Formal dining rooms used to be standard in every home, but it wasn’t the most comfortable place to sit and relax after you ate. As times changed and lifestyles evolved, families started to use the living room and family room as the main entertainment spaces in their homes. The formal dining room was no longer a focal point and became a space mainly used for special occasion entertaining. And eventually, homes stopped including a formal dining room.

However, dining rooms have started to make a come back and about half the homes we design for our clients have formal dining rooms. The Laura U team has started to see our clients steer away from using the living and family rooms as entertainment spaces and are instead using the dining room for entertaining. We’re finding more and more of our clients asking for dining rooms that provide a space for effortless entertaining and conversation.

As dining rooms have become more comfortable, people have started spending more time in the space. They’re actually using the dining room to lounge and chat with their guests. And I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite times have been spent in the dining room people-watching, entertaining, and chatting with friends!

Today I want to share a few tips for making your dining room a space you’ll actually love using.


As you think about the design of your dining room, it’s important to consider the chairs you’ll be using. You want to choose chairs that make you want to relax in the room and have a glass of wine. Our clients often request larger, upholstered dining chairs with clean lines in softer fabrics like velvet. This style of chair makes sitting for hours to come much more comfortable.


When it comes to the location of your dining room, it’s important to consider how you envision using it. As open concept floor plans have become more popular, many of our clients choose to have their dining room near or even as part of the family room or kitchen. This can be a great option for entertaining because it allows guests to easily move between spaces. The dining room is often located near the formal living room, a sitting or “receiving” room and is separated from the kitchen by a butler’s pantry, allowing for a more privacy.

The key to creating a dining room that you’ll actually love using is to think about what works best for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to make it a comfortable, relaxing space that’s laid out to encourage people to stay at the table long after the meal is over.

Follow me on Instagram to see more of my favorite dining rooms and check out my Pinterest board for more dining room inspiration.