The first casualty of non-use is usually the dining room. Hermetically sealed and seldom used, except for holidays and maybe a special occassion, one can feel the waste of floor space. Lately this room gets made into a "library".
The notion of having a library in one's home as opposed to a home office, is a unique concept for the modern home. Most of us read books, and some of us may collect books. The Victorian idea of having huge rooms with huge bookcases to house leather bound books is a romantic one that evokes a comfortable home.
But totally giving up on the idea of a dining room is just too much to handle. We can't let go of having a dining room, even if it's seldom used. We just like to have it around just in case.
But by adding some bookcases or book shelves, and staging the table with books and such, there it is, your library!
You can add all the bells and whistles, like a library ladder, book stands, comfy chairs, etc.
But you must always keep the option there to clear the decks, and set the table for the occasional
dinner party. Somehow dining amongst books is very cozy, and slightly romantic.
If you have the luxury of another dining space, your could devote a room unto itself as your library.
I got inspired to post about this after seeing Artie's (from Color Outside The Lines) dining room cum library. I love the way he faces the chairs out, and layers everything in the room. I wonder where he would put everything to transform the room for a dinner party.
Artie - Color Outside The Lines
Even in an open floor plan house, you could stage your dining room table as a library space.
Martha Stewart - I love the little stools, so reminiscent of Renaissance era libraryIf you live in a small space, clearing off the dining table, whether in the kitchen or a dining room is what happens when the kids need to hit the books.
By now many of you are familiar with my dining room turned office. I can't bring myself to call it a library, a term that seems a bit grand for a Creole shotgun cottage. I can't even take credit for the seemingly necessary element of installing bookcases in the dining room to morph it into a library. The pre-existing built in shelves (done in the 1960's) were actually cupboards. I took off the doors and styled them as book shelves for my over size design books. The minute the books were displayed the identity of the room reads: Library/Dining Room.
When we first moved in I used a round caterer's table, the type with folding legs, as my desk. I added a floor length tablecloth, thus creating the dreaded skirted round table.
I actually had many dinner parties in this small room, placing ten guests elbow to elbow around the round table. I stashed office things in a bedroom closest for the night, and set the table accordingly.
I thought my actual dining table was too large for the room, and staged it in the kitchen with a buffet set on top of it. It seemed a terrible waste of a great table. The kitchen really wasn't suitable for it to be used as a dining table.
Now I use the large French style table as my desk, and the room is strictly dedicated to being my office.
The round table is folded up in the garage, and seldom used.
The dining room seldom sees actual dining anymore - at most it's dining on a tray at my desk
Go HERE to see this entire story
Go HERE to see this entire story
We are doing less dinner parties these days, and when we do invite people over, we stage the kitchen for dining. Large dinner parties (for 12 or more) are set up to resemble the chef's table in a restaurant kitchen.
The chef's table in our kitchen - go HERE to see the whole story of this party
Smaller groups for up to six cozy up to our small round table in the kitchen. And, Alberto often opens his laptop on the kitchen table, evoking visions of doing childhood homework.
So, what's in your dining room?