Is the Dining Room Making a Comeback?
Separate dining room or sociable kitchen-diner? We asked Houzz users which they prefer, and here’s what they told us
We asked Houzz users to vote for their favourite option and tell us why it would work for them. Here are the results…
To find out whether Houzz users think a separate dining room is a good idea, we posed the question, “Are dining rooms making a comeback?” More than 30% of those who responded said that yes, it’s a good idea to have an individual room for eating.
Sue S told us she has a separate dining room for guests and special occasions. “Much prefer not to be watched by guests, and can close door on all dirty dishes,” she said. However, she did add that she has a large serving hatch, “(yes I know, very dated but extremely useful)”.
E D also championed the hatch and said, “We had a serving hatch in our first home. Super handy. I’m sure they’ll be back in favour sooner or later. :-)”
The owners of this home have incorporated a similar idea to the traditional hatch. Daniel Rees of REES Architects removed the window from the existing back wall and built the extension around this, creating two individual rooms with a beautiful and practical link between them.
See the rest of this tired Victorian house transformed by a smart extension.
Some homeowners are lucky enough to have the best of both worlds – room for a table in the kitchen and an individual dining space. “We have a small table in kitchen, big enough for two for everyday,” Sue S said.
minnie101 has a similar arrangement in her home. “The kitchen is used for family meals and informal meals with close friends etc and we use the dining room for dinner parties, larger family gatherings,” she said. “I love this set-up, but in an ideal world I would also have a kitchen large enough for an island for prep work, but you can’t have it all!”
If you want to turn a medium-sized kitchen into a breakfast room, try incorporating banquette seating. Here, Sarah Ross Design had a bespoke table and bench seat made, so it can be placed closer to the wall and fits perfectly in the space.
Tour more of this narrow room that became a luxurious kitchen-diner.
Keen to explore the possibilities for your home? Find local architects on Houzz and start planning.
The most popular choice, however, was still the open-plan kitchen-diner, with almost 70% of respondents choosing that option.
“I’ve had separate kitchen and dining room for years. Just now knocked them through together and it’s amazing,” Ellie said. “Cooking is no longer a lonely thing to do.”
“I agree with Ellie, having an open plan kitchen/dining room is a lot more sociable,” Sue K said “We had a separate dining room in a previous house that ended up being used as a dumping ground for bags, coats etc,”
Ellie did point out, however, that her kitchen was never cluttered up with dirty pots and dishes. So perhaps the key to making a connected eating and cooking area work is to ensure you have adequate storage. In this home, for example, Design A Space Kitchens, Bedrooms & Interiors incorporated a wall of floor-to-ceiling cabinets. The storage straddles the kitchen and dining zones to bring the two areas together.
Visit this sleek yet characterful social hub.
Can’t make up your mind whether you prefer an open-plan kitchen-diner or a cosier room? Here’s a suggestion for something in between. “The ideal set-up is to have an open kitchen/dining room with folding [doors] or, if possible, a door that slides back into a wall, so you have the option of open plan or separate,” Marie Lapierre said.
That’s just what Fiona Duke Interiors did in this stunning space. The wide opening was fitted with bifold doors…
“When the doors are pulled shut for an evening dinner party, it makes the room feel intimate and cosy,” Fiona says.
See more of these two beautifully connected spaces.
If you like a connection but don’t want to go fully open-plan, consider a broken-plan set-up like this one. Phil Thomas of Albert’s House opened up a section of the kitchen wall and blocked up the original kitchen door on the left.
This configuration works well for the owners, who have a dog, as they can pull a gate across the opening when they come back from a muddy walk. Phil left the top half of the blocked-up door open to provide a view of the kitchen. This and the wide opening help to keep the two spaces connected.
Discover how this tiny cottage got a bright, space-enhancing update.
Which do you prefer – a kitchen-diner, a separate dining room, or something in between? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.