Experts agree that the dining room is making a comeback - but in a reinvented form.

For years, the formal dining room was only dusted down for high days and holidays – but with so many of us spending more time at home over the past few years, an unused room has become a waste of space.

Now, rooms are having to double – or triple – up as other things, whether that’s a home office, playroom, or gym.

This means formal dining rooms are becoming more casual, with walls lined with bookshelves, tables that double as desks, and sideboards filled with games and puzzles.

So many requirements for one room calls for a space that can be dressed up or down as required.

When it comes to lighting, an overhead pendant light or chandelier will work when using the table as a desk, while side lamps and candles can be brought out when entertaining.

Consider a bench along one or both sides of the table if you’re using this room to work or play games with children – a bench will also give you more flexible seating options and can easily be tucked right under the table when not in use to free up more space.


When it comes to décor, you can choose to make a statement or keep things simple.

Mixing mismatched chairs is more popular than ever, especially when tying the look together by keeping them in a similar colour palate or at matching heights.


You could also think about mixing modern and traditional, by keeping an old-fashioned or vintage dining table but pairing it with modern chairs.

Adding other furniture into the room will help keep things multi-functional – think easy chairs for reading or pop-up card tables for games or study.

Accent walls work well in dining rooms, and there are many wallpaper options available now, including the new, easy-to-use peel-off paper that allows you to change the look of space as often as you like.

But a formal dining space needn’t be dismissed if you have the room.

Our enforced time at home renewed a love for eating together with family and friends, and more people now choose to entertain at home rather than go out to a restaurant.

Architectural Digest reports that more and more buyers are looking for a separating dining area for entertaining – and are creating rooms that are comfortable and welcoming but can be dressed up in such a way that guests will feel they are being treated to a special night out.

Whether you choose to keep a separate space or simply gather around a kitchen table, keep in mind that good food is always better when shared with good friends. Bon appetit!