What to do with a Dining Room you Don't Use

By Linda Grass August 19, 2021, 1:21 pm

With our busy lifestyles and on-the-go culture, many of us don't have time to sit down at the dining room table to eat. Nowadays, we eat our meals in the most frequented rooms of the house where we naturally gather because of its function. We eat in the kitchen area where we cook, or take meals in the family room while watching the television together.

The dining area remains empty of our company and may be used a dozen times over the course of a year, exclusively for holidays, birthdays and special occasions. So, what do you do with a dining room you don’t use?

Make the most of this underutilized space and turn it into a home office, exercise room, or game room.

Keep reading to find ideas and inspiration on how to set-up and decorate the space for its new function, that will work perfectly for your family and lifestyle.

Home at the Office

Office space with green walls and a large window Source: Collov Home Design on Unsplash

With the massive changes in the way we work, having an adequate home office for remote company work and finding space to accommodate has been a challenge for many people. Converting the dining area into a home office is a practical solution.

For configuring your home office, a desk with storage is a good starting point. Perhaps repurpose the dining table into an attractive desk. If you sit for long periods at a time, an ergonomic sit-stand desk is a great alternative to a conventional desk as it gives you the flexibility to stand while working.

Home office with white walls and a wooden bookshelf Source: Collov Home Design on Unsplash

The office chair is probably the most important piece of furniture, while you can stand up occasionally, you sit more frequently. Choosing the right office chair for your needs is essential. Look for seating that meets all your requirements, be it extra lumbar support, easy height adjustment, the material, and its comfort. Whatever it is, it should probably be more than just a dining room chair if you are going to use it long term.

Get a Workout with a Home Gym

You may not have enough space right now for a home gym, but converting the dining area could be the ideal answer. If you want to exercise on your schedule, especially with limited access to fitness venues these days, a home gym makes it convenient.

Workout room with equipment Source: Brian Wangenheim at Unsplash

Setting up a home gym has a few special requirements; one is flooring. If you are using heavy training equipment such as a treadmill or stationary bicycle, a padded floor is a good way to protect your room floors. A padded floor is also great for use when doing yoga or Pilates workouts. Rubber tiles or padded sheet vinyl flooring is readily available and easy to install.

Another requirement is good lighting. This area typically has a good source of natural light with plenty of windows to open and let in fresh air. The overhead lighting installed in this room can also be changed to match the style of the workout space if needed.

Decorate with art or posters that express an energetic mood or sport to inspire and motivate you.

Relax and Have Fun with a Game Room

If you enjoy the camaraderie of collaborative activities and entertainment, a game room can be the right choice to tailor an unused dining room to your lifestyle.

Entertainment room with pool table Source: dglimages from Adobe Stock

The home entertainment industry has certainly evolved over the past few years, in particular with the increasing demand for quality home theater systems and streaming platforms. So having a room dedicated to this kind of entertainment makes sense. It could be an extension of your family room used specifically for video games and electronics.

Perhaps you want to get away from the tether of technology completely and do something completely old-school, like a billiard table or host other game equipment, such as a foosball table.

Whatever activity you decide, in this type of space vivid wall colors can be used to express the strength of the room. Use bold patterns for rugs and window coverings that transmit the energy of fun activities happening in the room. Experiment with unusual art or wall sculptures to display as a fun conversation piece. Also consider tying the room together with a striking ceiling light and using comfortable seating or gaming chairs along with side tables to hold beverages and snacks.

Pursue your Artistic Interests with a Hobby Room

The abandoned dining space can be reimagined yet again for use to pursue your artistic interests with a hobby room.

The hobby room setting encompasses a variety of interests from art to music and beyond. It all depends on what your interests are and the type of furniture it may require for that particular hobby.

Music room with white panio and hanging guitars Source: Patricia M. Lachance on Unsplash

A music room where you and your family will practice and play music, may need space for a piano or other instruments, plus storage cabinets for sheet music and accessories. Whereas a sewing room will need a large table for cutting fabric patterns and shelves.

The most important design element in a hobby room is its reflection of your personality and talents within the room. For example, use wall colors that are soothing if you play classical music, mount prized antique instruments, or frame your favorite sheet music to display on the walls.

Clearing The Table

The ideas above are a few ways to turn the dining room into a functional and useful space in your home. Think outside the box and re-evaluate the traditional function of what a room was originally intended to do in your house. Then, create a space that fits your specific needs and will be used much more frequently for years to come.

After transforming an undervalued piece of room real estate, the bonus is that you get the maximum use of your home’s living area that meets your interests, needs, and lifestyle.


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