skip to Main Content

Dining Room or Kitchen-Diner: The Pros and Cons

Just 20 or 30 years ago, most houses offered similar set ups: You’d have both a kitchen for preparing the food and a dining room for actually consuming the food. While dining rooms are often considered more formal options now, they were once standard in most homes. Fast-forward a few years, and the way that we eat and spend time with families has changed drastically. While some families are still gunning for a formal dining room, it’s simply not necessary for others. Whether you’re building or remodeling, decide whether a dining room or an eat-in style kitchen is best for your needs and your family.



The space you’re working with might dictate whether or not a dining room is a feasible option for you. In the past, homes had more rooms that were smaller in size, but modern homes usually have a more open concept feel. If you have the space, a formal dining room might make sense. If you’re sacrificing a more spacious living room or bigger kitchen for the privilege, however, you might decide to give the square footage to other rooms and choose an eat-in style kitchen instead. While you can play around with the configuration, remember that a dining room will eat up space. If you have the footage, great. If not, it may be better spent elsewhere.


The way you and your family spends most of their time will also have a bearing on which type of dining situation is right for you. If you’re regularly in charge of formal meals – think Thanksgiving and Christmas—you might be dying to pull out the china and set up the formal dining room. A more casual family might be more into the idea of cooking, serving and eating all within the same room. Think about your family’s lifestyle: Are you the type to set out napkins and glassware at each meal, or are you more comfortable eating from older plates and serving food directly in the kitchen? More casual families may not have a need for a dining room at all.

Home Atmosphere

What do you want your home to say about you? That’s one of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself as you choose between an eat-in kitchen or a more formal dining room setup. If you prefer your home to have a more traditional feeling, you might want to spring for the formal dining room – maybe you even had one as a child that you’d like to emulate. If you’re going for a more open, modern and airy feel, ditching the formal dining room for a bright, large kitchen might be more your speed. Consider the architecture and design of the home as well, since traditional, Georgian and ranch-style homes often look best with dining rooms, while modern architecture and craftsman-style homes usually focus more on the kitchen.

Design Elements

Finally, the design elements in your home come into play before you make your final decision on whether you want a dining room or a diner kitchen. If you’re a world class cook who spends most of your time in the kitchen, you might prefer to use the space for professional appliances and a huge workspace. On the other hand, if you have family heirlooms that you want displayed or wedding china you want to use, a dining room makes more sense.

The beauty of designing your own space is the fact that you’ll get exactly what you want. Whether it’s a formal space for holidays and spending time with your family you want, or you’d rather congregate in the kitchen, you can design the right rooms for you and your loved ones.

Kitchen Design Consultation