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Do you use your formal dining room?


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We have been using our sunroom as a schoolroom and it is sufficient for just a table and some bookshelves.

 

However, I am looking at our large dining room that rarely gets used other than when guests come or we plan a board game, and thinking I would really prefer to move our school room into there.

 

It would allow us space to have computers in there, moving our schoolroom (a bedroom) AND our office into there, creating a usable bedroom area and a dining room of sorts in our sunroom.

 

DH is against it because:

 

1. It means more work for him to help me move stuff around.

2. We plan to sell the house and need to stage it....but we aren't even listing it until Spring of 2012! That is at least 15 months-18 months away.

 

So, how many of you use your formal dining room as a schoolroom?

 

Anyone?

 

I haven't talked more to DH about it, he just kind of baulked at the idea several months ago when it was brought up.

 

Dawn

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We do schoolwork in our dining room, but it is still set up as a formal dining room. All the books and materials are in what we call the schoolroom (it's not big enough for more than one student to use it for school work).

 

So, we do use our dining room for school, but everything can be put away in a few minutes so that we have a formal dining room again. :)

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Our formal dining room is used as a library/reading/research/game room. The walls are lined with books and I have a large dining room table in the middle. We use the table for reading and researching. We also play family games there and on the rare occassion we have company we will use it for a formal dinner. We are pretty happy with this and have kept this configuration and usage through several homes over the past twelve years or so. Once our formal dining room wasn't large enough to accomadate this so we used the formal living room for this function as well and then used the den as a living room. The formal dining room became the office. Currently the loft is the living rooma and we have two offices. Our current formal living room is a music room. we are very big on making the spaces work for us instead of what they were originally intended for.

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Guest RecumbentHeart

I personally would love to have that many rooms in my house to choose from lol I don't .. however .. I have seen other people using their formal dining rooms as school rooms including some pictures from people on this forum in one of the recent school room picture threads. I love rearranging furniture and would help if I could :D Oh wait .. you're local .. I should only say that if I really mean it :lol:

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My formal dining room has never been used as such. First it was my office and now it is our classroom. We took the chandelier out and put up a ceiling fan. We just aren't formal dining room people - we eat in the kitchen or around the coffee table in the family room.

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Our dining room never had a chance to be a dining room. :lol: It has always been a family room. We didn't have formal dining furniture and wouldn't really use it if we did, so we turned it into something we would use.

 

I think you should use it as a school room now, if that is what you want to do. You can always "stage" it later, especially since that later is at least 15 months away. Live for the now!! :)

 

I'm not sure how it is set up now, but you may not have to move out the furniture. You could store things in the china cabinet/hutch if you have one. Use the table for school work and project, and then add anything else in that you need to.

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We sold a house that we were using the dining room as a school room. No-one ever commented on it and the relator said it was not an issue. In our new house, we put built in book shelves and double doors in the space between the formal living room and the formal dinning room. The formal living room became a game room with a casual table and chairs and the formal dinning room became an office.

 

I know another family that puts plastic over the dinning room table during the school week and packs everything away for the weekend. They have company over for Friday and Sunday dinner and there is not a book in sight.

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HA! Yes, be careful what you say! :D

 

Dawn

 

I personally would love to have that many rooms in my house to choose from lol I don't .. however .. I have seen other people using their formal dining rooms as school rooms including some pictures from people on this forum in one of the recent school room picture threads. I love rearranging furniture and would help if I could :D Oh wait .. you're local .. I should only say that if I really mean it :lol:
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OUr formal dining room is rather small so we pushed the old farmhouse table we had into the corner with a couple of chairs for a work area. We also put a couple of big bookshelves for all of our schoolbooks. There is an old recliner with a light for reading. It is our designated quiet zone and we've dubbed it our library. The "library" is only for quiet work. No one gets to race around, sing, or do noisy play or work. We FINALLY have one place in the house that someone can work on a tough thinking assignment without having to constantly bellow, "Mom! I can't think because x, y, or z is too loud!" Or, I can play math games with the younger two in the kitchen without the older one spending her time listening in to what we are doing to see if it is more interesting than her work!

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Our dining room was a playroom for about 3 years. We recently emptied it, and we were going to make it a cozy sitting room because it receives great sunlight. However, we recently decided to turn it into our school room because of the great natural light. I'm excited! We don't need a formal dining area as we are not ones to entertain, so for us, it's wasted space if we use it as its intended purpose.

