Last Updated: 26 September, 2020
It’s over two years since I asked for your thoughts on what we should do with our dining room; should we create a lounge dining room or a kitchen dining room? And now I’m wondering whether we should just keep the dining room.
When we moved house we found it difficult not being able to eat in the same room as we prepared food, because our previous house had a kitchen dining room where we tended to watch television as we ate. When we started speaking to architects they all said create a kitchen dining room because people like the large social space, and consequently all the architect plans involved knocking down at least part of a dining room wall.
And it’s not just us, a recent survey suggests that a separate dining room is becoming more desirables for homeowners. According to Waitrose in their annual food report 2015 this change is linked to TV technology, with almost a third of customers cutting back on eating in front of a screen since the iPlayer, Netflix and others have increased in prominent.
Our technology issue is slightly different, as we don’t have an aerial point in the dining room and therefore, no television. I used to miss it at first, but not now. Now our meals times are social with time for the family to catch up on what we’ve been doing. The children are significantly chattier with no television to distract them. Of course, us adults still eat in front of the television to watch a film when the children are away from home, but that is a real luxury that we enjoy more because it is a rare treat.
Lounge Dining Room
Earlier this year, my husband decided to decorate the dining room (you can see how it looked previously near the end of this video I made in 2014 discussing our plans for the kitchen dining room) and removed the double doors to the lounge, effectively making a lounge dining room. The doors were very inconvenient as they were a pair of normal doors that didn’t fold flat against the wall and got in the way. So the previous owner had the idea of cutting them in half length ways and adding a hinge so they folded back, but were clunky and quite frankly ugly.
Even if we decide to keep the dining room, I don’t want to brick up this doorway as I like the ease of moving around the house but I would like to be able to separate the lounge. Although we try to turn the lounge television off when we eat, it is not always possible, for example if we have guests, and it is very distracting for the children; and they argue over who sits in the one chair that has line of sight through the doorway to the television.
So we’ve been looking into doors for this gap. I’ve been specifically looking at glass doors as I plan to relace most of our current firedoors with glass. We don’t want to fit doors similar in the style to the ones we’ve recently removed as we know we find it annoying that they stick into the room. Another option is to add slide doors but I’m concerned about whether they’ll become a toy for the children to slide back and forth, and how robust they’ll be (I’ve had some poor experiences of sliding wardrobe doors). So at the moment, the best option appears to be Bi-fold doors like these from Vufold. Although, of course I need to remember that glass panes won’t remove the distraction of a television, but hopefully it will be reduced by the presence of a physical barrier.
What do you think about TV’s influence on our dining habits? Does your family dine together around the table or do you grab something to eat when you can? Has catch-up TV made much of a difference to your meal planning or screen viewing habits?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post