Remember that formal dining room from your childhood? We probably all can count on our fingers how many times that room was used to consume a meal? Reflecting on the family home, we can easily identify wasted space that, had we all just used a little imagination and had been willing to think outside of the box, could have been put to much better use.
Many of us can remember growing up in a home where the formal living room was pretty much off limits. That room sat there virtually unchanged, frozen in time, over the duration of our childhoods. Later, becoming parents ourselves, that tradition was likely repeated in our own homes. In an attempt to preserve that off-white upholstery—a poor choice to begin with for a young family—kids were verboten in the formal living room.
Thanks to the expansive range of creativity we can now consume via websites like Pinterest and various HGTV shows, we are finally allowing ourselves to bust out of old-school assumptions and rethink how we utilize our square footage. Instead of vast chunks of space sitting there unused, we now consider the needs of our family at a given time and put that formerly purposeless piece of real estate to work. This can be a great transition for your home.
New Ways to Utilize Dining Room Space
If you are fortunate to have both a kitchen nook and a formal dining room, why not re-purpose the formal dining room into something phenomenal? The possibilities are endless. Depending on the needs of the family members and stage of life, there are a wide array ideas for using space once identified as a dining room, including:
Create a Home Office
With many folks now working remotely at home, why not dedicate the space to a defined work zone. Ditch the dining room furniture and outfit the room with built-in shelving and a snazzy desk. French doors with textured glass can stylishly provide definition and eliminate noise. Add some modern window treatments to really add esthetic pleasure.
A Playroom for Young Kids, or a Study Room for Older Kids
When the kids are little, devote a space just for them that can house toys, art supplies, books, and kid furniture. Older kids would enjoy a dedicated study space for desks, projects, and computers.
A Craft or Hobby Room
Maybe you are an empty-nester embarking on a new chapter making crafts or creating works of art for an Etsy shop. Why not set up a stylish craft room, complete with storage, work tables, art supplies, and a desk? Make sure to add hardwood or tile for easy cleanup!
Reinvent the Formal Living Room
While a formal living room may get some love during the holidays or for special celebrations, most days it sits there gathering dust. Why not re-imagine this space for something you will regularly use it for?
A Music Room
Tired of cramming the kid’s musical instruments into corners in various rooms? Kinda wish there was some separation between their practice sessions and your sanity? Or maybe you are an empty nester now and want to create a music room around the family piano. Take out that clunky dining room table and set up a jammin’ music space add some cool concert posters for added inspiration!
There is something distinguished about a home with a designated library. This can be a comfortable space with cozy seating to nestle in with one of the wonderful books displayed in the handsome built-in bookshelves.
Imagine a serene space that is set aside for the sole purpose of providing a calm, soothing environment where you can practice yoga, mindfulness, pray, meditate or journal in a comfortable space. Lit candles and soft blankets make this retreat your go-to room. Add some floor cushions for added coziness. Here are a few more decorating tips for that little retreat within your home.
Creating a New Space in Your Home
If you walk around the house with a critical eye, scrutinizing wasted space, nooks and crannies, you might be surprised at how creative you really are. Even small areas can be converted into something useful, making the most of your floor plan. Using space to designate a homework bay for the kids, a mudroom off the laundry, an extra guest room in the space above the garage, or a little reading alcove in the space under a stairwell will enhance your home’s usability. So fire up those creative juices and max out your square footage to create a personalized home that more closely aligns with your family’s priorities and needs.