Do you even need a dining room?

Dining can be extremely formal and extremely casual. And everything in between those to extremes. It is totally up to you.

You can be the person who organizes family dinners. The ones where no one can leave the table until everyone is done. And no one really wants to leave. Where are at least three courses, perfectly paired with the right kind of wine.

You can be the person who eats dinner alone, in front of the tv.

Or you can be the person who grabs a take out and eats in the car on the way home.

It is totally up to you. You just have to keep that in mind when designing your apartment.

When we were explaining how to design a functional kitchen, we mentioned that food is an extraordinarily important part od design process.

Do you cook? Do you organize dinner parties? Do you buy food in bulk? What kind of food? Do you need a big freezer? Do you need a pantry?

Your everyday life must have a big impact on your interior. That’s where functionality comes from. Your answers to those questions affect your future kitchen, its size, and design, but they affect dining room even more. Because, no matter how small, you probably will have a kitchen.

But a dining room is so flexible, it doesn’t even have to exist.
Think about it. Maybe you always eat at the kitchen island. Or on the couch. Or out.

Don’t design a dining room simply because there’s a room that used to be a dining room. It is pretty rare to see a dining room completely separated from the rest of the apartment. These days, we usually talk about, and design, dining areas – linked to kitchens and/or living rooms.

Still, dining area, much like dining itself, is so flexible, it is almost always the first thing clients ditch from their wishlist when there’s no room for necessary things. A home office is a priority. A kitchen island is a priority. Bigger kids rooms, where desks can fit, are priorities. Often they decide on small tables for four because they rarely have guests over.

Nevertheless, we are always pro big dining areas. Why? Because dining tables are so flexible.
And we promise, one well-lit, big dining table, positioned strategically, is all you need for so many scenarios.Do you even need a dining table: dining table illustration | upgradesign

Can you imagine it? There is one person working on a laptop, there’s a kid writing a homework and the other one doing a puzzle, and a person on the opposite side is frosting a cake. And at dinner time, there is so much stuff on the table that everyone just moves over to the couch and eat a bowl of cereal. So what?

They can throw a formal dinner party for friends and family, and they can prepare stunning buffet table for New year’s eve – if they want to. It depends on their lifestyle.

We often advise our clients to adapt their personal space to their everyday life, not to special occasions that may never happen. To tell you the truth, people who want to organize formal dinners or brunches, do that no matter the size of their apartment, kitchen or dining area. You won’t start cooking for fifteen people simply because you have a table for fifteen people.

But the fact is, people automatically sit around the table, even if there’s no food on it.

So keep the dining area. You don’t have to use it for dining.

You just need a neutral design. Don’t give it that certain dinner theme. Choose a stylish table that is easy to maintain, and leave it without table linen. You know you can’t play with play-dough on table linen! And this table is made for play-dough. And drawing. And wrapping presents. And poker nights. And cutting out cookies.

Also, it is a good idea to keep it playful and casual. We love to combine different chairs. Which is a good trick, because when more guests come over and you don’t have enough chairs, the two you borrow from a neighbor won’t look awkward. And be bold when deciding on lamps, don’t forget how important is focal glow.

Take a look at our suggestions. Can you imagine Sunday brunch on these tables? How about meeting with a client? Kid’s birthday party? Okay, pretend like you threw a handful of confetti around them. Now, can you imagine a birthday party?


1:     Essay table // design Cecilie Manz (FRITZ HANSEN)
2:    All about chair AAC 22 // design Hee Welling (HAY)
3:    COLLECT Lighting (FERM LIVING)


1:     Loop Stand Table // design Leif Jørgensen (HAY)
2:    Beetle Chair // design GamFratesi (GUBI)
3:    Beetle Chair // design GamFratesi (GUBI)
4:    Under the Bell  // design Iskos-Berlin (MUUTO)


1:     T12 Table (HAY)
2:    All Plastic Chair BLUE // design Jasper Morrison (VITRA)
3:    All Plastic Chair RED // design Jasper Morrison (VITRA)
4:    Cirque  // design Clara von Zweigbergk (LOUIS POULSEN)


1:     BASE Table // design Mika Tolvanen (HAY)
2:    Wire Chair DKR // design Charles and Ray Eames (VITRA)
3:    Wire Chair DKR // design Charles and Ray Eames (VITRA)
4:    Copenhagen Pendant  // design Space Copenhagen (&TRANDITION)


1:     Frame table // design Line Depping and Jakob Jørgensen (HAY)
2:    Wishbone chair CH24 // design Hans J. Wegner (CARL HANSEN)
3:    CH33 // design Hans J. Wegner (CARL HANSEN)
4:    Acorn  // design Atle Tveit 2012 (NORTHERN LIGHTING)


** This is not a sponsored post. We’re not receiving any type of payment for this. We’re simply sharing something that we like, with the hope it will inspire you to appreciate the effort designers put in their products.

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