Our kitchens see more traffic and more use, perhaps, than any other room in the house. This is especially the case with busy families. The kitchen has become central not only in our homes, but in our home life. We are spending more and more time in the kitchen. It is where we cook, congregate, work, entertain, discuss the day’s events, plan future engagements and pay bills. We also happen to eat in here. Our kitchens are outfitted with music and television sets and this space has become a true living room. Today’s kitchens are larger than those of years past and often have more than one seating area. It is not uncommon to see both an island surrounded with chairs and a separate space large enough to fit a table and several chairs. With two eating areas is there really a need for another?
With the rising costs of living and a poor economy, many young people cannot afford to live on their home. It is becoming more and more common for today’s youth, after finishing university, to move back home while they look for work and to try to save a little money. In addition to this, as our population ages and is living longer, many elders are moving in with their children as well, making many homes multi-generational and redefining the term modern family. For these families more living space is therefore needed as opposed to the need for a separate dining area.
Many Americans and most Europeans live in homes and apartments too small for separate dining areas. For those residing in apartments, lofts and smaller homes, the kitchen is, once again, the center of the home for entertaining as well as dining purposes. In lofts with open floor plans, large farm tables are often central to the space. Much in the same way a kitchen table has become multi-functional, these have as well, providing hours of family meals, and entertainment as well as a place for homework, crafts and board games.
Those who grew up with traditional dining rooms, with memories of great holiday meals, loud, boisterous and energetic family get togethers may want to continue with tradition and pass this down to future generations. While some view these rooms as a waste of valuable space, others prefer to hang tight to these rooms, even if they are only used a handful of times a year. It’s about preference, lifestyle and choice. In an informal poll, about half the people responded to preferring a separate, closed off dining room with the other half preferring a specified dining space, but not in a separate, closed off space.
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