The formal dining room might have been a must-have in the not-so-distant past, but it's rapidly losing its meaning in today's households. Maybe you never (or nearly never) use your dining room because you have a casual dining space in your kitchen or living room, yet you have the bones of a house with space devoted to a formal dining room. Don't be afraid to break with tradition and set that square footage to work for you. Here are our REALTORS® favorite ideas of what to do with your underutilized or empty dining room.
- Try a Home Office
Why work at the dining table when you can claim your unused dining room as your office. Whether your work from home, need a place to manage finances, or just need a quiet place for the weekend, this is a great spot to set up a desk and shelving, display the family activities calendar, and create storage for office files and mail. Most dining rooms don't have doors, but if you don't mind the idea, you can create a really nice open office or study.
- Make it a Playroom
If you have little ones, you may need more space for your family to let loose and be creative. Transforming the dining space into a playroom gives your kids a fun space that their own and creates a dedicated zone for their toys and books. Add some shelving and storage, a large rug in a fun pattern, some cute artwork to the walls, a kid-size table for crafts and coloring, and a blackboard for drawing.
- Work It Out
Why sign up at a gym when you can create a dedicated space to workout at home? Whether you're into yoga, lifting, or running on the treadmill, switching up the use of your dining room into a workout area might make sense for you. And putting together a home gym design is easier than you might think. Lay a foam mat over the flooring, bring in free weights and other equipment, hang a pair of infinity mirrors to establish that gym feeling, and perhaps add a storage bench with baskets for organization. Just make sure you personalize the space to your preferred workout style.
- Be Our Guest
If you have frequent overnight guests but don't have a guest room, you can easily turn your dining room into a room where your guests can be comfortable for the night. Since they don't require much space, you can combine your guest room with a library or home office.
- Address Your Literary Pursuits
Ever dreamed of having a home library with a wall of deep bookcases and a comfortable reading chair? Rejoice! We've found a home for all those boxes of books collecting dust in the basement. Turn over your dining room into a legit home library where you can escape to and totally relax. You can add bookshelves, integrate some storage baskets, add proper lighting, get a cozy chair, or create a reading nook.
- Set Up a Game Room
Whether you're into electronic gaming or have big toys like a pool or ping-pong table, you may find out that turning your empty dining room into a game room adds a bit of fun into your life. Bring your game tables to the room and if you still have some space left, add some counter or bar-height stools. Also, think about adding a sideboard or bar to have a handy place for drinks or snacks.
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