Category: PLAYROOM

Lighting Choices For a Multi-purpose Dining Room

Hi, all! What is up with this weather? I don’t remember a May that was this chilly and wet – I nearly pulled out my tall boots yesterday, and those boots were not rainboots. #fashionblasphemy
Still, we enjoyed a busy but fun weekend full of dance recital rehearsals as well as shows and choral shows. The choral show was at Kings Dominion, and although it was raining, we still managed to fit in lots of mischief late into the day. We ended a splendid time with a yummy funnel cake! #stillfull
Now it’s back to Monday!

You may remember, that we recently completed our multi-purpose play/dining room. In any multi-purpose room, it can be a bit tricky to choose accents that will work in all ways that the room does. Lighting is one of those accents. Lighting encompasses more than just overhead or ambient lighting, and I am no expert, I just know what I like and what looks good to me and what is pleasing to my eye.
The lighting in our play/dining room was relatively simple to tackle. We needed mostly ambient lighting with a bit of task lighting. The ambient fixture was required to be sophisticated and yet still have a fun element to it. It also needed to be interesting in its own right, as it would be acting as the focal point of the room more often than a compliment to the table. It couldn’t be too “chandelier-ish” when the room was acting as a playroom but had to be “chandelier-ish” when the room was serving as a dining room. I was looking for a pendant with presence, but one that would also not hang too low so that most people could walk underneath it. Tall order, right.. or is that short order?
No matter what the order, LampsPlus came to the rescue.
LampsPlus had more than a few sophisticated-fun-interesting-abitchandelierish-perfectly-sized pendant lights for me to choose from all at various price points!
My choice? The Astrapia 13″ Wide Rubbed Sienna 4-Light Foyer Pendant. It was all I needed – It is sophisticated, fun, interesting, a bit chandelier-ish, and it has presence, all in a perfectly sized large pendant. It is truly perfect for my room in my eyes.
Astrapia 13″ Wide Rubbed Sienna 4-Light Foyer Pendant
Here are some others that I had on my list of maybes.

Carolyn Kinder Ovala 3-Light Pendant Chandelier |Charleston 13 1/2″ Wide Clear Glass Pendant

Crystal Clear 14 3/4″W Polished Nickel 4-Light Pendant|

Crystorama Solaris 22 1/2″ Wide Olde Silver Pendant

Cuthbert White Glass 15″ Wide Black Iron Star Pendant | Dunnell 18 3/4″ Wide Bronze Foyer Chandelier
Elements 18 1/4″ Wide Charcoal 6-Light Pendant | Hinkley Fulton 22″ Wide Bronze Entry Pendant
Hudson Valley Lynden 22″ Wide Aged Brass Pendant | Hudson Valley Washington 20″ Wide Aged Brass Pendant Light
Hudson Valley Roundout 23″W Polished Nickel Pendant Light | Maxim Bodega Bay 36 1/2″ Wide 6-Light Anthracite Pendant
Metal Lattice 4-Light 20 1/4″ Wide Bronze Pendant Light | Metal Lattice 4-Light 20 1/4″ Wide Bronze Pendant Light
Uttermost Albiano Drum 1-Light Pendant | Maxim Horgen 23 1/2″W Uddo 1-Light Entry Foyer Pendant

Whatever your choice, LampsPlus has you covered with a terrific selection of ambient lighting options with prices to match every budget!

Pin for later: Multi-Purpose Room Lighting Options


multi-purpose dining room_GETTHELOOK

Dining/Play Room – Get the Look!

If you’re like me, you want to make the most of ALL the spaces in your home which sometimes means having a room pull double-duty. With a bit of creativity and proper planning, we created a functional, beautiful, multipurpose dining room/playroom that meets both our dream-hostessing needs as well as our crazy kids’ wishes. It’s a win-win!
multipurpose dining room - after
knock it off kim get the look

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Small Dining Room Ideas for Multipurpose Living

Look here for ideas to turn your small dining room into a multi-use dining room/playroom combination, ideal for today’s multipurpose living, and learn how we transformed our space in just six weeks!

Multipurpose Dining Room

Whether or not you are lucky enough to be hosting frequent dinner parties, your small dining room is usually a mostly un-used space in your home. If you’re like me, you want to make the most of ALL the spaces in your home which sometimes means having a room pull double-duty. For example, your small dining room can function as both a formal room and a playroom for your kids. With a bit of creativity and proper planning, you can create a functional, beautiful, dining room/playroom that meets both your dream-hostessing needs as well as your crazy kids, as we did during the most recent One Room Challenge hosted by Calling it Home. Come on! I’ll show you!

multipurpose dining room - after

If you’re looking for the shopping guide for this room, you can find that HERE.

multi-purpose dining room_GETTHELOOK

Our home is average in size and traditionally designed, meaning we do not have an open concept, large roomed design. And, as much as I love a formal dining room and dream of hosting glamorous dinner parties complete with sparkling cocktails and titillating conversation, dinner parties aren’t the norm in my life.

