For homeowners in the 1950s and 1960s, formal dining rooms were fixtures in their homes. People’s lifestyles revolved around defined schedules, so mealtimes were more formal and structured. Food was cooked in the kitchen and eaten in the dining room, and after finishing the meal, the family retired to the living room.
In contrast, modern homeowners are accustomed to less structure and a more casual approach. Busy work schedules combined with busy school schedules contribute to the need for flexibility. Instead of having meals in a designated room, families often choose to eat in the kitchen, out on the patio, or while watching TV. As a result, the dining room is now used only for family gatherings and holiday celebrations, if it is used at all.
A survey from Angie’s List notes that while 77% of respondents have a dining room, only 23% regularly eat meals there. Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks notes that families still enjoy their meals together, but they eat in a different part of the house, such as in the kitchen or at the television in the family room. She says, ”It’s where they’re eating that’s changed the most, and that’s affecting home improvement. Remodelers and builders tell us they’re seeing a big spike in elaborate kitchen islands and more spacious kitchens that include tables and bar space.”
In place of the traditional dining room, homeowners are embracing eat-in kitchens that fit within an open floor plan. The key term defining this trend shift is “liveability.” People want their living spaces to be an extension of their lifestyle, and they appreciate an open setting that cultivates engagement and enables multi-tasking.
An award-winning custom home builder states, “An open floor plan is more than just the elimination of walls. It is creating an open, airy, space that encourages togetherness and flexibility in homes. Usually, open floor house plans combine the kitchen, dining area, and living space into what is called a “great room.” This means, one person can be cooking in the kitchen, another can be watching TV, and another doing homework at the kitchen island, all within view of one another. Open living spaces allow for greater communication between family members and guests, while older homes with small, separate rooms, are not conducive to social interactions or the lifestyles of families today.”
According to Better Homes & Gardens, “An eat-in kitchen is multitasking at its best. Not only does it provide a place for friends and family to hang out while dinner is being made, but an eat-in kitchen can also double as an additional food prep area. Plus, eat-in kitchens aren’t limited to one configuration or another. You can simply add a kitchen table and chairs to a breakfast nook or open floor space.”
Among the factors driving the move to eat-in kitchens is an emphasis on practicality and a desire for the family to be together. Homeowners can cater to both of these preferences by investing in a custom hardwood dining table, which will both stand the test of time and provide a setting where lasting memories can be made.
Whether homeowners choose a formal dining room or an eat-in kitchen, gathering around the dinner table continues to be a cherished part of mealtime traditions. David Duvall of Duvall & Co., a Wake Forest custom furniture maker, says, “We believe that a lot of special things happen around the table. It’s where you ask your spouse’s father for her hand in marriage, where you tell grandma and grandpa they were going to be grandparents for the first time, where you do homework with the kids. So many special things happen around the table. We feel like the table should be something special. It’s part of the family.”
The team at Duvall & Co. crafts custom hardwood tables that are built to last for generations. Each table is sealed with the highest grade commercial finishes that both protect the wood and enhance the natural beauty of the wood’s grain and color variations. Every piece is custom-built to order, allowing for an unlimited number of modifications.
For more information about custom dining tables in Wake Forest, NC, visit the Duvall & Co. website at duvallco.com. Contact the Design Studio by phone at (919) 925-4499 or by email at [email protected]