Over the years houses styles have changed and room functions have as well. Most people in the USA have a home of approximately 2,500 square feet. Depending on where you live may determine the specifics (basement, attic, crawl space), however many people have moved toward more informal living arrangements and now prefer the open concept. There are pros/cons to both. If your a messy person sorry but you don’t belong in an open concept house just picture it when you open the front door it would look like one big mess had engulfed the entire space. What about rooms that didn’t exist years ago? Well many people didn’t use home offices (unless they were self employed or worked from home) moms usually paid all the bills from the kitchen table thereby eliminating an extra bedroom just for surfing the web and bill paying. The formal dining room that gets used only on Thanksgiving or Christmas is wasted space – for the regular entertainer who spends time dining with their guests its a necessity. So here are some ways to make the open living concept work for your family…and yes sometimes open concept means feeling more spacious even though there can be a lack of storage.
A sofa table can provide great extra storage, serve as extra lighting for reading, use solid baskets to hide the stuff so shelves don’t look crowded. And during the holidays its an easy place to reach to put up some extra Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.
For those of you who find yourself always eating in the kitchen or family room and find the dining room as the black sheep of the house then by all means try re-purposing it into something useful for your family. Here’s a few suggestions: even if your eliminating your dining room table (if you have one in the dining room) make sure to have some built ins designed for the space (whether they’re ikea or custom is up to your style/budget)
Why the built ins? well you unless you have a massive kitchen or plenty of closet space a built in provides the extra storage for those items that can be seasonal (turkey platters, carving boards) and for all those wedding gifts that don’t have space in maybe a small kitchen. Also with the floor space freed up you still have storage so you can turn the dining room into a library (built ins are great for books) or a home office for the self employed.
Or maybe your in the opposite position and find yourself without the formal dining room and your kitchen, dining room, great room are really one big space…talk about open concept challenges. I suggest removing your kitchen set and having just a larger dining room set. If you have a table that has leaves then it can easily go from 6 people for family dinners to 10 or 12 for holidays.
Consider what rooms you use and how often and for what – ignore the labels for a moment and see if that basement can be turned into the kids playroom or that dining room into the home office for the self employed or maybe an attic can provided needed storage for a hobby room.