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Our dining room is the first thing you see from our front door. So when we schooled in our dining room I decided to store our school items in the den, across the hall.

 

My kids used a crate to keep their school items. The crates were left out M-F and put away in the den for the weekend. My teacher manuals were kept on a rolling cart that was also store in the den for the weekend. We kept maps and charts on the table, covered by a clear plastic table cloth. I kept our everyday school supplies in a shower caddy that was also stored in the den for the weekend.

 

It worked great for us.

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Thanks all.

 

I will clear off the dining room table today and take the leaf out (with the leaf it seats 8-10) and arrange a bit and see what I come up with. We have no china cabinet. Sore subject, don't bring it up! :lol: But maybe it is a good thing in this situation.

 

I wouldn't necessarily need to move all the books, BUT, I would like to move the office table and hutch and all the computers into the dining room area, creating another bedroom on the lower level.

 

Dawn

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Yes! We used to use it more for school than eating. I had a white board in there and the kids book shelf and supply cart. We would still eat in there for holidays, but normal meals would be crammed around the smaller kitchen table. Now I have rearranged everything and we eat in there for every meal. We also do math in between, but I am SO enjoying my dining room now.

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Our formal dining room is more for schoolroom storage. One day it'll be the school room. Our first one was upstairs in the bonus room above the garage but I'm way too cheap to keep running the heater up there so we just kept bringing everything downstairs. So for now we've got a couple of moving boxes and all of our homeschooling stuff but we use the living room anyway. One day I'll organize it and it'll be a real homeschool room.

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Our dining room has never been a school room. That would be a major waste of space for us....we would absolutely never use it for dining. It was previously used as a playroom. Now we have a bedroom as the playroom and the dining room houses our computers, as well as a sitting area.

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A dining room has been the biggest waste of space both times we've had one. However, my dh loves the idea of a dining room and would be adamantly opposed to it being used for anything else. He knows that if we school in the kitchen, everything will be put away daily. That wouldn't happen in the dining room.

 

Your dh's "reasons" may seem silly to some of us, but if he's like my dh, he definitely has his reasons for wanting to dining room to remain just that. :001_smile:

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I will add that DH is finishing off our basement right now. He is drywalling it.

 

Once that is finished, some of our issues will be solved....I won't move the schoolroom down there, but we will have storage areas and I can move some of this STUFF down there that is cluttering up our living space areas.

 

We have another issue to figure out.....bedrooms! I have all 3 boys in one bedroom right now but my oldest is turning into a teenager this week and I have vowed to let them have more of their own spaces.

 

We have bedrooms, they are just being used for other things right now. Again, once the basement is finished.....

 

Dawn

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Guest CarolineUK

Yes, our dining room is our main school room. The dining table is covered with plywood and two table cloths to protect it and is covered with school books. Our box of RS maths manipulatives is on the floor in the corner, half the bookshelves in there are full of school books and science equipment, and we also have two pianos, a cornet and a trombone in there (it is a big room - 25' x 17'). We used to use it a lot when we had people to dinner, but again, that was before we homeschooled, when I had some energy and enthusiasm for such things. We did move everything (not the pianos, obviously) just before Christmas because we had a drinks party on Christmas eve, and I must say I rather appreciated the opportunity to sort through everything and reorganise. We do also use the kitchen as a school room too though, we keep all the art materials in there and sometimes I just need to separate DS6 and DS9 so that they don't distract each other. Also, our computer is in the sitting room, so sometimes one will work at the computer in there.

 

Moving furniture isn't such a big deal once you get started, and a year or so is a long time to enjoy it before you have to get ready for selling.

 

Have fun :D.

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We have always homeschooled in the dining room.

 

Our floor plan is L shaped with two open rooms on each leg. On the long arm there is the living room and dining room. On the short leg, the kitchen and family room. (We also have a large bonus room upstairs).

 

We used the rooms in a traditional format for years, but towards the end of homeschooling we did move things around a bit. We switched the dining room chandelier with the family room light fixture. This made it so that the living room/family room were one long room. We kept one sitting set of furniture and TV, but the room now houses our piano, desk, book cases etc. The other leg is now kitchen and dining room. The room is large for a dining room so it also has another desk, bookcases and dd4's toys.

 

We used this room for homeschooling at the end of our journey. We had the large table and desk, book cases for supplies. It was nice to have more room to spread out, and for us, it meant that we didn't have all the homeschool mess in the main room of the house.

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It would allow us space to have computers in there, moving our schoolroom (a bedroom) AND our office into there, creating a usable bedroom area and a dining room of sorts in our sunroom.

