I have a bit of an issue with spaces that never get used! I see this problem all the time and address it with clients regularly. So...I have put together a few ideas to get you thinking about your own spaces and how to best use them - (or not use them) as may be the case!
Setting aside an entire room for formal dining (especially when you already have a dining area) is a luxury. It seems a shame that every space in your house isn't utilized to enhance your lifestyle and helping to contribute somehow to your quality of life.
Take into account a decline in families sitting down to eat together – adults working different hours, kids coming and going for sport, different diets or food styles –and a preference for casually sitting around the kitchen bar or garden table, and you could put a formal dining room to better use. Here are some great ideas for what could otherwise be wasted space.
A play room
If you can’t move for toys cluttering the living room floor, play dough all over the kitchen bench, and bits of games in random places underfoot, create a dedicated playroom with your unused dining room. Dining rooms tend to be close to the kitchen, so kids are still within ear-shot, but their mess is not spread all over the house. Institute clear storage places, and clean-up rules (tidy before bedtime) and sanity is restored.
Its also important to have adult spaces to maintain a sense of order in your home and to have space that looks suitable for 'grown ups' most of the time.
A homework station As kids get older and homework projects run on for several days (or weeks), a homework station with all the tools, reference books and stationery in one spot means projects can be started straightaway (no last-minute hunts for glue sticks!) and works in progress can be safely left out between sessions.
This has the potential to help your kids achieve better marks and focus more effectively on study and work while helping them to learn good organisation skills too.
A games room
If you don’t have a rumpus room or big garage, turn the extra dining room into a games room. Convert the table into a ping-pong court with a fold-out piece of plywood, or buy purpose-built fusion billiard tables. The room could also have a gaming or movie space.
A crafts studio Every sewer, jeweler, artist, scrap booker or modeler dreams of a space where she or he can spread out and create, without having to waste precious time setting up and putting away. Again, cleverly organised storage is the key to re-purposing a space. Perhaps closed storage is the way to go depending on if your room has a door which can be closed to hide the mess or not. If you want to get in touch with your creative side, this is a MUST DO!