Multipurpose Dining Room - Before

Instead, our dining room sits empty, collecting dust throughout the year except for special occasions – or at least it did until my youngest son discovered the peace that was the never-used dining room and started migrating his toys in there. In a hot second, we went from an out-dated, dusty, formal dining room to a very messy, dirty everything room with no rhyme or reason. I can’t say I was upset that the place had life in it, but the mess told me it was time for a change – a multipurpose room change! 


Multipurpose Dining Room - With Toys




Many of the rooms in my house serve as multi-purpose spaces. To design these spaces, and ensure I’m getting the most out of my home, I use a simple process that helps me to define what my goals are and how I’m going to reach them. I find it to be a handy tool – so useful, in fact, that I wanted to share it with you! Click here to download a free copy of the “Creating a Multipurpose Room” Guide that will help you reach your multi-purpose room goals!

For ALL the details on my plan, click HERE.

Feature_Multi-purpose dining room plan

“To create a fun playroom that occasionally functions as a full, formal dining room, with a casual, eclectic style, full of whimsy and color to appeal to kids but not so juvenile that it would feel like Romper Room during Christmas dinner. 

Naturally, a playroom and a small dining room function very differently which is where the challenge came in. Our needs included:

Dining Room Makeover


Flexible, multi-purpose furniture played a massive part in this make-over – especially our custom multi-functional table, inspired by this one. To keep the budget low, we DIY’d the table, the built-ins and much of the wall art.

multipurpose dining room - dining table 5

When the table is not in use, we arrange the chairs around the room, and the table moves back against the wall, leaving a large open area in the center of the room for play. In this location, the table serves as either a buffet or a large, flat play space. With its rustic appearance, there is no worry of marring the finish with rough play – the more weathered the surface, the better.

multipurpose dining room - open space

When it’s time to serve Christmas dinner, the table moves to the center of the room, and the table tops flip out to reveal its full-size, with comfortable seating for 10.

multipurpose dining room - benches at table

Carriage style lighting provides a bit of a pendant look while still keeping it neutral.


DIY Built-ins made from salvaged upper kitchen cabinets make not only an attractive focal point and showcase for decorative items but also provide much of the storage in the room for both toys, serving dishes and dining linens.multipurpose dining room - built ins

The lower cabinets hold favorite games and buckets of toys.

multipurpose dining room - playroom-storage toys

Upholstered storage benches on casters act as both significant toy storage and window seating when not in use.

multipurpose dining room - benches closed

multipurpose dining room - storage benches

The same benches quickly move into place on casters when dining table seating is needed.

multipurpose dining room - benches at table



China is stored high, out of reach of little hands and cabinets “not for kids” contain child-safety locks. Window coverings are cordless for safety – because you know if there is a cord my kid WILL put it around his neck!

multipurpose dining room - builtins china



To bring the colorful, playful, eclectic feel I was after into the room; I relied heavily on artwork, throw pillows and unique home accents to contrast against the mostly neutral furnishings and wall-paint color.

multipurpose dining room - book cart

Feature_Felt pillow Tutorial

Fun, whimsical accents intermingle with family heirlooms for a truly eclectic feel against the bold blue background of the built-ins.

multipurpose dining room - accentselephantplant

Cheerful artwork plays nicely against more serious, colorful abstract prints and patterns.

multipurpose dining room - carnival prints

decorative plates - decorative plate wall


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Kids love imagining and reimagining in this space. Our friends like the opportunity to spread out during parties. Our entire family loves a place to enjoy our most precious holiday moments together. This small dining room is precisely what this family needed for today’s multi-purpose living!

multipurpose dining room - imagining

dining room_makeover_header

A six-week makeover was way more work than I expected. I couldn’t have gotten half as much done without the help of my entire family, my husband especially. This project was a joint effort! Thank you and much love to him and all the rest of my family.

Thank you to Linda, of Calling it Home, for putting together the One Room Challenge. And, special thanks to LampsPlus for sponsoring this post.

And thank you to YOU, for following along with me, and all of your encouragement along the way. Be sure to check back next Thursday for a full source list!  As for now, if you need me, I’ll be napping and catching up on a little bit of laundry. We may or not be running short of socks!

Pin me for later: Dining/Play Room – The Big Reveal

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