 

 

This sounds really nice to me! How would the sunroom work for a dining room? (I'm guessing you also have an eat-in-kitchen for dining most days?)

 

We technically have a formal dining room in our house, but we didn't even set it up as such; we made it the playroom. (Then we made a small front room next to the playroom the living room, and the larger living room the schoolroom; it had a terrible flow for a living room but works beautifully as a school/art room). We have a large kitchen, the "country kitchen" sort, and it has plenty of room for our large dining room table -- maybe slightly tight when we have both extra leaves in it and lots of company, but it works (and that's really rare anyway, maybe twice in four years). We just eat all meals at that table and dress it up with formal tablecloths and such as needed. This arrangement totally works for us, and the schoolroom gets used a lot, for most schoolwork, but also art projects, puzzles, etc. I vote for doing whatever works best for the majority of the things you do.

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Our sunroom is quite large. I have pictures on that "show your schoolroom" thread. We have a table that seats 6 in here already as well as bookshelves and some room to spare.

 

Our kitchen has a counter space eat in. It is a funky layout and I really don't like it. It is large and has room for a table, but the area needed is the major pass through area making it VERY awkward for a table.

 

We thought perhaps that used to be the end of the house and then they opened up that wall to put in the sunroom. Not sure. But that would make more sense than the large unusable space there.

 

Dawn

 

This sounds really nice to me! How would the sunroom work for a dining room? (I'm guessing you also have an eat-in-kitchen for dining most days?)

 

We technically have a formal dining room in our house, but we didn't even set it up as such; we made it the playroom. (Then we made a small front room next to the playroom the living room, and the larger living room the schoolroom; it had a terrible flow for a living room but works beautifully as a school/art room). We have a large kitchen, the "country kitchen" sort, and it has plenty of room for our large dining room table -- maybe slightly tight when we have both extra leaves in it and lots of company, but it works (and that's really rare anyway, maybe twice in four years). We just eat all meals at that table and dress it up with formal tablecloths and such as needed. This arrangement totally works for us, and the schoolroom gets used a lot, for most schoolwork, but also art projects, puzzles, etc. I vote for doing whatever works best for the majority of the things you do.

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I think your situation is all about a philosophy of how to live and a matter of physical work.

 

1st issue:

 

My philosophy is, "Live in the present." If you presently need the dr for an office/school room, then use it that way. Just because a year and a half from now you'll have to change it back doesn't change the fact that you need the space now. Live in the present.

 

2nd issue:

 

Sounds like DH would have to do a lot of heavy lifting to move beds and tables and desks and bookcases, etc. I can see where he doesn't want to do it. That's something you'll have to work out together.

 

 

It doesn't really matter what the rest of us do with our dining rooms, but it has been fun to read what everyone does!

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We have always used the formal dining room in this house as a school room. It's decked out with bookshelves, maps and such on the walls, children's art, and a large school table.

 

We are moving next weekend, and that house has just one dining room, so it will pulling double duty but will have to look like a dining room rather than a school room.

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Our formal dining/living combo area is our school room. Dh never moves furniture, I do it myself and do it frequently. Even when it comes to rearranging the kitchen cabinets, no wonder the poor guy can't find anything - LOL.

 

Make the house functional for you while you are in it. When/if it goes on the market, then you will need to stage it to be used how it was intended.

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Well when we built this house the plans originally had labelled a living room and dining room, in addition to the dining room-sized breakfast area just off the kitchen and a den. The dining room became the home theater and the living room became the game room when the local architect had at it. :) The game room has also become the school room and my office. A bit tight, but it makes us keep the place tidy.

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My older son took over my dining room for a while, but it is the first room you see from the front door of our house and I didn't like it at all. We always have piles of books everywhere, LOL! I dedicated our bonus room, upstairs, at the end of the hall, for school for many years. It got everything together and out of sight of company.

 

We took the leaves out of our table a year ago to make it smaller, moved things around and put a piano in our dining room for my younger son. The room gets more use now, but is not messy as it was when a school room....

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Haven't read the responses!

 

We use our dining room as our school room. We have a large dining room table that we work at and a buffet for storage. We also have several bookshelves and the walls have stuff all over them.

 

When we need to use the room as a dining room, I clean off the table and we use it!

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We use our formal dining room every day... for dining. We use the kitchen table for snacks or a quick lunch, but "real" meals are in the dining room.

 

It seemed stupid to have all that nice furniture, and only use it on holidays, so one day I just started serving meals in there.

