18 Dec

The decline of the formal dining room

Formal dining rooms have gone from being commonplace in homes to rarely seen, and in some cases, seen but rarely used.

As our lifestyles have changed, a strictly formal space doesn’t suit every family anymore. There’s nothing inherently negative about this development, as it’s far better to use the spaces in your home than to have them untouched and underutilised.

The solution, for many homes, is to have a multi-purpose dining area, which can be dressed up or down as the occasion requires. The modern way of living doesn’t always lend itself to formal dining at home but, if you do choose to have a dinner party or Christmas with the family it’s nice to have a space that can be dressed to look more formal.

Dress up a more casual chair with an upholstered zip-up cover, for example. These do need to be custom made but can completely transform the look of the room.

If you need additional chairs, these can be stored in different rooms around the house and used as occasional chairs in an entry way, bedroom or office until you need them for a larger formal dining occasion.

The next step is to dress the table. Fresh flowers, candle sticks and linens denote more formality than your everyday dining setting, and the table should be the central focus of the room – make it spectacular.