Angie's List: America's Disappearing Dining Room

Kitchen Sink
Kitchen Sink
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 04:25:45-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Most of us grew up with a dining room in our house and a lot of us still have them. But fewer and fewer of us are using that space for its intended purpose.

Whether you call it dinner or supper, only 23 percent of us are spending our evening meal gathered around a proper dinner table. Seven percent of us still have dining room furniture in the room, but rarely even go in there, according to a new Angie’s List survey.

Sixty-two percent of survey respondents say they still have dinner with the family almost every night. Two-thirds of the respondents haven’t redecorated or re-designed their dining room but use it for office or homework space, an unorganized storage area, even space for the dog.  But 13 percent are so sure they won’t ever eat there again, they’ve ditched the table and chairs. The Vielees (VEE-LEEs) are one example.

When the Vielees moved into their home eight years ago, they had six busy children at home and thought the dining room would be a routine gathering spot. Total times they actually gathered there for a meal: 10.

Vielee says when all the kids are out of the house and the yoga stops, she wants to redecorate the space into a quiet, restful reading room.

Many dining room re-uses can be done as a D-I-Y project, but Angie cautions against getting the sledge hammer out without a plan and professional help. Taking down walls can create structural issues if they’re load-bearing. Removing wainscoting or wood trim can be tricky, too.

The Angie’s List survey included responses from 1,245 members across the country. It was conducted in January, 2017.