Using the dining room
I'm a big fan of the not so big house... although my house is pretty large. I like to use all the space that I have - and consistently find that our dining room is under utilized. I have a blended family of five kids (ages 7-15) - and we can seat 7 chairs at the kitchen island so we tend to have all our meals there - but I really would prefer sitting at a real table where we can face each other - the island is an L shape. The dining room table is used for sorting mail (we do have another room where we can sort mail - in the office which is just across from the entry).
Any ideas on how to use this room more often? I put some more casual chairs in there - but perhaps it's still too formal. Maybe I just need to make a concerted effort to use the space for dinners. Kids do homework at the kitchen island. The dining room is separated from the kitchen by the pantry and mudroom.
I'll try to post a photo this afternoon when I'm back at home.
Anyone else have this issue? Any recommendations?