Post # 17
It depends on your age, how often your going to have holidays or formal dinners, how large of a family youd be having over, etc.
Right now its just me and my Fiance and we don’t have people over a whole lot so when we were looking at houses we thought a formal dining room was a waste of space.
However now that we are living in it – our dining area is right next to the kitchen where you can see all the dirty dishes etc when your having a “nice” dinner – it sorta ruins it. It feels very low class always staring at the kitchen. If we were in your position we’d keep them separate.
Post # 18
i have always had a formal dining room as well as a breakfast nook. i entertain a lot and have a large family. it is not uncommon to have 20 ppl for dinner.
when i sold my last house, the woman who purchased it was relieved to find a new house with a formal dining room. she had a hard time finding one. the dining room was still somewhat open but had it’s own space.
that being said, yes, most new houses have the open floor plan and incorporates the dining into the kitchen.
i am not sure of your layout but have you considered opening the room up but having pillars placed to indicate the space for the dining room? it separates the space but keeps it open. it will please your future buyers.
Post # 19
We built our house specifically to NOT have a dining room. Instead we have an eat-in open concept kitchen that is divided into another room by the sink/bar. The other room is used as a hearth room/informal living room. It works perfectly for us! Its perfect for having people over because we can just put all the food out on the bar and hang out in the hearth room. So I say go for it! I’m sure a realtor would be happy to come over and give you an opinion also.
Post # 20
I think it depends- I like to cook and plan on hosting many holiday dinners or get togethers with friends, so I most definitely want a formal dining room but would also like a smaller, less fancy area for everyday dinners/meals. Maybe could you knock half the wall down, so you can see through it? It would be more open but you’d still have separation.
Post # 21
I prefer an open floor plan. We are going into contract on a co-op (fingers crossed!) with a kitchen with a breakfast nook, and all I want to do is knock out the wall and open it up!
Post # 22
We have a formal dining room in our house that never gets used. We only ever eat at the breakfast nook. I’d love to break down walls for it to be more open, but with the way our kitchen is set up it isn’t possible. Across from the formal dining room is a formal living room space that also doesn’t get used. So the whole front part of our house is really wasted space because it is so separated from the rest of the house. We are hoping to move, but if for some reason we get stuck, I plan to turn one room into a craft / kids play room and the other into an additional family living space (which we will need when the baby comes!). It won’t look as pretty when guests enter, but at least it will get used!
Post # 23
I have both a formal dining room as well as a nook in the kitchen. Though I’ve only used the dining room a handful of times in 8 years, I wouldn’t want to live without it.
Post # 24
@Meowkers: that’s a really cute graphic!
Post # 25
I think I’d be fine with either. Our house has a small dining room, which we never use for that purpose. It’s where we enter the house from the garage so it ends up just being a catch-all. When we pay off debt and have extra money, we’ll be converting the dining room to a kitchen since our kitchen now is the size of a closet. It’s hard to explain, but there will still be plenty of room for a dining table in the large awkward room that connects the living room, dining room and closet-kitchen (can you tell I don’t love the layout of the house?) Anyway, we won’t miss the formal dining room and I’m confident that any potential buyers of our home would prefer a usable kitchen, so that’s our plan.
Post # 26
open concept all the way. I would not want a formal dining room, because when family comes over we are always in the kitchen and at the table, with the open concept no matter what room you are in you guys are all together. I would never buy a home for a formal dining room.
Post # 27
I’d prefer to have a bigger kitchen or family room than a formal dining room. I like open floor plans too, so I’d just stick a large table in there somewhere!
Post # 28
Personally I haaaaaaate “open concept” layouts. Who the heck wants to live in one big room? Anyway, depending on your house and neighborhood you might find buyers who are specifically looking for a 60’s style home and taking out the wall takes away from that.
Post # 29
I’m loving all the input ladies. Thank you. A lot of you have echoed the same concerns or thoughts I have on the issue.
When we were house hunting I specifically wanted a formal dining room because I grew up with lots of dinner parties and looked forward to using my nice china in our nice formal dining room. The room is deceptively large looking but once we started trying to fit a table in it became cleare that we can get a 6 person table in, maybe 8 at most with a tight squeez. We’ve used the room once for a brunch party and once to set up a buffet for a housewarming party. But for Thanksgiving we couldn’t fit everyone in so we had to set up tables in the living room and just use the dining room as the buffet room.
So while I love the idea of a separate dining room away from the mess and clutter than can accumilate in the kitchen, ours just doesn’t seem to be very practical. Right now we use it as the dog room, (we have our dog’s pen in there.) Definitely not it’s intended purpose!
On the other hand I’m so hesitant to knock down the wall. It’s a huge move. Yes there will be a lot more space. We could easily fit a table for 10 or 12 but will it lose the niceness because it’s open to the kitchen? So many things to consider.
Here are some pictures of the layout. (these are from the real estate listing when we bought our house. we’ve completely changed the finishes/colors/everything).
kitchen and breakfast nook. that door goes to the garage.
the wall with the little picture is the one I want to knock down. the dining room is on the other side.
the dining room. looks deceptively large but notice that the people sitting closest to the wall are trapped in their seat by the side chairs. And the side chairs barely pull out. We figured the only real way to make this room work is with a round table.
the wall to the left would be the one to go.
Post # 30
@country chic: yes if we knock out the wall we can fit 10 or 12 at a the table.
@MeiFrancis: We had 13 over for Thanksgiving and had to set up tables in the living room. But if we knocked out the wall there would definitly be enough room.
Post # 31
Hmm. I’ve never lived in a house with a formal dining room, but our kitchen was open (we had a partial wall to the living room). It’s neither a selling point or a deal breaker for me. Not sure how Darling Husband feels about it, since his family has a formal dining room. If we had one, it’d probably turn into an office/homework area once we had kids. I’d rather have the open space, and use a divider (bookcase, screen, what-have-you) then have walls.
What about moving the wall into the kitchen area? That would leave you with the formal dining room, but you’d get more space. I’d talk to an architect (I follow the CheZerbey blog, they just went freelance), get some ideas and plans drawn up. That’s one of the first things I want to do when we buy a house, because we’re probably going to get a house that needs some work! 🙂