Every time I design the interior of a dwelling, one of the exciting areas I love to spend my time designing on is the dining room. Dining room, or dining area if I may say, has its own magic if compared to the other rooms, even if the least furniture which should be there are only a dining table and dining chairs. Add a cabinet and pretty pendant lamp or some decorations, it is already plenty.
Apart from my job that is to design based on user needs, this particular room always sparks many thoughts inside my head. I wonder how would the user spend their time there. Did the family always have a scheduled meal together? Or did their work prevent them to eat dinner with a whole family member? Do I really need to put six chairs for the newlyweds? If they celebrate big days, who would they invite as guests for the feast?
Honestly, sometimes we failed at the data collection stage because it didn’t contain details like what I questioned above. But to be fair, I seldom question that much even when I design the living room, despite the fact that both rooms are considered public spaces.
Dining area is the axis in which every family member orbits around it. Dining area is the only area that is consciously and purposely designed for everyone to face each other without any distraction. Many ideas and thoughts circulate there, as if the warmth of the household meals is transferred as new energy that we could feel when we had a conversation.
You may not feel it if conversation in the dining room is your daily situation. However, speaking as someone from a family who didn’t allocate the space for a specific dining area in their house, trust me; a dining room does affect user’s behaviour. Moreover, if used properly; eat together at the same time.
When asked what does a nice dining room look like, I can firmly answer that there is no answer. Because in the end, it returns to what habits the user does every day and to what extent they are willing to compromise to get used to new habits to use the dining room properly.