How to Turn a Dining Room Into a Fun Room

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There was a time when a dining room was formal and often only used for special occasions. It housed the fine China and crystal glasses for Easter and Christmas, and was decorated in dark, austere colors.

Times have changed, and now families use every inch of space for its maximum potential. The dining room is used for far more than just special meals, so while it still has that air of formality about it, there are ways to make the room more friendly and appealing to eat and do other projects in.


It's time to get rid of the drab, dark colors that symbolize formality or the boring white that came with the house. Spice up the dining room with some red and yellow to add brightness and vibrancy. Believe it or not, the color of a room can change your mood. Dark colors can bring a temperament down, while brighter colors can make bad days a little better.

When deciding on a color for the dining room, think about each color individually and how it makes you feel. Personal experiences and taste can have a tremendous impact on how a person feels toward a certain color. The important part is that the color makes the person feel comfortable and, perhaps most important of all, hungry.


The dining room is becoming more and more of a family room, so why not make it more homey by adding a mural done by the entire family? Dining rooms tend to be large rooms, so the walls are big enough to re-create a scene from a family vacation, or have each person draw themselves on the wall. It's a fun experience that not only creates lifelong memories, but also creates a mood of happiness and levity in the room. Every time a person enters the room, they will be reminded of that time.

The dining room can also be a place for more standard forms of art, but they should reflect the personalities of the people using it. The dining room doesn't have to have still-life pictures of fruit bowls or family life. The goal is to make the room more personable. When shopping for art, take a look at each picture and decide how it makes you feel. Would you want to sit for an hour or two a day and see it staring back at you over your ravioli?


There are many people who don't even eat in their dining room. Instead, they grab the food and head into the living room to watch television because they can't stand to miss their favorite show. Today's flat-panel televisions are so thin, they can easily hang from a wall, so the family can sit together in the dining room and watch and discuss what's on the television.

The dining room can become a backup family room with the addition of a television. Dad could be watching the big game in the living room while the kids watch their cartoons in the dining room. If there are empty cabinets in the dining room, then add a DVD, Blu-ray or video game system as well.

If the family isn't much for talking, then some background music from a stereo or MP3 player may be the perfect accessory. The actual system doesn't even have to be in the dining room, only the speakers. While death metal may not be the perfect music for leftover night, some light jazz could make dinner more enjoyable.


The focus point of the dining room is always going to be the table and chairs. There is nothing that can make dinner less enjoyable than uncomfortable chairs. People will eat hurriedly just to leave the dining room and move to some place with more comfortable seating. When choosing dining room chairs, make sure they have back support and plenty of cushioning. The chairs can also have more of a home-style or country feel rather than a formal shape. For instance, instead of sharp corners and edges, they could be rounded.

The dining room table should also be a convenient eating surface. People should not live in fear of spilling some food or drink on the table or tablecloth. The tablecloth doesn't have to be expensive. A plastic tablecloth that keeps food off the finish is more than acceptable for a family evening in. Formal dining room events are the only exception.

The table should be sturdy to withstand added uses. Children will play with their toys and build school projects, so it may become chipped and dented over time. It will have lost its air of formality and take on an air of familiarity. The way to a family's heart is through its stomach, and the dining room should be a place where the family gathers comfortably to be family.

Last Updated: July 21, 2011
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About Brock Cooper Brock Cooper is a freelance writer for 

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