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6 Unused Dining Room Ideas

6 Unused Dining Room Ideas

Does your formal dining room usually sit unused and gather dust? If so, you are not alone. Like sitting rooms (i.e., the formal living room), dining rooms are quickly going out of fashion, with many families choosing to eat at the kitchen island, nook, or even in the living room. If you have a dining area you rarely use, it may feel like this is wasted space - taking up precious square footage that could be used for something else. The fact is that there are numerous ways you can repurpose the dining room to gain more space in your home without having to add an addition.

If you're considering repurposing your dining room into a space that you will actually use more than once or twice a year, take a look at some great ways that you can utilize this space more effectively. 

Turn Your Dining Room Into a Home Office

One of the most practical ways to use your former dining space would be to turn it into a home office. Since the pandemic, many people have switched to the work from home model, either on hybrid or fully remote schedules. Considering most people don't have a dedicated office in their homes, you are not alone if you've had problems finding a quiet, private space to work during the day.

Fortunately, former dining rooms make great office spaces as they often have plenty of square footage. They are also spacious, so you will have ample room for a desk, storage options (filing cabinets or built ins), and personal decor, like an accent chair or area rug. If you're worried about noise from the rest of the house being a distraction, you can close the dining room off from the rest of your home with French doors, a pocket door, or a glass barn door to give you some much-needed privacy. 

Decorating_Holiday Design Tips for Your Guest Room_Hochuli

Convert Into a Guest Bedroom

Do you have guests come in from out of town but have no private space for them? Instead of guests sleeping on an air mattress in the living room, consider turning your underutilized dining room into a guest room. While there are specific laws and regulations on what you can call a bedroom (most jurisdictions require a room to have a window and a closet to be legally classified as a bedroom), this doesn't mean that you can't convert your unused dining room into a temporary sleeping space for guests.

If your dining room was already separated from the rest of the house by a door, converting it to a guest bedroom will be as simple as adding a bed, a nightstand, and a small dresser for your guests to store their belongings while they are staying with you. What was once an underutilized space can now give your guests some privacy and a quiet place to unwind while on vacation.

💡Pro Tip: If you don't entertain overnight guests often and want this space to serve double duty, consider turning your dining room into a craft room or music room that doubles as a guest room when needed. How? Install a Murphy bed instead of a traditional bed. This gives you additional storage space (Murphy beds often come with shelves on either side), and you get your own space to use in other ways most of the year.

Related: 8 Holiday Design Tips for Your Guest Room

Create a Play Area/Homework Space for Your Kids

For many parents, having a separate room where their kids can play or hang out with friends after school is a luxury, as this can go a long way in preventing toys from taking over the entire house. If you don't use your dining room anyway, consider turning it into a dedicated playroom for your kids. This will help keep the mess contained and give your kids a place to play while leaving the living room clean for company. Alternatively, the dining room can be turned into a dedicated homework/study space for older kids. Having a quiet, distraction-free place to do school work and prepare for exams can set them up for success. 

Related: Designing the Perfect Teen Hangout Room 

Teen Hangout Room Ideas (2)

Make a Game Room

Many homeowners turn their dining room into a fun space family members will enjoy by converting it into a game room. Of course, before you can start picking furniture or deciding on a layout, you must determine what a game room means to you.

For some, this may mean keeping the dining room table and adding shelves to store your favorite board games. You can modify the space by building a snack station, complete with a mini-fridge and snack storage, so that you can host epic game nights with your friends.

However, when others hear of a gaming room, they may think of a pool table or old-school arcade games. Still, others picture more of a second family room or media room with a comfy couch, a large flat-screen TV, and their favorite video games. Whatever gaming looks like to you, you can use your former dining room to create a relaxing living space to escape to. 

Add a Home Library

If you are a book lover, you may have always dreamed of having a home library to cozy up with a nice book after a long day. If you don't use your dining table anyway, why not make this dream a reality? Simply remove the dining room set and line the walls with built-ins to show off your impressive book collection. Next, decorate the space with comfortable seating, a coffee table or Ottoman to prop your legs up on, floor lamps, an area rug, and a basket of blankets and pillows to create a cozy reading nook.  


Project: Award Winning Wine Cellar in Phoenix

Turn Your Dining Room Into a Home Bar/Lounge

Of course, why not transform your former dining room into a relaxing space for the adults to enjoy? A growing interior design trend is changing the dining room into a partial wine cellar or home bar. Add wine fridges, a bar cart (or counter), some comfy chairs, a small table, an interesting light fixture, and shelving to display your best liquor bottles, and now you have upscale space to relax at the end of the day or host lavish cocktail parties on the weekends.

If your dining room is currently unused space, make the most of this room by transforming it into a spot your family will actually enjoy. We often repurpose the dining room as part of a kitchen remodeling project.

Feel free to contact us for additional ideas if you are considering repurposing your unused dining room and are unsure of where to start.

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