Come dine with me

PA Photo/Handout
PA Photo/Handout

Our dining dreams are getting grander, and a ‘proper’ dining room is increasingly featuring on home wish lists, as we rediscover an appetite for lingering over meals and savouring the opportunity to connect and socialise with loved ones.

Almost 60 per cent of us prefer dining areas to be a separate room, according to a survey by Anglian Home Improvements, and hankering for more formality appears to be in tune with a general change in attitude to mealtimes.

TV dinners on the couch are falling out of favour, recent research by Waitrose revealed (apparently a round a third of people are cutting back on that habit), while 50 per cent of parents are making a ‘conscious effort’ to gather the family together for at least one meal a week.

“Separate dining rooms fell out of favour at the turn of the Nineties, with hugely popular TV renovation shows such as Changing Rooms focusing on open-plan multi-functional rooms, but as with all trends, it looks as though the modern British household could be set for a separate dining room revival,” says Julie Yarwood, interior designer at Manchester-based furniture store, Housing Units.

“With increasingly busy lifestyles, the dining experience can be a welcome break from everyday stress and a chance to reconnect with family members and friends. Not only this, a separate room allows us to temporarily remove ourselves from the post-meal clean-up, which often looms over diners in open-plan kitchen and dining areas.”

Post-recession Britain’s also become more budget-conscious, she believes, and as a result, the ‘big night in’ trend is stronger than ever. “It’s inspired a dinner party revival and those often work best in a separate dining room environment. We all wish to make more of dining, and a beautifully furnished space where we can fully enjoy the moment, is becoming an essential,” she says.

If your dining area’s looking a bit dull, or your dining room rarely used, it’s time to revamp the space. No matter what’s on the menu, this should be a space to suit every occasion.