We’re knee-deep into our latest series of articles for all of you out there who are looking for budget-friendly tips for refreshing your homes. So far we’ve shared four articles in the series: a budget bedroom makeover, decluttering tips, tips for using rugs in your home, and all about accent walls. Today’s article focuses on transforming that rarely-used dining room into a conversational area without breaking the bank.
While a formal dining room is by no means passé, it does seem to be a less popular home feature for families with young children. It certainly makes sense to feed your family in the kitchenette instead of a formal dining room if you’re worried about messes! So while you’ll probably desire a more formal dining room as the years go by and you start hosting dinners in a fancier setting, you might not have the need for a formal dining room today.
One interesting idea seems to be gaining in popularity … an adults-only conversational area. This is a room intended for the grown-ups or older children in your family, and it’s great for reading, listening to music, or enjoying conversations with friends over a glass of wine. Since the formal dining room is typically separate from the open concept rooms (kitchen, great room, etc.), it tends to be a bit quieter. And since it typically has three or four walls, its boundaries are obvious; this is important when you wish to put some rules into place – like limiting noise or toys.
The uses for a converted dining room can vary based on a family’s hobbies or current needs. You can create anything from a library to a music-listening room; our favorite is an adult ‘conversation and cocktails’ room.
The first step to creating your new room is to remove your dining furniture. You can sell it, but remember that there will probably come a day down the road when you’ll want to put your dining room back together! So consider carefully storing your dining room furniture, especially heirloom pieces, before you make the decision to sell it.
Next, you’ll want to find four comfy chairs. Since most dining rooms are just off the entry foyer, they are highly visible to all who enter your home. Use this opportunity to choose attractive chairs that you want to showcase, but make sure they are comfortable as well!
You’ll need a table to conveniently hold your beverages, whether cocktails, iced teas, wines, or coffees. We suggest you choose a round or square table instead of a traditional rectangular coffee table to offer balance to the setting We also recommend a low (coffee-table-height) piece, but you might prefer a higher table if your space necessitates something to write on. If that’s the case, be sure to choose table chairs instead of wingback, armchair, or club styles. Learn more about different styles of chairs here.
Have you seen the new DIY Bar Cabinet trend? Hannah Drake wrote an excellent how-to article for converting a dresser into a bar cart and we love the finished result! There are many other ideas out there; consider turning a dresser into a coffee station or creating a buffet table makeover to showcase your personality and favorite things. Check out Leah Noell’s Blog for beautiful ideas and great tips for painting furniture.
Speaking of your personality, a conversational room provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your style through artwork and accessories. If you have a few fragile things that you’ve hidden away, an adult-focused room might be the perfect place to display them.
If you need help from a professional, please give the team at AHT Interiors a call; we offer DIY In-Home Design Consultations in addition to full-service interior design. These consultations are two- or more-hour-sessions with our designer who will provide immediate answers to your design dilemmas.
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