Skip to main content

When we think of a “dining room,” most of us recall a rarely used space with very formal furniture that included a cabinet filled with expensive wedding china and silverware our parents never dared to use. Or we think of fancy dinners and holiday gatherings hosted by parents who were always the life of the party. It’s rarely anything in between.
Separate formal dining rooms like those didn’t retain their popularity much beyond the 1980s. That’s when our modern families became more likely to have two working parents instead of just one and interests in formal sit-down dining at home began losing out to casual meals on-the-fly or restaurant to-go menus. The days of every well-appointed home needing a proper dining room were gone.
Since then, instead of that dusty, fancy room off to the side, households have focused on the kitchen as the main gathering area for family and friends. Families preparing for dinner and friends visiting on special occasions all meet up at the kitchen island, sit at the counter-height bar, or chill at the farm-style kitchen table. Everything is casual, lighthearted, and enjoyed out in an open-plan room that’s both a kitchen and a dining space.
Some interior designers say dining rooms are making a comeback since the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we’re going back to those heavy, formal furniture pieces of old. Casual dining sets are perfectly suited to our renewed love of sharing meals with family and friends. The important part of dining together is making time to share the meal. The table we set aside for doing so can come in any size, shape, or style—even a counter height or pub style dining for those who live in small spaces.
So, no, you don’t really need a dining room set in the formal sense of the term. But most of us need some kind of a place set aside for dining, because mealtimes are ideal appointments for spending time with our loved ones. If you’re ready to create your own special dining space, check out Aaron’s Idea Hub for kitchen and dining room ideas.