There's so much available space to make
this room more useful and attractive!
 If you’re fortunate enough to have a space devoted solely to dining, how often do you use it for that purpose? Many of my clients start out with good intentions. We create a beautiful, exotic environment for a wonderful dining experience, but as families grow and needs change, the dining room often becomes a depository of junk mail, homework, or just plain discarded space. It’s a shame to let a room go to waste.
Over the years, I’ve developed multi-purpose rooms from what was originally designated the dining room.  With a little creativity and careful planning, these rooms have become the most popular and most used space in the house. Without losing their status as an elegant dining room, I’ve designed them for added functions: a casual gathering space for intimate groups; for use as a library, an office, and yes, even a welcoming place for homework! The new dining room has become the hub of family activity without losing the ability to serve its original purpose with grace and flair!

Let’s begin by adding a library to your list of uses for your dining room. Beginning with the table, select an extension table that when closed, comfortably fits 6-8, preferably rectangle. Hang an appropriately sized, simple chandelier above the table with a clearance of 30”-36”. The reason I specify ‘appropriately’ and ‘simple’ is because you’re going to drill two holes in the table to feed cords for reading/task lamps. This is the foundation for creating the library atmosphere. You’ll need to install floor sockets beneath the table to eliminate unsightly cords. The lamps can be removed, and the holes covered with cloths when you’re using the room to dine.

Place four chairs around the table. Buy additional folding chairs for entertaining. There are some exquisite folding chairs that can readily match your dining chairs, and few will notice the difference. The library table is now suitable for homework and business meetings.

Walls of book shelves with art lights mounted above, enhance the library atmosphere and adds interest and depth to the dining room. An alternative is a breakfront with illuminated shelves to fill with books and accessories. If your bookshelves can flank a window, have an upholstered window seat constructed with either swing arm lamps mounted on the bookcases, or a small chandelier mounted from the ceiling. This provides additional casual seating, and a cozy perch for reading.
With the addition of a console and/or side tables the library expands into a home office. There is an abundance of multi-tasking furniture that work as desks/sideboards with a drawer for your laptop; side tables that function as file drawers; and other unique furniture pieces that have dual purposes.

Finally, in one or two corners of the room, add a comfortable side chair with a small table and floor lamp for reading, or for seating guests. A great wing chair can serve double duty as a dining chair.
These ideas are just to get you started. There’s a lot more to complete your room’s transformation: color palette, upholstery, window treatments, flooring, etc. If you want to continue your project, and need assistance, email Robin Lechner Interior Designs, or research our website. 

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