Designing the Perfect Dining Space

A recent trend in homebuilding has been to do away with the dining room entirely. The thinking has been that homeowners no longer want the hassle of a separate and formal room and that all entertaining would take place in the great room. Recent surveys, however, have shown that most homebuyers want a formal dining area separate from the kitchen and great room. Here are some ways to design the perfect dining room for your lifestyle.


Tall ceilings make for a less intimate dining room, but for large gatherings and parties,
can make the space feel much larger.

If you want a dining area that feels connected to the kitchen, great room or other nearby space, then taller ceiling heights are very effective. The California log home above has a high cathedral ceiling with no divisions between the kitchen and dining area. This makes the space feel less formal and more an extension of the kitchen. For contrast, look at the same dining space in the picture below. When the high ceiling is cropped out, the space feels much more intimate and formal. If this same space were built as an enclosed room, it would be a perfect formal dining room.


Without the high ceilings, the dining space feels more formal.

However, a dining room does not need to be entirely enclosed to feel more formal. The dining room below is completely open to the great room, yet it feels like an entirely different space. In part this is due to the lower ceiling in the dining room contrasting with the high, cathedral ceiling in the great room. The beam running between the rooms and the post also help to separate the two spaces.


Different ceiling structures help separate the two rooms.

Even rooms with the same ceiling type can be made to feel separate. The house below has a kitchen and dining room that share a common ceiling. With the post and beam between them, however, then two rooms feel like distinct spaces despite the open floor between them. The common chandelier design also ties the two spaces to each other, while the differing furniture styles between the dining table and kitchen island maintains a separate identity for each room.


Beams and posts divide the rooms while maintaining an open plan.

This final dining space is from the cabin we featured in our “Planning a Log Home” series last year. We’ll follow up with more pictures later, but felt these dining table chairs deserved to be shared now. With such an intricate design, they’re sure to be a conversation starter for any guests. This dining space feels connected with the rest of the home, as appropriate for a small cabin.


A small cabin dining area with wonderful chairs.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at how to design a dining space, and we also hope you’ll enjoy your Thanksgiving Day. We’re taking the next week off from the blog and hope you will be relaxing as well. As always, if you have any question about any of the homes you see in the blog, please contact Real Log Homes today!