Are you wondering what to do with an unused dining room?
In this busy, modern world it’s not easy to get the family together in a formal dining room. With long workdays and after-school activities, many dining rooms go untouched.
Or, it could be that the living room or the kitchen counter is a more social, comfortable place to eat. Either way, it’s a room you’re not making the most of, leaving it empty to gather dust.
If you’re not going to use it for a formal dining room though, what could you use it for? That’s a question that leaves many homeowners struggling to come up with an answer.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Keep reading for 7 ideas for what to do with an unused dining room to make the most of that untapped potential.
Table of Contents
1. Make a Green Room
No, we’re not talking about the room where actors relax before and after a theatre show. We’re talking about using your unused dining room to showcase your indoor plants.
You can bring in a table that has waterproofing sealant, to protect from any watering spills. Then, you can cover it in various planters of indoor plants. Mix in some vases of fresh flowers and you’ll have an indoor garden.
Place shelves where the sunlight falls through for your plants to make the most of the natural light. You can place sun-loving indoor plants here. Choose ones that thrive in shady conditions for more covered, darker areas.
This is a great idea for apartments that aren’t on the ground floor where outside space is minimal. You don’t have to miss out on the benefits nature can bring, by bringing it into your home.
2. Use It as a Home Office
Have you taken to recently working from home? Is this a long-term change to your working life? If so, then an empty dining room can make the perfect home office space.
It’s important to have a quiet space that you dedicate to a productive work environment. This is one of the best ways to ensure not only that working from home works, but it stays separate from your life at home.
Use the central part of the room to set your desk up in, like the space in front of a window. If you need storage space, you can line this around the wall. Shelving is your friend, to make use of wall space but cabinets work also.
If you’re going to welcome clients into this space include adequate, comfortable seating. And don’t forget the homey touches to make your home office feel cozy. This will help you feel more relaxed if you have some personalization.
Put up some artwork, choose a standing or desk light that’s bright and add some books for an extra touch of class. The last thing you want in a home office is to end up with a bland, commercial space that you were so eager to leave behind.
3. Set Aside a Designated Library…
If you’re a book lover, chances are you’ve always dreamed of having a library. Well, it’s the perfect thing to transform an empty dining room into. You no longer need to cram them all into your living room.
Instead, you can create a quiet and cozy reading nook in your new library. Use built-in shelves to line the walls with endless tomes, or you can use free-standing. If using free-standing, make sure they’re secured, and can hold the number of books you need them to.
Make sure the furniture you use is comfortable, no hardback chairs in here please! A plush couch to curl up on under a blanket or an armchair with a footrest, those are the items you want here.
A standing lamp that you can adjust to provide overhead lighting is essential. You don’t want to strain your eyes on those early, dark winter nights.
If your room has a fireplace or an alcove, consider a reading nook with custom shelving and seating. It’s a great use for awkward, smaller spaces. You’re giving them a purpose and making the room feel fuller and more well-used.
4. … Or Your Very Own Music Room
Another of the best dining room renovation ideas is creating your own music room. This could be a soundproofed room for the kids to practice for their recital (and protect your ears!) or it could be a quiet room to enjoy the music you love.
There are soundproofing pads you can get that are easy to install and will help keep sound out of the rest of the house. You can also set up your CD or vinyl record collection along with your retro record player or gramophone.
If the room is for the more active music enthusiast set up designated areas for instruments. With a few well-placed, sturdy music stands you could be your own one-man or woman band if that’s your jam!
For the best sound, install wireless surround sound. Don’t forget some comfy seating to kick back and relax. Whether you’re listening to your child’s first recorder practice or listening to The Rolling Stones’ greatest hits, do so in comfort and style.
5. Immerse Yourself in a Gaming Room
Who doesn’t like to end a long day of work with a good session of gameplay? You can turn your dining table into a ping pong area, or you can use it as a gathering hub for board games.
With coasters and mats, you can put snacks down, without worrying about spills. Or you could also remove the table altogether and bring in a pool table. Whatever games your family enjoys, it’s the perfect excuse for a weekly game night, and somewhere to host it.
If you’re a video game enthusiast then this could also be the perfect opportunity for a gaming den. For consoles like the Xbox and Playstation, then dedicate a wall to a large 4k+ tv. Set up comfortable gaming chairs arranged with a good view.
Make sure you have enough controllers for all the people who want to play. You can even customize each controller with features like the Xbox Design Lab. So, everyone could have their own cool design.
For PC gamers, set up a desk large enough for the monitors you need. If you’re a streamer, place your desk more central to the room with a long, flat wall behind you. This way, you can decorate it and add knick-knacks that set the scene.
6. Give the Children a Playroom
Are you tired of running the toy obstacle course around your living room? An unused dining room makes a great playroom as it’s close to the living room so you can keep an eye. But, the kids’ toys stay out of your adult space, and the children have their own living space too.
You can use ottomans and shelving to store their toys, coloring supplies, and other items when not in use. For all the loose bits, add a creative treasure toy chest for them to play with too. If you have the space, you can repurpose the dining table too.
Give the legs a coat of a colorful pastel color (or paint each one a different color). Then paint the top with chalkboard paint. The children can make their colorful creations that stay off the nice clean walls in the rest of the house.
7. Add a Guest Bedroom
Another of the most creative ways to use a dining room is to turn it into a guest bedroom. Not every home has the luxury of an extra guest bedroom. It’s often the case that visitors end up drawing the short straw of a blow-up air mattress or sleeping on the couch.
By using an empty dining room for a guest bedroom your friends and family will want to stay with you. You can also host people more often, without feeling the shame of bringing out the foot pump.
Add a comfortable bed with some bedside tables with lamps. This will provide guests somewhere to put their phone at night, or the ability to settle in with a good book. Add a dresser for them to unpack into and a few chairs with a side table.
If you want to go all out, add a bookshelf with some classics or even a free-standing or wall-mounted TV of their own they can use. Keep the decor neutral but add in some tasteful paintings and a few decorations to give a homey feel. If there is an archway you can’t block in, use a curtain to create an element of privacy.
The key to a good guest bedroom is creating a space that guests can feel at home in. They should be able to retreat there for some quiet time if they want to. If you’d want to spend time and sleep in that room, then you’ve done it right.
What To Do With an Unused Dining Room So It Doesn’t Gather Dust
So, there you have it! There is an idea for what to do with an unused dining room to suit every home and every need.
Think of the space your apartment is lacking and what you wished you could add. Whether you need extra guest space, a place for the children to call their own, or your own leisure space.
If you’re reorganizing your layout, then make sure you check out our article on a living room bedroom. Remember, your home layout isn’t set in stone. You can make it whatever works for you. Are you getting the most out of your dining room space? Put it to use with these 7 ideas on what to do with an unused dining room.