 

Cat

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Our formal dining room looks like a formal dining room with the exception of two bookshelves (and the piles of paper that are there right now.) We use it for dinner when we have more than one person for company since our kitchen only seats 6. We use it for school during the week. I use it as a sewing room when I have a project in the works. So, yes, we use it. I don't have a "school room" because we don't like to be limited like that. My kids like their own space and often will seek out their respective quiet corners to do their work.

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Our formal dining room is definitely a schoolroom/office that we occasionally eat in which amounts to the 2-3 times a year we have a sit down dinner with friends. Most often we entertain in very casual potlucks and we put the food on the table. Our living room serves as our dining, family and everything room.

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Our dining room has always been our schoolroom. We have a smalish dining table in there with six comfy dining chairs (I had them recovered with extra thick, high-density foam). Two computer desks and five sets of bookshelves line the walls. I wish it were more removed from the main living area, but I guess I can't have everything. :)

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We have a very open floorplan, with the living area, kitchen, breakfast area and dining area open to each other. All of the homeschool materials are in our dining room area. It took some convincing to get dh to move out the dining room table (out of the house, that is...), but it is a good use of space for us. That said, we mostly school on the couch. :001_smile: But the materials need a place to "live", and we have a six foot table set up in that area.

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Our dining room is our schoolroom!

 

We have a huge pine table which has plenty of room for all of the kids to work at the same time. I keep all of my books and supplies in the large matching hutch.

 

I have a computer desk in there as well, against one wall, for any computer work that needs to be done, and my hubby painted a section of another wall with the chalkboard paint so I have a chalkboard, too.

 

So, yes, with the books and maps and other things, it doesn't look like a dining room, but it works for us!

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  • 4 months later...

I moved our dining table into the kitchen and made the dining room into a music room. I have decided that you have to use your space the way that works best for you. I didn't want to dedicate an area to something that happens 10-12 times a year (using dining room) when I could be benefitting 100% of the time.

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Before we moved in, we installed lovely french doors and a beautiful transom window in both the doorways to the space that was intended to be the formal dining room. (We had to rebuild the doorways, sheetrock, and re-plaster.)

 

We intended that room to be used as a study, and it has seen a lot of use for that, but now it is set up as more of a guest room. I have curtains that I can throw over the glass in the french doors, and--voila--privacy! :)

 

If I needed a school room, I'd do it in a heartbeat. (Truth is, my last kid like to study all over the house. The eldest two (young adults) prefer their rooms.)

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We are moving into our house, and probably for the next school year, our school room will be in the dining room (it will be in the basement for the long term, but we don't have sufficient lighting or electrical, and it won't be finished enough to use until we do). Most of our books will actually be in the basement, but we will have a couple of bookshelves in the dining room for what we're using on a daily basis.

 

In your case, I definitely would. The only reason we have a formal dining room in this house, is because it was the plan we could afford to build...

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We use our dining room as a school room, but I've set it up so that I can easily switch back to a dining room as needed. However, I want to move the school room to the gameroom and set up the dining room as a music room. I'm tired of instruments and stands everywhere. Plus, I tend to leave papers all over the dining room table and that's not very attractive when people come in the front door.

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Oops, I meant to say our office would be a bedroom.

 

Anyway, we are still in progress a bit.....I posted this and moved things during busy season, which means not everything got done as I needed DH to help move.

 

So, our dining table is now in the sunroom, but our bookshelves are still in there too, which I hope to move this summer.

 

I also have a small rug area with beanbag chairs for reading, which is nice. The computers aren't moved yet.

 

So far it is working out, but since we are still in the process it isn't quite together yet.

 

Dawn

 

We have been using our sunroom as a schoolroom and it is sufficient for just a table and some bookshelves.

 

However, I am looking at our large dining room that rarely gets used other than when guests come or we plan a board game, and thinking I would really prefer to move our school room into there.

 

It would allow us space to have computers in there, moving our schoolroom (a bedroom) AND our office into there, creating a usable bedroom area and a dining room of sorts in our sunroom.

 

DH is against it because:

 

1. It means more work for him to help me move stuff around.

2. We plan to sell the house and need to stage it....but we aren't even listing it until Spring of 2012! That is at least 15 months-18 months away.

 

So, how many of you use your formal dining room as a schoolroom?

 

Anyone?

 

I haven't talked more to DH about it, he just kind of baulked at the idea several months ago when it was brought up.

 

Dawn

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