The death of the dining room

December 20, 2011 15:43 | Home and Design | By Harveys
Luxury interior design Chelsea

With more families opting to ditch the traditional room-based home and start living a little more open plan, could this spell the end of the dining room? 

A decade ago seeing a leather sofa in the same room as a dining table meant that you had stepped foot into a posh penthouse or a stylish suite on holiday. Today many families are choosing to renovate their homes by knocking through walls and creating one large living area, complete with classy corner sofa. 
As more homes are subject to this trendy transformation, what are the features, flaws and benefits to having such a sweeping space to contend with?
Starting with the basics, open plan living looks amazing. With the right interior design and room planning, a house with a combined living, dining and kitchen area has the potential to be the contemporary pad everyone dreams of. This modern style is still suggestive of its expensive original roots and oozes sophistication. 
Realistically, it needs to be considered that for things to look lovely they have to be maintained. Not everyone can be a domestic goddess and keeping one huge space tidy can be challenging. Open plan living means that ‘dumping rooms’ are gone and that everything has to have a place. Getting creative with storage solutions and making features out of belongings are ways to cut down the clutter.
Despite it stereotypically screaming ‘bachelor pad’, open plan areas can actually be an excellent space for families. Thinking out of the box, large expanses of floor are superb for ride-ons and walkers, not to mention being a fantastic location for birthday parties. 
It’s not just the children that can benefit from this either. Christmas gatherings and other celebrations will feel like much less of a strain. Such a large room is perfect for entertaining, without all guests feeling as though they are on top of each other or are being sectioned off into different parts of the house. As the host, it is a reassuring way of keeping your eye on what is going on:  remember your mess can’t be hidden though, so don’t try anything too experimental in the kitchen if you’re feeding people who are likely to judge you for life.
For a family who have different hobbies or interests this can be a difficult way to live. Noise from the television will carry right through to the kitchen meaning anyone who is trying to relax at the dining table with a good book will be disturbed. 
The temperature can also be difficult to tackle. Heating such a large space quickly and efficiently can be challenging and expensive; you do lose the advantage of having small rooms with their own radiators, fires, ovens and doors: it can feel a little less cosy during the winter months. 
The money you save on lighting could just pay for those extra heating bills though. Open plan rooms are generally surrounded by windows, which do allow a lot of natural light through. Not only is this visually convenient but it is a marvellous mood-lifter and works wonders for seeing home interiors quite literally in the best light. Don’t forget the house plants too – they’ll love you for it.
Try to think long and hard about redesigning a home if you are someone who likes to follow trends and is quite fickle when it comes to fashion. Although open plan spaces may seem like the ultimate dream, consider how quickly this fantasy could fall. Knocking down walls is a big job, but rebuilding them is arguably even harder.

Tags: Home, Furniture


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