Has the Formal Dining Room Passed its Prime?

In the real estate section of a recent issue of the Indianapolis Star, a reader posed a question about the usefulness of formal dining rooms. In many new home plans it seems that the formal dining room is being replaced by open and flowing floor plans with connected kitchens and dining areas.

Writer Rose Bennett Gilbert answers, "With our daily lives increasingly busy, and therefore more casual these days, it makes sense to gather the whole family in one place for meals, relating and relaxing. On the other hand, these increasingly busy times are leading many other families to rediscover the importance of sitting down around the dinner table to eat. There are many ways to preserve that ritual, and they don't all depend on walls that physically separate the kitchen from the dining room...even where there is no wall, you still can find a way to the lifestyle you envision, whether it's truly casual or totally 'proper.'"

The choice to have a formal dining room depends on your lifestyle and needs. Think about your family and the best way to gather for time together, whether that means a sit-down dinner around the dining room table or a casual meal around the TV in the family room.

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