Does the term “formal dining room” describe a frequently-used space in your home?  For most people, the answer is no.  While formal dining is a great concept, most entertaining these days is more casual — a buffet served on the kitchen island or a barbeque in the yard.

So how does one make use of this under-utilized space?  In a recent redesign consultation we were posed with this question.  The homeowner even suggested removing her dining table before we arrived.

The open concept great room included this formal dining area.  The table and area rug were centered under the chandelier.  The antique sideboard was centered on the only wall in the space.  The furniture styles competed with each other.  The space was never used and we were queried with how to repurpose it.



Our solution?  Forget formal dining!

We moved in a round antique table from the kitchen.  Its style was more in keeping with the antique sideboard.  The sideboard was moved to the left for balance.

Next we turned the area rug and centered it in front of the arched window.  The table and 2 chairs were placed on the rug with a birdseye view out the window to the yard beyond.

By not centering the table and rug under the chandelier we moved from ‘formal’ to ‘intimate.’  This homeowner could now envision having morning coffee here with a friend or grading papers in the evening.  Favorite family pictures were positioned to the right of the window to enhance the intimate feel.

But our redesign work wasn’t quite finished.  We wanted the outside view to be inviting as well.  A wooden birdhouse on a shepherd’s hook was located near the window.  A metal birdbath was repositioned from across the walk and centered in front of the window. The spot now entices birds to provide the entertainment for this cozy dining space.

We are confident that this space will become our client’s favorite.