In my first several apartments, I never had a formal dining room. Instead, I had a kitchen/eating area and that was fine, when it was just my wife and me. The home we live in now does have a formal dining room, and with three kids, it definitely came in handy.
For many families, the dining room is a disappearing concept, often replaced with more usable space. People are having fewer major family get-togethers and are instead focusing on camming via the Internet and e-mail. We live in a global marketplace, and people are no longer staying near the places where they grew up.
The idea of the family dinner is also becoming an outdated concept as we fall into the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Parents are working later, and children are involved with school activities that keep them out until all hours of the night. Many people find it easier to just grab a bite on the way out or to take the food to the living room, where they can catch the latest episode of “House” before picking up their daughter or son from practice.
The dining room isn’t a traditional usable space like a kitchen. It’s simply an area to eat your meals, and other than that, it’s not used unless you need to do some kind of project for your child’s school. A dining room table always comes in handy for that. Many home designers are foregoing the dining room for a more utilitarian space.
What was once the dining room is now a reading room where the family can gather for game night and other functions. It’s a place where mom and her friend can visit while the kids play X-box in the living room. The tight economy has people wanting to get the most out of every penny and every inch of space, and that means saying goodbye to the large dining room table.
It’s a trend that I’ve seen evolving for several years, and it will probably continue until the economy recovers and people feel good about excess again. As for me, I plan on keeping my dining room for a while. My kids are still young enough that they don’t have a million things to go to, and we try to have all meals at the dinner table. It doesn’t always work that way, but we try.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/bastique/3874763373
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