Our little dining room hasn’t gotten much blog attention here on 2BB. This might be because that room has changed remarkably little since we first moved in and decorated almost 5 years ago. But times, they are a-changing.
Pre-baby, DH and I hosted dinner parties and other food-centric gatherings with some regularity. We had a very traditional set-up, with our dining table in the center, a buffet on one side…
…and a china cabinet on the other.
This set-up worked very well for both hosting guests and eating our own meals just the two of us. The dining table also has served as my sewing and project table when I’m working projects. Our little dining room served us quite nicely, really. Until Sydney arrived, that is.
The layout of our condo is very traditional in that the dining room is separate from the kitchen and separate from the living room. However, it does adjoin the kitchen. We found that what this means is that if one of us is cooking, there was no place for the other one to hang out with the baby except for on a dining room chair. It really wasn’t ideal. Plus, Sydney’s high chair, though small, would block the way when we had it pulled up to the table. So DH and I set out to find a better arrangement for the room, and this is what we came up with:
It involved disassembling a few of our dining room chairs, storing them, and taking out of storage a couple of other favorite furniture pieces that had been stuffed into storage because we didn’t want to part with them (both are from IKEA but have been discontinued). We brought up the chaise lounge that had previously been in our living room:
and changed it back to a white slipcover. This now provides a comfy spot for one of us to sit with the little S-bean and read or play while the other one is in the kitchen:
The other piece we brought up was a storage bench that had been in our bedroom back when it was red and we had a (tiny!) full size bed (we now have a queen). Sadly, I couldn’t locate any pics of it, but it used to live at the foot of the bed here:
We turned the buffet to a 90 degree angle with the wall, and pushed the bench up to it to make a makeshift banquette seat for one side of the dining table:
Of course, if you take a wider angle you see that there’s still a bunch of baby stuff that is (unavoidably) a bit underfoot!
For now, the room is definitely more functional. However, it still isn’t “just right.” The makeshift banquette is just that: makeshift. If you lean back too enthusiastically, you’ll shift the buffet. And we really do need more storage in the room. We moved a smaller sideboard type piece next to the china cabinet, but it just looks cluttered:
So I’m busily scheming away about what we can do–without spending a fortune–to make the space flow better, be more functional, and look nicer. Rest assured that this is occupying way more of my thoughts than it should these days. The whole room really does need updating. So stay tuned!
What do you think? Have you recently re-arranged your dining room to make room for kids or pets or projects? Have you found a good banquette out there that won’t break the bank? Please share!