Post # 1
DH and I are in the process of buying our first home, we have one conundrum that we are debating on….
The house we fell in love with, dosent have a traditional formal dining room, it instead has an eat in kitchen, not a huge deal to us, but i wouldnt mind an actual dining room, if not its whatever….
Here is the conundrum:
the house has 2 living rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs, the upstairs living room is just inside the front door, and we are not completely sure we are actually going to ever use it since the downstairs living room is nicer, bigger, and has a better flow for entertaining guests (mostly family and close friends who wouldnt think its weird to hang out in our basement as its what we do where we live now)….we are going to put our current living room furniture in the bigger living room as it wont fit in the upstairs living room….so DH was thinking instead of buying another couch that we are probably going to sparringly use, why not make it a dining room and expand the kitchen….im not sure
would it be weird to walk into a house from the front door and walk right into the dining room and have the living room be on another floor? or would you just have a lesser used living room and have a smaller dining area….
DH is all for the bigger dining room, i am torn as even if we move the table into a different room (it fits either room) I am very sentimentally attached to my set (it was my grannies), and I will probably just work on it until i cant anymore, so what we do now with an actual dining room (table seats 6), around holidays is bust out card tables in the main living room and then fold everything up and take the leaves back out of the table and bring it down to a 4 seat table….we have large groups at our house maybe 4-5 x/year depending on holiday rotation (we rotate between my parents, the in-laws, our house and my sisters house) depending on whose turn it is to host what….
anyone have any ideas, inspiration? thoughts? other suggestions?
I will add Christmas/Thanksgiving is really the only times we host big indoor get togethers, the rest in the spring and summer we are outside and will probably continue that with the beautiful outdoor living space we have at the new house.
Post # 2
If you want a dining room make sure you get a house with a dining room! I wish mine was more formal all the time and my friend kicks herself every day for settling for a house without one. I would go for the bigger dining room over a second living room. Full disclosure – I use my dining room every day.
Post # 3
Where I live (Dallas) A LOT of new builds in nice developments have that layout where the formal dining is right off the front door. It’s normally an option where the homeowner can use it as a formal dining, or add doors and make it an office. So no, I don’t think that’s weird at all! I don’t think anyone would think anything of it. I do personally believe they’re a waste of space if there’s another place to eat. But also I think a formal living is a waste of space. So use it however you want!
Post # 4
I think you should do what works for you! If you think the space will go mostly unused as a living room, and would get more used as a dining room, then it seems the clear choice is to make it a dining room!
I’m trying to picture your layout. Is there any sort of front hall that would serve as an entryway so you don’t walk in the front door and immediately into the dining room?
If you’re planning to do renovations, I would talk to a designer about what you want to do. I’m sure someone with experience would know how to set it up to make everything look good.
Post # 5
Actually, most houses I have seen have the formal dining room in the front of the house, so that wouldnt be weird to me at all. I wish we had a dining room, not just our eat in kitchen!! If you would use it, I think making the second living room into a dining room makes way more sense than buying living room furniture you will barely use.
Post # 6
My sister has a similar layout, bedroom, eat in kitchen, and living room at the top level and another 2 bedroom, bath, and living room in the lower level. I suppose it’s a popular layout where she lives(Utah). She left the living room as a living room since they dont typically entertain at her house, her in laws are close-by and they do the holiday entertaining and they visit other people’s houses for game nights. I don’t think changing the upstairs living room into a dining room occurred to them, but it would be a great idea if they did more entertaining. They never use it for anything now, except a place to put the Christmas tree.
I live in Dallas too and my old house had an office at the front door that could have been a formal dining room, but I’m not really a formal person, so it was only ever used for game nights. I currently have a 3bd, 2bth house with an eatin kitchen, 2 living rooms, and a formal dining room.
I love fi and I love his neighborhood and backyard pool, but I’m not looking forward to having only 1 living room no dining room. He has an eat in kitchen and a nice sized living room, but he also has a change fish tank that takes a lot of space, is a lot of work, and is really loud. 🙁 if we had 2 living rooms, we could leave the tank in one and still have the other for watching TV. Unfortunately , we couldn’t really put the tank anywhere else in the house due to the equipment and weight. So in the living room it will stay. And since fi’s backyard is like a resort, seriously, multiple large tables with chairs, we’ll probably just save entertaining for swimming months and go elsewhere for holiday parties. Moving is part of the 5-10 year plan, but we’ll be fine in the meantime in the house. We did an Easter party last weekend, water was a little chilly, but fine after the propane heater kicked in, so i guess swimming season is longer than i thought.
Post # 7
the front door opens directly into the room im considering making the dining room…no hallway…i should add with the location of the driveway and where most people will park, i will probably have most people enter through the side door, or back door directly into the kitchen/ dining area now….
thanks for the opinions….
this is why im debating on it….
1.) we would use the dining room about as much as the living room and would use the eat in kitchen space more, we are not very formal fussy people…
2.) if we had a seperate living room it would be minimally used but maybe a pinch more then the dining room….
i truly have no preference either way, i grew up with an eat in kitchen, and now we mainly eat at the bar or on the couch as there is 2 of us, to me the dining room formal or not isnt a big deal, DH is more worried then i am….I just want to maximize the amount of “family” space we have for when kiddos make it to the scene…. We may just have to be in the house for a bit and see…
i have never had a dining room by the “front” door so when DH suggested it, ive been mulling it around and around…and go between loving the idea, and hating the idea….
Post # 8
see this is why dh brought this to me, i was looking at couches, and he said why were probably not going to use it, our big tv and comfy furniture is all going to be in the basement living room, i had just been going to use the room as it was traditionally intended and thought he was nuts, but the man makes a good argument of well if we did that then we wouldnt have to buy a couch to sit there plus tv stand and new tv, we would just put our dining room table in there and then build an island in the kitchen to give more counterspace and maybe place a small table or have an island that doubles as a table, if we do that he said the magic word of $$ in that less spent on furinture is more into remodeling and upgrading the kitchen…(i may or may not have gotten him hooked on fixer upper lmao!)
Post # 9
I vote go with the option that’s going to make best use of the space in your home. If you’ve got a beautiful dining room table I don’t see why it would be strange to walk directly into your formal dining space. That only part I wasn’t clear on is whether your living/dining space would be on the same floor as your kitchen? I wouldn’t want guests navigating stairs with plates on a regular basis.
Primarily- no dead spaces in the house if you can help it. Stagnant energy get a really tangible after awhile.
Post # 10
same level, the room is right off the kitchen….so that helps…
Post # 11
I agree! The best house is the one which is spacious and clean. If you haven’t remodeled it already, then I would suggest you too consult the professionals once. Visit their (moderated for self promotion) and ask your queries, they would give the best possible solution.
Post # 12
Closing this defunct thread.