House For Six

From Dining Room To Play Room...and Back Again

Deme Crinion2 Comments

Welp.  Call me wishy-washy or indecisive, but I'm waffling about dedicating our formal dining room to play and homework vs. sit down dinners.  Mostly because we've finally had a chance to host some friends and cramming everyone around the table in our family room felt a little awkward.

I'm also not a fan of Liv playing in there, because I can't really see her (and all the safety hazards she's getting into). #hellosharpenedpencils While we opened up most of the floor plan on the main level, this room is still fairly sectioned off. As I've been attempting to take stock and organize the kids school/craft supplies I've also noticed they haven't needed to use them nearly as often as I thought they would.  

I gave you a better look at the room over on Insta-stories this morning.  I basically pumped the brakes on going forward with any playroom set-up and started paying attention to how we actually use that room.  

Some observations....

1.  The kids use the computer desk daily for homework, and never use the round table.  That may be due to the fact that it's covered with crap and has no chairs, but still.  They've never asked or had a desire to use the table and there's a built-in deck in each of their bedrooms.

2.  Liv rarely plays in there.  When she does it's not for very long and she's usually getting into random school supplies or creating a disaster of some sort.  She prefers to play near us and I prefer being able to see her.

3.  I love the black wall.  The rest of the downstairs is very light and neutral, and I really love having a room with a bit more drama.  The room gets a ton of natural light so it never feels dark in there despite the dark color.

4. No matter the size of the gathering, every time we've hosted friends, I've found myself wishing for a better dining space for people to eat and chat comfortably.

Some conclusions......

1.  The computer desk needs to stay on the main level but not necessarily in that room. 

2. We don't need as much storage for school supplies as I thought, and they need to be stored higher so the curious (and agile) toddler can't access them.

3. Liv's play area needs to be relocated someplace that I can see while working in the main areas of the house. 

4. It's OK to want a grown up space.  Even though we have 4 kids, the need for dining space is greater than play and homework space since they have plenty of that in other areas of the house.

Some inspiration....

I love the black chalkboard wall so much, I'm thinking about going black with the other three walls (not chalkboard though).  We have a wood buffet that we scored off craigslist a couple years ago and I think it would look fantastic against a dark wall.  Sooooo, I went Pinteresting and these are a few rooms that caught my eye:

via

So what do you think?  Keep the black wall?  Just as an accent or go dark with the whole room? Or maybe I'll keep the single chalkboard wall/white remaining walls and go black with the trim.  Oh the possibilities!  Do you have and use a formal dining room? How about dark walls - love them or hate them? I still miss our navy walls from the last house!