simple dining room picture

Several weeks ago, at the beginning of the Home series. I mentioned that I was going to take you on journey, to turn the place where you live into a home that you love. If you have been following along since the beginning? You’ll now be clearer about your design style and why taking the time to unclutter your home is a good thing. Now it’s time to put the knowledge you have uncovered into practice and start to turn your residence into a home. Putting some thought and effort into where you reside, provides that sense of belonging that helps transform your house into the home you love. Are you up for the challenge?

This week it’s all about the dining spaces in your homes, which used to be the core of every home. I know there will be some of you that don’t have a separate dining room or space in your home where you eat your meals. Preferring to eat your meals on the go, or on your lap while enjoying screen time. Some might say that this is purely just an age thing. However, I would suggest that it has more to do with the busyness of modern life and the design changes within our homes.

In the past, there was always someone at home during the day preparing meals, that everyone in the home would come together to eat, at least once each day. For many, this is not so anymore. Often, there is no one home during the day to prepare meals. Or, everyone comes and goes at various times, eating a fast food meal on the go.


With a move towards open living, many have decided that there is no longer a need for a separate dining room. Choosing, to allocate space within the living space for a dining table or seating at the kitchen bench. Then, there are those living in inner city apartments. Which, are often built without any consideration for a separate dining space, or suitable bench space to enable it to be used for dining.


The research shows, that choosing not to have a separate dining space or making the effort comes at a great cost to the residents of that home. It’s been proven that when people come together over food, they are more relaxed and inclined to take part in conversation. Without this opportunity, the relationships between the residents will cease to exist, along with any sense of belonging. Sitting at a table or bench rather than having it perched on your lap, has been shown to aide digestion and reduce the risk of obesity and other eating disorders. For those households with young children, it provides a space for them to do homework and other activities while being visible to others in the home. Sharing meals in a separate dining space, provides opportunities for the next generation to practice their communication skills and table manners. Having my own teenager in the house, I know how difficult it can be to get them to join you for a meal, and share in the conversation. However, the time and effort you put in to make this happen is well worth it. Because, the evidence shows that teens who spend time sharing a meal with their family are more likely to have greater self-confidence and do well at school. They are also, less likely to participate in anti-social behaviour or experience mental illness.



If your home has a separate dining space, it’s time to cast a critical eye over this area. Taking photographs of this space, so that you see this space as it really is. Then, ask yourself the following questions to provide a starting point for reinventing your dining area.

  1. Does this area match your newly developed design style?
  2. Is this space inviting and does it encourage you to use it?
  3. Does this space allow for everyone in the home to come together at meal times?
  4. Is the current dining furniture comfortable to sit at for lengthy periods of time?


If you don’t already have a dining space and can now see the value of incorporating one into your home, ask yourself the following questions to decide what kind of dining space would best suit your home.

  1. Where in your home would it be most suitable to have a dining space?
  2. In what style would you like this area to be?
  3. What type of furniture would best suit this space and accommodate everyone in the home?



Armed with all this information it’s time to take up the challenge and provide your home with a dining space that encourages you to make the time to share a meal with those in your universe.

  1. Remove everything from the space and give the area a good clean.
  2. Sort through all items that are currently in this space, removing any clutter along the way.
  3. If you don’t have a clear picture in your mind of how you would like this space to look. Spend some time in your favourite interiors stores, looking at magazines or on Pinterest getting some inspiration.
  4. Now it’s time to address any alarm bells that were set off, when answering the questions above. When doing this remember that it’s not about just throwing money at the project. It’s about thinking outside the square. Seeing what can be re-purposed from the things that were already in this space, or from somewhere else in your home?
  5. Once you have done all you can with what you have already have, it’s time to compile a wish list of things you would love to acquire when the time and budget allows.
  6. Take a photo of your newly transformed entrance way and compare it to what was there previously.
  7. Celebrate your achievements.
  8. Share the before and after photos on the Unclutter Your Universe Facebook and Instagram pages or add your comments in the section below.

Next week it’s all about the lounge room. If there is anything you would like me to discuss, drop me a line at [email protected]

Jenni XXX

  • I have a dining space but I only use it when I have visitors. Well, I use the indoor table when my mother visits and the outdoor table if I’m entertaining (which isn’t that much). Because it’s mostly just me I eat on the sofa, at my desk etc.

    Having said that I bought this house late last year and didn’t previously have a dining table so decided on something a bit retro – the tulip type table and those metal industrial chairs (all cheap, just from Ikea etc). But my table is under an old style chandelier so I think it works quite well – a mix of styles, if that makes sense.

    • Your dining table situated under the chandelier sounds lovely. I wish you would make the effort to use this space more often, even when it’s only you. You are worth the effort Deborah.

  • Sue Loncaric

    Hi Jenni! I think a dining space does bring family and friends together in a relaxed and happy atmosphere. My husband and I always sit at the dining table even when it is just the two of us. In Queensland it appears the ‘formal’ dining area is fading away for a more relaxed style. There is still a dining area off the kitchen and of course the balcony dining area but it is more relaxed than the formal dining areas of the 80s. Thanks for some tips we are currently renovating our apartment.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    • Sue,It’s brilliant that you make the effort to use your dining table. Enjoy the experience of renovating your apartment, make the most of the opportunity to stamp your personal style on the place.

  • Thank you for sharing again & linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week will be the last link up for a while. My blog post of this week explains the reason.

  • Alicia-OneMotherHen

    I love your action plan. A declutter is just what I need to do in our living spaces.

    • Glad you found it useful Alicia. I’d love to see your before and after pics posted to the Unclutter Your Universe instagram and facebook page.

  • Our dining area is open plan and adjoins the kitchen and family room, and is the heart of our home. Apart from being used for meals, and cups of tea with visitors, I usually have a jigsaw puzzle on the go … we had a formal dining room in a previous house and I think they’re a waste of space, we never used it!