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Formal Dining Room still Needed?

Q. I have always had a formal dining room table and buffet in the dining room. But with a changing lifestyle, I find that we never eat on the table and it is a magnet for junk.

The buffet stores tablecloths and the like which we rarely use anymore. Is it crazy to consider getting rid of these dining room basics?

A. When we moved to our retirement home three years ago, I designed the dining room to be a casual seating space since the view to the outside was so great.

I collapsed the dining table to a square (which can be pulled out to seat 10 if needed). The likelihood of seating that many people for dinner is rare due to the lifestyle change we had--our children moving across the United States. This seating area has worked out great.

Perhaps you can make the table a pseudo desk or game table that could be called into service if necessary. Or, you could trade your table for a drop leaf that would be able to serve as a lamp table or buffet for small, casual entertaining.

Essentially, it is your home. It is necessary for you to do what meets your needs.

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Reita Bayman

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