I wrote an article last year for an international publication that was titled "Are dining rooms becoming obsolete?" As I researched I posed the same question on my Facebook feed. The responses were overwhelming - I never expected such a dialogue. All sorts of people chimed in from current homeowners to Realtors, builders, architects and decorators. What was the general consensus? Well, the results were split down the middle. Many favor a traditional home with a dining room, even if the dining room is used only on occasion. The other half preferred to use the kitchen as their main dining and entertaining area, claiming that dining rooms are a waste of space - most of these people live in houses without a traditional dining room set up. Many found alternate uses for these unused rooms. Dining rooms have been converted into offices, dens, playrooms. If there are no doors separating the dining room from the rest of the house, traditional as well as pocket doors can always be added.
I happen to love a dining room and while they really don't get used as much today as they have in the past, why not keep the dining room but make it more functional - more multi-faceted if you will. Your dining room could be part office or library. There's no reason why these rooms can't be used and made to be more functional. Books and art and artifacts complement and lend themselves beautifully to the home office, home library and dining room.
Use your dining room table as a desk. If you are concerned about your table getting marked up you can cover it with a table cloth or skirt and cover it with a custom cut piece of glass to place over the top. This will not only protect your table, but glass is easy to keep clean and wont get dinged or marred by office equipment. Because we use so little paper these days and because our laptops don't take up much space, we can easily stash away all office equipment. A dresser, bureau or armoir are great pieces to in which to stash your office supplies - paper, laptop, copier/fax/scanner, phone, pens, etc. At the end of the day there is a designated location in which to store your office items so that your guests can come over for some good food and wine and have a nice enjoyable and relaxing evening.