Transformation Series | Volume IV
Audrey Healey • Apr 24, 2020
Volume IV | The Dining Room
Welcome back to the Transformation Series. Having reached the midpoint of this virtual tour, you’re no longer a design novice. Your toolbox has been well equipped with secrets and strategies. Today we explore the fundamentals of the modern dining room. While the original concept of the dining room implied a degree of prosperity, today’s concept of the dining room has evolved considerably. Though once reserved for the affluent, most present-day homes have some sort of dedicated dining space. But the novelty of formal dining has declined, and today’s culture strives instead for functional dining.
The development of a dining room always begins with location. The original dining room was created to be an enclosed space solely intended to host formal meals. But today’s fast-paced culture spends less time formally dining. If it isn’t a demanding schedule requiring a to-go meal, it’s the recliner calling your name for a binge-worthy Netflix series. In general, formal meals are reserved for special occasions. This lifestyle is responsible for the diminishing popularity of the formal dining room. After an honest lifestyle examination, most homeowners agree that the space occupied by formal dining could be better utilized.
Once a reasonable location is determined, it’s time for a realistic discussion regarding the size of the table. There was a time when the number of table placements was seemingly suggestive of success. But today, the size of your dining table suggests no more than the size of your immediate family. No, that is not a cardinal rule. But it is important to approach your table size using an average rather than an extreme. While the standards of some revolve around their annual thanksgiving meal, most admit they rarely host more than four people at a time. Remember: your home should be a reflection of your everyday, not your holiday.
Lastly, it’s time to focus on the design. Don’t be afraid to defy the boundaries of the classic rectangle. The modern dining room approach is all about functionality and efficiency. For the culinary enthusiast or the casual entertainer, consider integrating the dining table and the kitchen island. For the outdoorsman or the sun-lover, try designing your space in a way that could be exposed to the outdoors – think retractable roof or floor-to-ceiling windows. After all, the dining area is one of the most personal aspects of interior design. This is the space that will encourage togetherness for years to come.
To conclude, we share with you a dining transformation. Analyzing the location, this dining room was independent from the kitchen. Though proximal, we felt that steps could be taken to further integrate the two spaces thus creating a fluid transition from one space to another. With regard to size, it was determined that a six-top would accommodate our client’s everyday life, and further, would be an appropriate scale. And finally, the design was a careful balance between the modern lines of the kitchen and the expected warmth of a dining area. The overall cohesion of the space was improved, but not to the point of sterility. Design details such as the area rug and artistic soffit served to define the space without harsh boundaries.
We’ll see you tomorrow for the transformation of the master bathroom!
By Audrey Healey