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Feb 12, 2013 11:52 AM

Where do you take your dinner?

The Khantessa and I recently rearranged some of our furniture and other oddments. The chief result was that our former dining space--a modest throughway between the kitchen and living room--became my office, and my old office became our formal dining room.

I must say, I don't know why we didn't arrange it this way when we bought the house 22 months ago. The formal dining room is so much more peaceful and atmospheric, and almost mimics the ambience of a fine restaurant. And when it comes to dining, atmosphere really matters to me.

What are your household dining arrangements?

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  1. Well, our house, while over 20 years old, is a contemporary, so the majority of the main floor is just one big open cathedral-ceilinged "great room" combining one open living space separated from the kitchen by a long counter. Thus the actual living area has a dining table in one section & the sofas, chairs, tv, etc., in the other.

    So we either eat at the counter (where we have barstools set up), or at the dining table, which is just a few feet away.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bacardi1

      Our house is set up like Bacardi's, all a big great room. We eat all our meals at the dining table, with placemats and cloth napkins. We snack on the couch later, but the TV is never on during meals. Breakfast and lunch, we may read at the table, but not at dinnertime.
      My kids were raised this way, as were hubby and I.

      1. re: jmcarthur8

        Same here. Then again, there's scant little on the boob toob that interests me. Well, perhaps from an anthropological standpoint.

        1. re: jmcarthur8

          Well, here it's just hubby & I, so mealtimes are a combination of reading interspersed with conversation. :)

      2. On the couch.

        I do have a small dining room with a 4 top table but I don't know, we're pretty casual folks so we just eat on the couch. My SO often will eat upstairs and I eat downstairs, since we have vastly different tastes when it comes to most TV shows, and I like to talk talk talk throughout the meal and he doesn't like to talk at all. Sometimes we'll join each other either up or down though, and I try to keep quiet :)

        Plus, the dining table ends up being our "landing area" when coming in the house, so we would have to clear it off all the time to eat there. Too much effort.

        We do eat at the table when we have people over.

        2 Replies
        1. re: juliejulez

          we have tv trays set up in front of the couch that we usually sit at to have our dinners. that way we can watch a show from the DVR or on demand, and talk about our days.

          1. We eat on the couch unless we have guests. We used to use tea towels for bibs until my wife told her mother. MIL made us some adult size bibs with velcro.; )

            2 Replies
            1. re: kengk

              Us too - and I love the bib idea. My husband is SUCH a messy eater!

              1. re: kengk

                we do the same its all about being comfort, if we have guests we eat in the dining room. Some nights TV is good and worth it other times it sucks, thats when I crab at my husban we should have been more formal and ate in the kitchen.

              2. Couch, generally. I hate it, as I was raised in a "you don't take your food out of the kitchen" household.

                Our kitchen seems large until you realize that it has to function as a dining room, too. Our old drop-leaf table seems to be in the way no matter how we tried to arrange things. It currently stays folded down and the chairs are precariously stacked on the opposite side of the room. When we have company, we carry the table out to the living room and set it up at a couch.

                We don't really have a guest-friendly home. :( One of the main reasons we're trying to move.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Kontxesi

                  Pretty much everything Kontxesi said goes for me too. I try to eat sometimes at the little fold out table with my son, which is where he eats, but we don't always eat as a family during the week because I might want to go to the gym or something or have plans later in the evening with a friend and don't want to eat dinner at 5pm. If I'm staying home for dinner, I eat in front of the folded table leaf, which isn't very comfy, but there is no room in the kitchen to fold out the leaf. My kid eats at the end of the table that's not shoved up into the corner. When mr. RNR and I eat together after the kid goes to bed, we eat on the couch in the living room. On the weekends, we try to have as many meals at the table together as a family as possible, including folding up the leaf and having to move the stove a little so you can get a chair in there.

                  1. re: Kontxesi

                    Same here at our apartment, Kontxesi. It's the couch for our dinners, unless it's a nicer meal that my husband's preparing -- at our small table dressed with a tablecloth, placemats, cloth napkins, and light from a single white candle. ;-)

                    Just a guess, but it really seems to be the case that architects who designed apartments from the early 1980s onward (here in Southern California, anyway) opted for the smallest possible floor plans possible. Our two-bedroom, two-bathroom digs are 820 sqare feet -- and that's Hearst Castle-esque compared with San Francisco's proposed 275 square-foot studios.

                    1. re: Dornfelder

                      Geez. The house (an old hunting cabin, I believe) I'm renting right now is supposedly 1200 sqft, but it's not designed very well. A large portion of the living room is taken up by the woodstove. If that wasn't there, I could easily move the tv area to that part of the room and put the dining table where the tv is now.

                  2. During the week, we eat in the kitchen. On Sundays, we usually have a crowd, so we move to the dining room.If we are home on a Saturday at lunchtime ( which is rarely!), we may plop down in the tv room and have a sandwich.