Would You do This?


I am not a formal person. I prefer jeans and a t-shirt to a dress. I am more likely to host a spontaneous get together than a formal party. And I would much rather eat at the kitchen table than in a formal dining room. In my house, at this time in my life, I look at a formal dining room as a space that I would rather do something else with.

The interior of our house is designed around a staircase., almost like the spokes of a wheel. When you stand at the front door, you can see through the dining room into the family room. The dining room table was a visual “wall” that was a “stopper” to the flow of the house. (Imagine a dining room table where that rug now is.)

I’ve been thinking for a long time about changing the dining room into a more useable space, and I finally acted upon my thoughts. I sold our dining room table and china hutch, tore out a built-in china cupboard, and turned the space into a cozy sitting room. This really affected the flow of the house, and it’s so much more inviting.

Please ignore the black leather case leaning against the grandfather clock, and the dogs, laying on blankets on the couch in the family room. 🙂

Our former dining room is now a room where you can sit and read, take a quick nap use a computer, or carry on a quiet conversation.

I was able to incorporate the fun telephone booth that we picked up at a local antique shop, which made me happy. Where else could this possibly go?

Front door to the right, kitchen to the left.

I fell in love with this crazy mirror at an antique store and just had to have it, although I had absolutely NO idea where it was going to go. But it looks like it was made for this wall, don’t you think?

Living room to the left. Kitchen to the right.

That’s an antique card table under the mirror. The top folds open to reveal an ostrich leather top; the top swivels to reveal storage space underneath for storing cards or games. I still need to refinish this piece; but for now, it’s sitting right where it will be once it’s given new life.

It was really hard to find a couch small enough to fit this room, but I finally found one the perfect size.

I found 2 of these antique chairs at an auction. There were two more “have-to-have” pieces that I didn’t know what I was going to do with when I bought them. But it looks like one chair was made for this corner while the other chair was made for the desk.

Before I made the decision to actually really, truly change the dining room into this room, I, of course, discussed this with my husband but also asked family members and friends what they thought. Without an exception, they were all skeptical. But now, again without an exception, they are in agreement with me that it definitely works and is perfect for us.

So tell me, would you ever consider doing this? Or have you already?

Karen Schulz
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I am a creator of digital scrapbook kits and Photoshop tutorials. Someone needs to hear your story, and I will help you tell it.

Comments (20)

  1. Sharon Worley

    Not only would I consider it, I’ve done it in two homes we’ve owned. I’m far from being a formal person so I agree that room is best used another way. I love what you did. Fun fact…I had that exact table years ago that my dad salvaged from a home reno he was doing. Somewhere along the line it was passed along to someone else. Sure wish I still had it!

    November 21, 2020 at 2:47 pm
    • Karen Schulz

      That is so cool, Sharon. What did you turn your dining rooms into? And you had that table? Wow! Isn’t it interesting??? I bought it at a swap meet for $20!

      November 22, 2020 at 12:49 am
  2. Sharron Lamb

    Love what you did, Karen. We are in the process of moving to AZ…downsizing by quite a bit. Dining room furniture will be heading to Utah to our DD’s home. Living room furniture either to a son’s home, or sold. It is scary to change the way we have always lived, but I can’t wait. Your before/after example is inspiring.

    November 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm
    • Karen Schulz

      Thanks, Sharron. It’s rather freeing to do things out-of-the-norm. I hope you find that to be so for you too. Good luck with your move. That’s always been such an undertaking for us!

      November 22, 2020 at 12:48 am
  3. DeLoris Musick

    Without a thought I would do what you have done. I am a kitchen person too. Your rooms and pieces are beautiful! I love that mirror and phone booth!

    November 21, 2020 at 4:06 pm
    • Karen Schulz

      Thanks, DeLoris!

      November 22, 2020 at 12:47 am
  4. Pam K

    Your sitting room is lovely!!

    November 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm
    • Karen Schulz

      Thank you, Pam!

      November 22, 2020 at 12:46 am
  5. Steph

    I love your changes! We rarely use our dining room for dining. Right now it is a sewing space for me. Your mirror is a statement piece for sure. You are the “renewing” queen!

    November 21, 2020 at 4:42 pm
    • Karen Schulz

      Best use of a dining room I can think of!!!! I wish I knew more about the mirror or even how to search it out. What search terms would you use “crazy-Alice-in-Wonderland-type-mirror?”

      November 22, 2020 at 12:46 am
  6. Jeanne

    First off, would you PLEASE come and decorate my house?? OMG! Absolutely love it.

    Would probably not do it….hubs is waaaayyyyyyy too concrete sequential to ever let that fly. Our living room and dining room are an L shape room and sunroom is off the dining room. Our kitchen has eat in space for 3 at most at the counter, we squeeze in 4 when we get to see the 2 grands. The first reason I gave, wouldn’t need any more reasons really LOLOL Your creation; however, is stunning!!!

    November 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm
    • Karen Schulz

      Thanks, Jeanne! It sounds like your kitchen wouldn’t allow you to make a change like this, even if your husband went for it. 🙂

      November 22, 2020 at 12:45 am
  7. All looks so fabulous Karen, I look forward to seeing what you do with the gorgeous furniture.

    November 21, 2020 at 5:21 pm
    • Karen Schulz

      Thank you, Faith! I hope to start on that card table next month.

      November 22, 2020 at 12:44 am
  8. Lazara Abernathy

    Our formal dining room now houses a computer desk, vintage sewing machine in cabinet, and a small trestle table that we can fold out for playing board games or making puzzles. It is the first room you see when you enter the house, so we have to keep it neat.

    November 21, 2020 at 8:45 pm
    • Karen Schulz

      Absolutely perfect, Lazara. It sounds like a room that has a lot of uses. I love that.

      November 22, 2020 at 12:43 am
  9. Kathleen Sakorafos

    Love the house and I am definitely agreeing with your choices, your home looks warm and inviting, just the way a Home should be including the extra little things, dogs, etc. Love the antiques I know you love that creative side too, of taking old and restoring. Enjoy the upcoming Holidays as much as you are able with all our 2020 restrictions.

    November 22, 2020 at 10:55 am
    • Karen Schulz

      Thank you, Kathleen. I appreciate your kind words. Wishing you a happy holiday as well!

      November 22, 2020 at 2:52 pm
  10. Diane D Lemmon

    I’m with you when it come to fancy, i am not! I love wearing my jeans and shirt or sweater! My craft room was upstairs,
    but because of heart problems I could no longer do the stairs. So my dear husband helped me move my craft room
    to the dining room which is part of the living room. I did away with all my dining room stuff years ago, actually gave them
    to my daughter-in-law! We have since moved into a new 1 level home so have a ‘scrapbook room’..

    November 25, 2020 at 12:44 am
    • Karen Schulz

      What a great decision! It helps you health-wise, and you’re right there by the living room. I love that!

      November 28, 2020 at 11:38 pm
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