(Closed) How important is a formal dining room when purchasing a house?

posted 8 years ago in Home
  • poll: Which would you rather have when purchasing a home?

    A modest size formal dining room, separated from the kitchen and a breakfast nook

    A large open concept kitchen and dining area. No separate breakfast nook.

    Either one works for me!


  • Post # 4
    1460 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I didn’t want a dining room and specified that to the realtor when I was looking.  I prefer a comfortable home without the dining room and living room.  Of course, if someone entertains a lot they would probably think differently. 

    Post # 5
    4099 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I wish our house DIDN’T have a formal dining room, unfortunately, it was an afterthought, after the house was finished, that we didn’t want one… If we didn’t have one, my kitchen would be significantly bigger, and I would be happier 🙂

    Post # 6
    1244 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I personally would prefer the open concept plan, where you knock down the non-load bearing wall and having a larger dining space.

    We technically have a formal dining room but it is being used as a home office/library right now.  Our kitchen is large enough for a table that seats 6 (we are a family of 5).

    It works for us, except when we have people over.  When we have anyone over, we wind up bringing in extra chairs and squeezing around the kitchen table, which drives me crazy because it is literally right next to the prep area of the kitchen.  I hate having people over to eat because it is such a tight space.

    If you knock out the wall, is there enough room for expanding the table, in other words, can you have it seat 6, but if you need to, is there enough room to seat 8? 


    Post # 7
    2022 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I would knock the wall out and make a larger room.  We have a house built in the early 80s and it also has a small narrow dining room.. so I feel your pain.  I think we may turn ours into an office unless I can find a reasonably priced farmhouse table.

    Post # 8
    6261 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

    I don’t necessarily need a dining room, as long as there is enough space to serve a meal for about 10 people

    Post # 9
    4437 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

    I personally didn’t want a seperate dining room when looking for a home, Fiance and I don’t entertain and I don’t want a useless room!  I think start knocking down some walls and make that space USEABLE!

    Post # 10
    5217 posts
    Bee Keeper

    We are back to looking ( yay!) and I do like the idea of a formal dining room separate from a breakfast nook because 1) we have a large, refinished dining room table that I would need a place for and 2) because it adds another functional room to the floor plan. 

    Even if we didn’t use it for a dining room, it could be converted to an additional office space or playroom. If it were my forever home, and I didn’t mind one big eating area, I say tear down the wall. Since you’re planning to resell, having it as a separate room could improve that value. 

    I know that in theory, whether removed or not, a motivated buyer could add/ remove a wall.  However; our realtor has told us horror stories of people passing up on a house because of PAINT COLOR. Seriously, there’s no imagination!



    ETA: we are also big entertainers, so that may make a difference in my preference. 

    Post # 11
    11532 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    Whatever you decide, I think you will find a buyer for your house when you’re ready to sell it. 

    I’m older, and I LOVE the look of a formal dining room as well as a more casual dining area in or off of the kitchen. 

    Before marrying DH and purchasing a home together, I had a gorgeous, open floor-plan townhouse.  In my townhouse, my front room was a LR-DR combination, and I had my formal, mahogany sideboard, dining-room table and Chippendale chairs in there, along with my living-room furniture.  The back room was a Kitchen-FR combination, and I had my French-country dining table and chairs there, along with my family-room furniture.

    In our new home, the prior owners did not make room for a formal dining area. Instead, they created a small office in the area where much of the dining room would normally have been.  The room is small — like 9.5′ x 13.5′, but, because I already had a gorgeous but relatively small, formal, dining-room set from my townhouse, I was able to turn this office into my formal dining room.  The down side is that I’ve never had more than four people eating in that room, while all of my big, family dinners are relegated to the much larger, more casual space.  However, I still love having an area for my formal dining furniture, formal china, and formal linens.

    I think someone will love your house no matter how you proceed. 🙂

    Post # 12
    2455 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Personally I wanted a seperate dining room. It wasn’t a must-have on my house list but it was a like-to-have.

    The house we chose has a breakfast nook plus a dining room. I like the option of having a nicer place to eat if we entertain. 

    But I’d say do what you want. If you want more of an open space, I’m sure there will be many others who do too that eventually look at your place.

    Post # 13
    5787 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I think it depends on the ages of the people who may be interested in your neighborhood when you decide to sell. Younger buyers seem to want open everything, but as an older buyer, I love having a DR and would prefer that to having to eat dinner staring at dirty dishes,pots and pans right next to where I’m eating. We walked in and right out of every home we looked at that had a view of the kitchen from the front door…just a personal preference, but some people like that.

    I love having a dining room and use it often, and we almost never eat in our kitchen.

    Post # 14
    131 posts
    Blushing bee

    We have a totally open concept house, the whole first floor is one long tube with only a few pilars and beams to divide the 1,000 square feet.

    I think this is the wave of the future and that it would be beneficial to open up the kitchen and dining room.  if you want “definition” between the rooms encircle the dining room with a beam and crown moulding at ceiling height. 

    Between our kitchen and dining room we have a bar height wall with a counter on top as a buffet, but it is otherwise very open and we don’t have any other walls in the interior of the first floor.  Our builder liked that idea so much the next four houses they are building in the city are incorporating our kitchen (which we designed).

    Post # 15
    1425 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I grew up in a house that had a formal dining room… that was never used. We always ate in the breakfast nook next to the kitchen even when we had formal gatherings. Our house now has a “great room” that extends from the dining room into the living area that’s next to the kitchen. We love the open space since I love to cook and entertain and I can still socialize with guests while I’m in the kitchen cooking.

    Post # 16
    1423 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    Do it!  I love the idea of one big, usable space.  There is nothing sillier than a small dining room, in my opinion.  The only time I would ever even use a dining room is if I had (lots) of people over and then it needs to be nice and big.  I’ve actually never known anyone who uses their dining room if they already have a table in their kitchen/living space.   

    When I look at older homes with a separate dining room right off the kitchen, knocking out that wall to have a bigger kitchen is the first thing I imagine doing.   

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