26 October 2008

The Heart of the Home: The Dining Room

The importance of the Dining Room is fast dwindling in families today. It is no longer the place to sit down with the family and share the day’s activities besides the family supper. It has instead become an extension of the kitchen with the table being used, more often than not, as a work surface with each family member arriving and spending no more time than required to gulp the cereal down and disappearing till the next meal. In short the room is no longer welcoming.

Time constraints alone can not be blamed for this sorry state of affairs. After all one can always find the time for things that are truly important. A family meal once a day should be important. It gives each member sitting around the Dining Table a sense of belonging. It helps you sit down together and catch up on what’s happening in everyone’s life. For this to happen the chairs must be inviting and so must the room. If you choose to make your Dining Room a meeting place rather than a store room your family will appreciate it.

A few cut flowers in a vase on the Dining Table may draw an appreciative comment. A Side Trolley with an assortment of goodies will be enjoyed by the kids. They will have to be reigned in from treating it as a race car when they push it in from the Kitchen to the Dining Room. As long as they have fun, they will return to the Dining Room with less fuss. In fact they might enjoy meals at the table more than meals with the TV.

The Challenge to create a family friendly Dining Room is yours. Pick the right furniture, choose the correct linen, and get the ambiance right. It is possible even if you have toddlers around who do not understand that the good crockery and cutlery have been laid out. Don’t be obsessed with expected breakages. You used to put in that much effort for a romantic dinner for two, so why not make it a pleasure to dine with the full family.

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