Where is your dining room?

bpathomeJanuary 26, 2014

On so many plans, the dining room is on the front of the house. I can think of many reasons why,
A) usually leaning towards the idea that it's a little-used room, so give it the out-of-the-way space. Do you think that's true?
B) Or is that, when we use them for entertaining, it's often at night, and you can't see the view anyway, so, again, give it the less-desirable view?
C) Or, is it that, being out of the way up there at the front, it stays cleaner?
D) And, being by the front door, that I disturbed room presents a nice first view, like the "front parlors" of the past?
E) do we want it out of the way so it's quiet for dinner parties?
F) Or, is it just tradition?
G) all of the above or something else entirely?

Where is your dining room, and is it the right spot?

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Annie Deighnaugh

Mine is in the right spot for us, in the back of the house, sharing a wall with the kitchen so it's near the kitchen, but not visible from the kitchen. It's open to the library, so the formal spaces are together. The kitchen is open to the fr so the informal spaces are together.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 8:41PM
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lazy_gardens

Ours will be at the rear ... next to the kitchen.

But that's because of the way the lot is oriented.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 8:43PM
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jennybc

Ours is at the rear back right of the house, completely open to the kitchen and full of windows to enjoy the view.

Jen

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 8:58PM
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jdez

We didn't include a formal dining room in our plans. It's more of a "dining area" that's open to the kitchen in the back of the house.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:59PM
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Karen15

Ours is in the back of the house open to the kitchen and the great room. We made it that way though. The original plan had a small breakfast nook in kitchen and a formal dining room in the front closed off (not a big room though). So we added square footage to breakfast nook to make one large eating area. I'm not a fan of formal ones but that's just me. I like "used" rooms.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 10:24PM
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xc60

Ours is more of a flex space, either dining room or office. We will be using it as an office and its located just around the corner from the foyer.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 11:21PM
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akshars_mom

We don't have a formal dinning area. We have an open floor plan with kitchen, dinning and family room being open to each other. The reason we chose to go this route is we almost never used the formal dinning room in our previous house (used may be 5 to 6 times in 13 years)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:06AM
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mrspete

I think you've hit on the main reasons:

Most houses are oriented towards the back: People want easy access to the back deck, so they put the more-often used rooms to the back . . . also the "back rooms" are more private, another reason to put the most-often used rooms in that location. And what's left? The dining room, by default rather than by plan, ends up being pushed to the front.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:28AM
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autumn.4

No formal dining room here. Ours is also in the back - South East corner of the house, that is where we wanted it and designed it to be. Our plan is also open but the dining space is bumped back a bit from the living room with windows on 3 sides, 4th side is open to the kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:29AM
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mushcreek

The back of our house, facing a mountain view, is essentially one big room, with partial walls/transoms to break it up into kitchen - dining room - living room. The dining room is in the middle, quite open to both the living room and kitchen, with a nice view. It won't really be a formal dining room, as we will eat almost all of our meals here (or the porch).

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:48AM
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nostalgicfarm

I have always had a dining area open to the kitchen. Oddly enough, the dining always had the best back yard view.
My hope for this house would be to have a more secluded dining space between the kitchen and foyer. I really prefer cooking when we can sit down to nice serving pieces and stay put for the meal. Being the mom with 3 kids, I find that I don't set the food out at the table since the kitchen is right there, and I get up a bunch of times. I could see eating most dinners at the slightly secluded dining area. I would like to just have a bumped out booth and island seating at the kitchen and do a small hearth room/fireplace where a casual dining would otherwise be. That would give me a nice cozy space to cook with the hearth area overlooking the view. Kids can sit at the booth for lunches or snacks or cookies :).

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:38AM
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nini804

I must be an "old soul"...I am very traditional! We designed and built a very traditional looking home. I personally couldn't imagine not having a formal dining room, I love "dressy" spaces and love everything about my dining room. It is located in the front of the house off the foyer, but is easily accessed to the kitchen via the butler's pantry. Our kitchen is open to the family room and breakfast room. We definitely use our dining room, not for everyday but for holidays and entertaining.

