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!
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!
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.
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!
CREATING A MULTIPURPOSE SPACE IN A SMALL DINING ROOM AND PLAYROOM
– PLAN IT –
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.
“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:
- A dining table with seating for ten while still being able to use the room for play or large parties
- Toy storage accessible to children, and simple to use for quick clean-up
- Safe storage for china and crystal NOT within reach of children
- Multi-functional lighting
- Colorful artwork – A plate wall and other playful artwork
- Quirky, whimsical room accents
– FURNISH IT –
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.
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.
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.
Carriage style lighting provides a bit of a pendant look while still keeping it neutral.
– STORE IT –
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.
The lower cabinets hold favorite games and buckets of toys.
Upholstered storage benches on casters act as both significant toy storage and window seating when not in use.
The same benches quickly move into place on casters when dining table seating is needed.
– KID-PROOF IT –
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!
– STYLE IT –
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.
Fun, whimsical accents intermingle with family heirlooms for a truly eclectic feel against the bold blue background of the built-ins.
Cheerful artwork plays nicely against more serious, colorful abstract prints and patterns.
– LOVE IT –
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!
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.
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