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Old 10-27-2007, 09:25 AM   #21
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When we had one in our last house, we only used it 5-6 times a year. It was adjacent to a formal living room which we also rarely used. When we entertained, we used those two rooms. Also if we had friends over for dinner, we'd use the dining room. And occasionally if we were making a special dinner for ourselves for a special occasion, we'd use it. All in all, maybe a half-dozen times a year on average.

Now all we have is a small two-seater table in the kitchen area...which we also rarely use since we rarely have dinner at the table. Sometimes I miss not having the extra space. But then I think about how rarely we used it, compared to the extra housing cost (including utilities and property taxes) for the extra square footage, and I'm happy with the decision.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:07 AM   #22
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I have an open floor plan with kitchen big enough to have small table, living room, and dining area. In the dining area I have a large table/6 chairs, big china cabinet, small 3-drawer buffet, AND my computer/printer.

I use the dining room as an office even though it is furnished for dining because I don't want to be spending a lot of time sitting in one of the smaller bedrooms.
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Old 10-27-2007, 01:00 PM   #23
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My dining area is all open with the kitchen and living room. My computer hutch hugs the dining room wall with my dining table behind me in the center of the room. Before my husband died we used the dining area every night for dinner but now the table tends to be a catch-all holding place for just about everything. It's a brand new Ethan Allen table....I gotta do something about that.
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Old 10-27-2007, 01:14 PM   #24
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1) Some projects that require more space on a surface not cluttered with computer and printer. Spreading out large maps when planning the next exotic trip. Doing presents and Christmas cards.
2) Meeting with professionals, e.g. investment advisor.
3) Cats like to stretch out on it in the afternoon sun.
4) Entertaining guests 6x a year.
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:47 PM   #25
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Small, old house; main floor is a (too small to eat in) kitchen and an L-shaped family/living/TV/dining room.

Dining table is piled up with stuff; I eat on the pull-out shelf on the large desk that holds computer stuff.
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:55 PM   #26
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Interesting topic - this just crossed my mind last week when I saw photos of a friend's new house in NC. The "dining" room had been used as a kids playroom. For some reason I am oddly fascinated/shocked (not horrifically) by this concept of not putting a dining table there (there is only a dinky cafe table in the kitchen) for dinners. I guess it is just a matter of priorities. I prefer dining rooms to dine in at home
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:42 PM   #27
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My dining area is in the living room. I do ocassionally, like tonight (cooking for a date), use my Koa wood (thank you craigslist) dining room table for eating but generally use the coffee table in front of the tube. Or graze while reading this board lol.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:08 PM   #28
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The only furniture is a table w/6 chairs (rarely used for eating), and an old grandfather clock. The table is used for school projects for teen; painting, crafts etc for toddler; any other task that requires a large table. We used to use it for cards and board games, but now we have a nice large coffee table in the living room for that.

If the room was a couple feet longer and wider, we would replace the dining table with a pool table.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:20 PM   #29
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About 4 inches of mail and newspapers on the table. We do eat there, all the time, every time, but it is interesting.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:39 AM   #30
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Interesting. More people responded with actual dining rooms than I was considering.

We've got an eat-in kitchen, but the room configuration (4 doors plus big sliding glass door) makes for a fairly small work area. In a way it'd be cool to knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and make a much bigger kitchen. Of course, the argument comes back that it'd hurt resale value to not have a dining room. And we'd still need a place for the piano...
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:16 AM   #31
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Interesting. More people responded with actual dining rooms than I was considering.

We've got an eat-in kitchen, but the room configuration (4 doors plus big sliding glass door) makes for a fairly small work area. In a way it'd be cool to knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and make a much bigger kitchen. Of course, the argument comes back that it'd hurt resale value to not have a dining room. And we'd still need a place for the piano...
Interesting observation.

People don't want/use formal dining rooms but insist the house have one because the next person buying the house doesn't want one either but thinks the next person down the line will want one...
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:33 AM   #32
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Yes, it always seems like people are buying houses for the next person, not themselves. Like having both a living room and a family room. A waste in my mind.
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:41 AM   #33
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We have both a family room and a living room. Since we took our dining room back in this house, the separate formal living room is Gabes playroom with all his toys, his tivo and his tv.
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:42 AM   #34
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Like having both a living room and a family room. A waste in my mind.
Spouse watches her TV in the living room, our kid watches her TV (and we use the computer) in the family room. The separation is pretty critical to family harmony.

When our kid moves out, though, we can already see that a study and two guest bedrooms is too much. Spouse claims to have plans for a bedroom makeover in one of them and it'll be good to have "extra" space to work around that disruption. When our bunny goes to his great reward, too, we're going to gut the familyroom and start over...
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:48 AM   #35
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My house has a formal dining room. I use it to showcase my glass and china collection. Initially I used to host regular dinner parties, but I've become much less formal especially since landscaping the yard (at least in summer). Over time the dining table has assumed the role of secondary office. My next home will have a great room instead. Much more compatible with my lifestyle.
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Old 10-28-2007, 03:27 PM   #36
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Dining room? Is that the room with a sofa and big-screen tv?

I have a "dining room", which is used maybe twice a year. Should probably convert it to a home gym...
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:44 PM   #37
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I use the dining room walls to hang my paintings as they dry.
I have two ikea kitchen chairs where the cats sit to watch the birds in the morning.
I have a shredder in the corner and a little kitchen table in the middle.
I use the floor space to throw little balls and mice so the cats and go run after it and bring them back to me.
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:10 PM   #38
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We reorganized the floor plan of the house when it was remodeled to eliminate the family room/living room waste...so now there is a "great room" kitchen/family room and a formal dining room. we don't eat there much, maybe 2 times per year, and it was holding our mail until we can find somewhere else for the mail to go.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:53 AM   #39
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We have a traditional dining room that we eat at every week night

We also have a living room and a family room. The family room is connected to the kitchen and belongs to our golden retriever.

The living room functions as our main socializing and TV room.
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Formal living and dining rooms
Old 10-31-2007, 01:24 AM   #40
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Formal living and dining rooms

I can eat in the dining room, kitchen, or at the bar. For myself, the bar is handiest. The dining room is for holidays and completely decked out, table and chairs, china cabinet, side table, chandelier, silver, china, linens. I used to entertain more than I do anymore. The living room is also decked out, but other than a desk for checkwriting, also is used only for company. The reason I prefer it is to keep the mess in family room. The formal rooms are always ready. I don't really consider any space wasted since there isn't anything else I would use it for. I like space; it is real luxury to me. Dining rooms really only became permanent in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Prior to that they were temporarily set up as needed.
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