Posted on: 26.09.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Many of us fondly remember dinner parties and special gatherings with friends or family around a carefully set table in a formal dining room. Are dining rooms still necessary with the rise of diverse living arrangements and casual get-togethers – or are they a waste of space?

No, dining rooms are not a waste of space. However, the specifics of this answer are very nuanced. Many factors can come into play when deciding if your dining room, as it is, is still useful or if you would be better off using the area for something else that better suits your lifestyle.

In this article, I will provide you with all the information you need to decide if your dining room is a necessity or a waste. Keep reading.

What Defines a Formal Dining Room?

Before deciding if you need a dining room, it’s important to understand what defines a formal dining room.

By definition, a formal dining room is a dedicated space in your home specifically designated for meals. This area differs from other dining areas like a kitchen table or a breakfast nook in that it is a room for dining.

Typically, it is located near the kitchen area, but there will be some structural barriers between the two spaces.

This means there will usually be one or two doors leading from other areas of the house into the dining room.

All of this ensures that the dining room can be separated from all the other rooms in the house.

In this way, its purpose is not confused.

In short, when you enter the dining room for dinner, you will eat, and that’s all.

Why Did We Have Dining Rooms?

We had dining rooms because they were a necessary part of every home from the mid-20th century until the introduction of TV dinners in the 1980s. During those decades, meals were an essential part of family bonding, so having a space dedicated to this purpose was necessary.

However, having a separate, casual dining area in a kitchen or living room is not new.

For families who preferred a more informal environment for their meals, dining rooms served as a place to entertain guests.

In these cases, having a dining room meant you had a place to serve meals to friends or family on special occasions.

If you were a person who took pride in hosting dinner parties, not having a dining room in your house was unthinkable.

Why Did People Stop Using Dining Rooms?

There are several reasons why dining rooms became much less popular than before.

People stopped using dining rooms because many families began to have their dinner closer to the TV, especially as popular TV shows began to air during dinner time. In the decades that followed, many people also began breaking traditions of past generations.

This means that partially, the stuffy nature of dining rooms began to make the space less useful as some people opted to serve their meals in a more open area.

For example, as the dining room is separate from the kitchen, it means that the person preparing the food, usually the wife, is often less able to socialize.

Dining Rooms are Not Practical for Smaller Homes

Another reason for the decline of dining rooms is the increase in smaller living spaces. Apartments, for example, often don’t have the room for a dedicated dining area.

Even individuals who move from an apartment to a house may continue to use a living room or kitchen area for meals because they have become accustomed to it.

Dining Rooms Allow You to Host Special Gatherings

Even though a portion of the population chooses not to use dining rooms anymore, you may still need one.

If a dining room can be useful to you, it is not a waste of space.

The following indicates if you could derive significant benefits from having a dining room:

  • You host many “formal” dinner parties.
  • You prefer to keep certain household activities separate (e.g., no TV or work during dinner).
  • You enjoy family meals where you can gather and converse without distractions, and you need a specific place for that.
  • You’d like to have a different dining area that you can use for other occasions to give them a sense of being special.

You Don’t Need a Dining Room if You Rarely Use It

While there are reasons to have a dining room, it can still be a waste of space if you don’t use it and don’t intend to.

Breaking with the traditional notion of having a dining room in your home can be challenging.

However, there are some indications that you should consider converting your dining room into a different type of space:

  • You have not used your dining room a single time since living in your house (assuming you’ve lived there for at least a full calendar year).
  • You do not host parties or invite people for special occasions.
  • You prefer more casual get-togethers or formal events that resemble a cocktail party rather than a sit-down meal.
  • If you have used your dining room, you (or whoever prepares the food there) feel isolated and cut off from everyone else.
  • You feel any kind of stress when it comes to making sure your dining room looks nice and well-set.
  • You love family dinners, but you either don’t mind distractions or don’t need a separate dining area to avoid distractions.


Are dining rooms a waste of space? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no.

It is a completely subjective question that only you can answer.

While it is true that dining rooms, in general, are becoming less popular as they are less utilized, they can still be an important space in your home if you derive enough benefit from them to have value to you.

However, if you don’t use your dining room and don’t particularly enjoy it, you may want to consider repurposing the area for something that will bring you more joy.

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