?

We use our table everyday....


Grabaspoon Mon 04-Jul-11 13:28:03

We eat our breakfast and lunch at the kitchen/dining table as well as our family meal each evening.

We also use it for arts/crafts, playing with small world characters etc.

We couldn't do without the table and I would not eat every meal on my lap etc.

SydSaid Mon 04-Jul-11 13:28:06

I wouldn't be without mine. It's great for 'help yourself' type meals and surely everyone still has formal meals at christmas/birthdays/sundays etc?

Thefoxsbrush Mon 04-Jul-11 13:28:39

Where do you eat? ESP where would your children eat?

NettoSuperstar Mon 04-Jul-11 13:29:04

My Dad bought me one a couple of years back, it's just another space to dump stuff on, we eat in front of the TV, as that's my Home and Away timegrin

worraliberty Mon 04-Jul-11 13:29:06


We have an eight seater dining table and use it every meal time.

I couldn't imagine everyone sitting round trying to balance a plate on their laps.

AmazingBouncingFerret Mon 04-Jul-11 13:29:18

We use our dining table every day for breakfast and dinner. But we have a nice spacious seperate room that makes it easier.
I hate the idea of cramming on the sofa and getting food dropped on it!

cookcleanerchaufferetc Mon 04-Jul-11 13:29:19

Blimey, I use my dining table every day. It is very important to me that we eat as a family as much as possible, whether just me and kids or DH too. Certainly at weekends we use it as a whole family to eat together.

A table is essential to me, not as an essential item to "beautify" my house but for family and friends to sit down together, eat and talk.

Where do you eat?

BTW, we do eat in front of the TV sometimes, in the garden etc.

We still sit at a table and talk shock. I ask the kids what they did at school / nursery that day. I love it when DS2 (3yrs old) asks me what I did at work etc. Its not a formal time (DH comes from a culture where they eat with their hands so cutlery is optional) just a family catch up.

Pelagia Mon 04-Jul-11 13:29:42

We use our dining table every day. I wouldn't call it beautiful but it is very useful. We eat round it, DC use it for drawing/homework/lego etc, so I don't think its outdated to have a table.

zingzillachinchilla Mon 04-Jul-11 13:30:29

YABU - they aren't mandatory, last time I checked. Might I suggest that how other people choose to decorate their homes is nowt to do with you?

Allinabinbag Mon 04-Jul-11 13:30:35

We need a table, not necessarily a posh polished large type, but just an ordinary table for sitting round to eat, and putting computers/cards/phones on and doing drawings/writing etc. I think this is essential!

TartyMcFarty Mon 04-Jul-11 13:31:00

YABU about the table, but not about the display cabinet. I have a big Welsh dresser, which while beautifully made by my grandad, takes up a load of space for not much storage room.

LDNmummy Mon 04-Jul-11 13:31:22

We have side tables in the living room and always use serving trays, or in the kitchen sitting on a stool depending if the person is in a rush or wants to relax.

I think my point was that life is very rushed now and I wonder if people really have the time to go through the hassle of setting the table and sitting as a family formally.

We sit as a family in my home, just casually and not around the table. And yes some days in front of the TV if there is a show everyone wants to watch on, and somedays TV off to chat instead.

ProfYaffle Mon 04-Jul-11 13:31:29

We eat at our dining table every day, although we have a kitchen diner rather than formal dining room. That sounds all lovely and middle class but it's actually for convenience sake, keeps the mess from the dc on a washable surface rather than splodged all over the carpet. Don't have a large display cabinet of china either, all our crockery is in the kitchen cupboards.

LotteryWinnersOnAcid Mon 04-Jul-11 13:31:45

I have a dining table. We eat at it as a family every day. When we move, however, we won't have room for such a big one, if at all (may need to rent out 2nd reception room to a lodger), which will be a shame as we'd miss it, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

mrsbacchus Mon 04-Jul-11 13:32:53

All our meals are taken at either kitchen or dining table. Therefore, i see my dining table as a necessary piece of furniture and not just to "beautify" my home.

tryingtoleave Mon 04-Jul-11 13:32:57

I think there is something very depressing about the image of a family eating dinner in front of the tv, plates perched on their laps

GandTiceandaslice Mon 04-Jul-11 13:33:14

Where do you eat?
It's uncomfortable to eat on the sofa. I've done it occasionally.
How do you expect your children to behave in restaurants if you haven't taught them basic table manners?

This is quite a bizarre AIBU! grin

MMQC Mon 04-Jul-11 13:33:34

Dining rooms are wonderful. I certainly wouldn't even contemplate buying a house without one.

We have three main areas where we eat. Normally, it's at the kitchen table, if we're entertaining it's in the dining room, in summer, it's at the table outside.

I have never once sat down for a meal with my family in the living room in front of the television. It's hardly condusive (sp?) to conversation, is it!

I love setting up the dining room when we have guests, it makes us feel like we've made an effort. We also sometimes have Sunday roasts in there, which helps the children distinguish between 'normal' eating and 'slightly more polite' eating.

Where do you eat with guests if you don't have a dining room?

worraliberty Mon 04-Jul-11 13:33:39

I don't understand your use of the word formal

It's just dinner to us...we all eat it together and it's not at all formal confused

moogster1a Mon 04-Jul-11 13:33:50

YABU. Ours is used every day for breakfast and evening meal. There's nothing "formal" about it it's just where we eat. nice big table to fit everyones plates / glasses etc. on rather than perching it on your knee in front of the TV.
I also find it a bit depressing to spend a long time making dinner and eating it off my lap.
it's the best time to chat about what you're going to do that day and what you have done.
the baby sits and joins us in his highchair and is hopefully learning some table manners which he wouldn't do slobbing in front of the TV.
we don't have a cabinet of fancy tableware.
Why is it more of an effort to all sit at a table?

noddyholder Mon 04-Jul-11 13:33:51

We use ours a lot. I would never eat watching tv unless maybe a snack with wine and a film. What about guests and reading papers etc

tortilla Mon 04-Jul-11 13:34:10

YABVU. I can't believe you don't know any family who eats a table more than once a week; I don't know any family who ONLY eats once a week at the dining table. All of my friends eat pretty much every meal at the table, however young or old the children are. We eat all of ours at the table except when we have a picnic. The children never eat anywhere else. DH and I might eat in front of the telly, if it is late and there is something we want to watch, and if the food is conducive to being shoveled in - less than once a week I'd say.

It is way more sociable to eat at a table with your family than all gawping at the telly in silence. It gives you time to have proper conversations. It gives you time to teach your child manners - how to eat, how to wait while others finish, how to have a good conversation. It stops food getting spilled all over sofas and carpets. It is better for you - you tend to eat at a slower pace at the table than in front of the tv and focus on your food rather than other distractions (I believe there are studies on this) which means you tend to stop when you are full rather than just keep shovelling food in. And it is so much more fun than eating in front of the telly!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now