I am seeing a new trend. The formal dining room is going bye bye. Yes, that is right. Those long tables, the big hutch, and the china collection are no longer being used on a regular basis. Entertaining has gone casual. We aren't bringing out grandma's china anymore. In a home where space is challenged, these rooms have other functions.
So what are you to do with the space? How is that front room being utilized? Normally the room is nice in size, located at the front of the home and has a big window.
* Play rooms- It makes perfect sense. Usually the formal dining room is in front of the house and close to both the kitchen and the living room. The room usually has quite a bit of wall space for shelving or lining up those big toys. I have seen homes in which the walls or all shelved and the toys are lined up on them. It looks great!
* Study Rooms- Another need trend. No longer are kids having a desk in their rooms. Some of my clients have actually built in desks, and shelving using a closet company or the elfa system. This room functions as a study area for kids. Its also used for craft projects.
* Libraries or Reading Rooms- I have seen these rooms shelved floor to ceiling and lined with books.
* Home office- French doors can be added to close off the room. This room usually has a big front window and makes working quite pleasant.
When you are setting up your home, think out what your family needs. Do you really need that extra eating space? How often do you entertain? Most of the people in my age group aren't even registering for china and silver anymore.
Be creative! Make your home fit your needs!