The formal dining room used to be an essential room a few decades ago, but now, for many families, the dining room is only used on special occasions.  As living space becomes more precious, many families are exploring ways to easily transform the dining room to suit their needs.  The dining room table and chairs are now being used for more than just Thanksgiving dinner. Here are 5 ideas for transforming your dining room into a multi-purpose living space.

Dining Room/Library – Take the pictures off the long wall and add some tall bookcases. Choose a style that compliments your existing furniture.  It’s a good idea to be picky about just what ends up in the bookcases if you want to maintain a more formal ambiance.  With a little effort, the bookshelves will add a sense of grandeur and allow everyone to use the dining room a lot more.

Dining Room/Office – This can work with the right desk.  If you place a roll-top desk or a secretary desk with a fold-down lid, it’s relatively easy to transform your office space into a dining space without moving the furniture.  Try to match wood colors and styles of the desk with the buffet, breakfront, and table.

Formal/Informal Dining Room – Many folks have a beautiful dining room but eat most of their meals in a crowded kitchen.  If you’d like to use your dining room more, but feel it’s too formal for everyday dining, consider shrinking your table. Formal dining tables with extensions make it easy to adjust your space to suit your needs.  Try keeping the table small during the week and only add the table leaves as you need them.

Dining Room/Craft Center – If you love doing artwork or making handcrafted pieces, consider using your sideboard for storage and the buffet for the good dishes.  During the week, cover the table and get creative.  It will be easier to keep things neat and convert the room back to a dining room if storage is only an arm’s length away.