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How-To: Re-purpose Your Dining Room Into A -- Dining Room

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, November 03, 2015 @ 12: 07 PM

"Which one?" Diana asked me. She had a fork in each hand, one from the everyday set and one from the special-occasion set. We were planning a meal to celebrate our oldest son taking a step towards manhood, making the sacrament of Confirmation. At first, we'd thought about a buffet, but Diana had changed her mind. "It's a special day," she said. "I'd like the whole family sitting around the dining table."

How many of us use our formal dining room anymore? Not many and not often.
 
Everyone seems to eat meals at the kitchen island now or, even worse, in the car, a reflection of the frenetic pace of our lives. In homes where space is tight, the dining room has been repurposed into a toy room, a crafts room or a home office.
 
Call me old-fashioned, but I'm in favor of dining rooms. Who doesn't cherish the memory of visiting grandparents on Sundays, when everyone squeezed around the table to eat and talk all afternoon? Meals aren't just about food. They're about celebrating life's milestones, sharing family history and honoring victories large and small.
 
Here's my modest proposal for reviving the dining room-
1. Is there a baby in the house? Put that high chair at the head of the table. Or, better yet, pass that baby around during the meal. It's a great way to celebrate a special time that vanishes all too soon.

2. Before eating, take a moment to appreciate your family, your friends, your health. Say a prayer. Raise your glass in a toast. Or just pause to reflect about the good things in life.
3. Teach your kids manners. Our boys shovel food down their gullets wordlessly, the only noise a snort or gobble. Okay, teenagers are a challenge. But in the dining room we impose rules: no baseball caps, no slouching, no using shirtsleeves as napkins. Someday, that kid will be on a date, at a job interview, or meeting the in-laws. Everyone needs basic training.
4. Use the good china and the wedding crystal. Decorate the table. Your family and guests will feel special.
 
Don't have a dining room set? Furniture Consignment Gallery has them in every style. Chestnut Hill has sets by Alfonso Marina for Ebanista and Restall, Brown & Clennell of England. Hanover, has a beautiful Karges inlaid mahogany table with satin border and four leaves for $5,849. Plymouth's showroom boasts a Nichols & Stone cherry table with six chairs for $999.
 
Polish those forks. The holidays are coming. 

Topics: dining room