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Lovely Monday, Lovely Dining Rooms

August 2, 2011

When coming to North America, first as a visitor and later to live here, I was fascinated by the dining rooms that I saw in houses. In Holland, not many of the houses have an actual separate room for eating in. Most houses (if not all) have the living room and dining room in one and even if they’re separate areas, they’re not in different rooms. There is a different use of space, because there is much less of it per person in Holland.

My lack of understanding of dining rooms must have shown in one of my school assignments. The assignment is to design a formal dining room for a family that likes to host dinner parties for 8 people and has a large budget, so I need to pick all high-end items. My instructor must have noticed my lack of vision for this assignment, as she kindly advised me to check out some formal dining rooms in House Beautiful, Elle Decor or Architectural Digest. I took this advice to heart and browsed the archives of all three of the magazines she suggested (thank God for the internet!).

I thought I’d share a few rooms that I came across that I liked. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a formal dining room myself, but I did enjoy looking at some rooms with a more traditional feel than I might normally like and choose to share. I think the ones I picked all have either a bit of an eclectic and collected feel or a bit of playfulness within the formal setting, which I always love.


{Room design: Gary McBournie, via House Beautiful}


{Room design: Betsy Burnham, via House Beautiful}


{Room Design: Shope Reno Wharton, Via Architectural Digest}


{Residence of Ralph Lauren, via Architectural Digest}


{Designer: Steven Gambrel, Photographer: Simon Upton, via Elle Decor}


Designer: Lili Abir Regen, Photographer: Pieter Estersohn , Elle Decor}

Do you have a dining room in your house? Is it formal or not so much?

Hope you week has started off well!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2011 1:39 am

    I do love formal dining rooms, I like the opulence, the luxury of having all that space used so little. If you have a separate dining room, usually it is not furnished with Ikea sttuff, so I love the importance of the furniture, of the chandeliers, the feeling of richness and surplus.
    I have a dining room, because I have a spare room. I use it as my working space, so there is a bookshelf that carries fabric and wool. The table is always submerged with pieces and bits and when I have to sit more than 4 people for dinner, I have to move all this out.
    I call this room: the playing room, but my daughter still calls it ‘the dining room’…

    • August 2, 2011 10:27 pm

      I love your take on dining rooms – I can see how having a special room can be nice. I love how yours has multiple uses!

  2. August 2, 2011 7:47 pm

    Hi Jadyn,
    At my last house we used the dining room as a library as well. Bookshelves were built all the way around, with the table in the middle. And we did eat there every night, loved being surrounded by all my books.

    • August 2, 2011 10:30 pm

      Deborah, that sounds so lovely! I love the idea of having books in a dining room.

  3. August 3, 2011 12:11 am

    Growing up, our dining room was always referred to as Grandma’s Second Sewing Room. We only used it for dining on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and not even every year. It’s also where the computer was, and I spent countless hours practicing piano in there, too.

    Formal dining is so not my style, but then again, formal in general isn’t either.

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