I like that the dining room is in the front. It looks beautiful from outside when the chandelier is on, and it is a gracious first room for guests to see.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:11AM
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Awnmyown

Mine is also a non-formal space, open to the kitchen and great room, at the back of the house, because it has a great view, excellent flow through the house for parties, and I'd rather give the less stellar view to the kitchen which has less windows and those are over the sink and the side door. I want my guests enjoying the forest outside, not looking at the driveway.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:22AM
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lavender_lass

I think the dining room is in front, because it's more traditional, as mentioned above...parlor and dining room in front, along with foyer and powder room. No one had to see the working spaces (kitchen, pantry, etc.) and then it was to keep the more informal spaces separate. Kids could play in the family room during a party, not disturbing the guests and party.

Now, most people entertain in their kitchens, so having a dining room in the back makes sense, too. I think it depends on what you want and how you use the space...and the style of your home :)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:38PM
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robynstamps

We have a formal dining room in the front of the house, to the right of when you walk in, and also will be building our new house this way. We use it at least 3-4 times a week. We also have a dining "nook" area in our open kitchen/great room in the back of the house. I enjoy both but they are different and work for our family.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:12PM
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dadereni

If you have a dining table next to windows and you use it a lot after dark, consider the level of lighting in the dining room and whether you want 1) window coverings 2) reflections of dinner guests 3) a nighttime view assisted with subtle outdoor lighting

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 12:35PM
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bpathome

My dining room does face the back, and I love it. I wish we had outdoor lighting, but in the meantime I pull the sheers across in the evening, because dadereni is right, I didn't like the reflections. Fortunately in the summer, we don't have to do that till dinner's over! The dining room also has a French door to the yard, which is really nice for summer parties.

On days like this I enjoy the room myself, taking in the southern sun and deer prints over the snow.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 2:27PM
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okpokesfan

Ours is in the back and is completely open to the living room and kitchen. It is a bumpout surrounded by windows. We love it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 5:40PM
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leenamark

We have planned our dining room at the rear back right of the house, completely open to the kitchen. There are so many windows in the room to make it more airy and have outer park view.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 6:38AM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Our dining room - a regular one, not formal - is in the BACK of the house, off the kitchen but a separate room.
It has a great view of the woods, and to answer the question... it is in the right spot!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:56AM
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threeapples

My situation is just like nini's. my only regret is not enclosing both of its openings with doors. Maybe someday.....

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 10:11AM
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dawn_t

It's just Hubby and I, so we designed only one dining area, a large breakfast nook, in a windowed bump out, next to the kitchen. It faces the front, as does the kitchen & living room. I love the DR placement here, for everyday use.

We're in the country with a large wooded area behind, so the front is the view.

*However*, I regret not including a formal dining room when we built. Probably would only get used 3-4 times a year (holidays), but with 18-20 people, it's tough seating everyone together...

Also, access to a (planned) deck/bbq area in the back will mean a bit of a journey through the kitchen, mudroom, then the garage and out....

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:00PM
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illinigirl

No formal dining room in our in-progress-house. We have a space called the 'dinette' which is where our dining table is, immediately next to and open to the kitchen. It is in the back of our house. We also have an open floor plan where the kitchen, dinette, and great room are open to each other.

Because of this, the rooms at the front of the house (windows seen on front elevation) are the den (flex room), pantry, laundry room and one master bath window .

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Zoe52

We are building a new home in May and it will have a formal dining room in the front of the home off the main hall with a Butler's hall between it and our kitchen. We will also have an eat-in kitchen with a separate table and chairs and also some bar stools at the counter that is open to the den.

Off the den we will have a screened in porch room and it will also allow us a space for eating outside if the weather is nice.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:24PM
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