Update on using the formal dining room...

lovetorenovateMarch 4, 2014

I posted a month ago about wanting to use my formal dining room more... and the gist of the advice was "use it then". :-) and by golly - it's worked. ;-) We have been using the formal dining room for all our dinners with the kids (we have a blended family so some of the time it's just my husband and I - but often we have 2, 3 or all 5 kids). The kids decided a good theme for the room would be our vacation travels - so we've added a huge map where we can pin places we've been or want to go. I found a vintage suitcase and cut it in half for shelves, and we are going to fill the frames with photos from our trips. I also am going to laminate photos and maps to make placements. I made napkin rings from foreign coins attached to coat hanger wire wrapped in 2 inch circles.



I LOVE eating in the dining room - it makes such a difference to not view the kitchen mess. It's more relaxed, the kids have more fun, and we have better conversations all facing each other. So thanks for everyone's support and encouragement.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
debrak2008

Very nice! Looks like a cool room to be in. So happy to hear you are using the room.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sis2two

I just love it! And the travel theme is so fun!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alex9179

That's fantastic!

We started using our dining room for our evening meals a few months ago. It DOES make a difference. It's a more leisurely meal with better conversation.

Such pretty rooms should be used often!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ellendi

Another GW success story :)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
theclose

Wow! It looks really great! I am so glad you are using the room. And I love the travel theme. You are very creative!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
blfenton

What a great idea. To include the kids in the planning helps to create a family eating area rather than 'mom and dad are making us do this' kinda room. I love the idea of the suitcase being used as shelving.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tibbrix

Wonderful!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fun2BHere

I love reading a success story! Thanks so much for posting a follow-up to your original thread.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 5:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jjam

Love it!!

What a wonderful place to gather. Lots of great memories will be made there.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 5:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kswl2

Wonderful!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

So glad it's worked out for you. Well done!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pudgybaby

I wanted to let you know that your earlier thread inspired me to start using our dining room. We only use it once or twice a week, but we love it. It's a more cozy, intimate room than our open, eat-in kitchen table. We light candles, dim the lights and open a bottle of wine. And when I've taken the time to prepare a meal from scratch, I appreciate that we linger a little longer. I feel like eating in the dining room elevates the meal a bit and reminds us to slow down and enjoy the food and each other.

Tonight is a dining room night :)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 6:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aktillery9

So exciting! That is a brilliant idea with the map and places you want to go. That really makes the dining room more interactive and useful. It looks great!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 6:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

I'd be interested in hearing if being in the dining room has impacted the family's relationships and level of conversation at all. So many times people point to things like decor as frivolous and unnecessary, but I think surroundings are very important and it can affect how people feel in a space and with each other....how being more formal about dining adds importance to that family time.

A friend of mine wisely said that children spell love, T-I-M-E. And in my mind, making the effort to elevate dining together is a nonverbal way of giving time and attention to those we love most.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
outsideplaying_gw

Wonderful in so many ways. Great story of how you built it around and for your needs and made it a successful room. I'll bet you and your family will enjoy planning more trips.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
roarah

It is so lovely!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lynninnewmexico

I'm so glad that you decided to go that route! As I mentioned in my post on that thread, my now-adult kids tell us often how many happy memories they have at our dining room table meals over all those years. I LOVE your ideas for decorating your dining room, too! Your idea of cutting a suitcase in half and using them as shelves is brilliant and so good looking! BIG congrats!
Lynn

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sparklebread

I wish there was a like button for Annie's post. Family dinner has gone by the wayside for so many young families. Kudos to you lovetorenovate for creating what can also be an academically enriching family space.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 4:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patty_cakes

When my now 5 adult children were little, Sunday was designated as eat-dinner-in-the-dining room-night-and-use-your-manners-too. Not that they didn't, but in a DR, w/candles, they knew that there was absolutely no slacking! They actually loved it, and looked forward to Sunday.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bpathome

Fantastic, and there will always be a conversation starter in the room, from how it started, to GW, travels, history, family, crafting, GW, and oh! did I mention GW?

It's wonderful and inspiring!

How did you cut and mount the suitcases?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
decordummy_gw

Love the idea and the execution of it!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
funkyart

Love how you've personalized the dining room. It's lovely.. more importantly, the time you spend together in it is lovely.

I grew up in a family where we were expected to eat dinner together IN the dining room. It became harder and harder as we got older and had work/sports schedules but it was important enough to my parents that we often ate late to accommodate schedules. There was no tv and topics HAD to be enjoyable and respectful. So many of my friends' families ate in front of the tv .. and you can be sure I grumbled about it many times.. but as an adult, I cherish those family dinners each night. it sounds like your family does too!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ppbenn

Fantastic! Love the suitcase and map.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nutsaboutplants

Love it! The idea, the details, the execution and the teamwork.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alex9179

Funkyart, we also have the no TV rule. We put in on a music station during dinner.

I don't like the tv on when we have guests over, either. We get together for conversation. not sitting in front of the tv!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 9:03AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What is a McMansion? Tell Us In 25 Words or Less
Everybody seems to have his or her own definition of...
kswl2
Is Restoration Hardware bedding worth it?
I've been searching for the perfect white quilt for...
artydecor
Check In here, Roll Call
Hello dear friends! Have you made it here ok? Let this...
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
For Rockybird, Pal and all lovers of MCM
We have a weekly auction here and this week is "mid...
aktillery9
Please help with paint/decorating dining room
Hello, I wanted to get some help painting and decorating...
Xclusive
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™