Our Maryland open floor plan dining room was a hub of activity, both an extension of our kitchen and an integral part of our living area.
Every family dinner was eaten at this table (other than Movie Night dinners). The kids did crafts here. I set up painting or sewing projects for myself sometimes. Other times, after the kids went to bed, my husband would work on his homework here on his computer, with his notes and papers spread all around him.
But always, always, always… we put everything away when we were finished. So the dining room was ready for the next family meal or big activity, no matter what.
It was a wonderful, warm part of our home. Want me to show you around?
Off to the right of the table, we had this little nook. Pantry items (besides my mason jars), the “kids’ kitchen,” and my cookbook shelf.
The basket on top held our disposable items and party things. We had some leftover little water bottles from Anneliese’s birthday in here, and later they were helpful for freezing to pack in our cooler to take to the beach.
We don’t buy or use much in the way of disposable products, so having a place for the leftover plates, napkins, cups, and flatware all together is helpful for us. So if we ever need a single plate for a craft, or a cup for a special project, we know just where to go.
The pantry cabinet was great for storing our smaller appliances (vegetable spiralizer, mandoline slicer, food scale) and all of our canned goods. I stored some of the bulk overflow for our mason jar dry goods in the bottom (I buy 5 pounds of organic cocoa powder at once, so the extra has to go somewhere!).
I also added little 3M Command hooks to the left side, for hanging the kids’ aprons so they were always handy for cooking and crafting.
My other shelf was really mainly just used for cookbooks… Anneliese kept her kid-sized kitchen tools in one drawer, and the other drawer held a few recipes I had printed out.
The bottom cabinet of it was empty… nothing really ever seemed to feel right in there!
And the kids’ cabinet, while sometimes was filled with individual snacks I prepared for them to enjoy, or pieces of fruit, often was pretty empty too.
You might notice the kids’ fridge is missing in the pictures below, too. Sometimes it got a lot of use, but often it was empty or held random “leftovers” I didn’t know the kids had saved until I discovered them, dried-out, 3 days later. We didn’t need it or use it as much as we did initially, so we passed it on to another family who actually did need it.
The other side of the dining room/area had this cubby shelf. This is where we kept our serving dishes, small ceramic pieces, basket of cloth napkins, and the salad spinner. I liked being able to store this stuff out in the open, because the yellow and white looked cheerful and bright to me.
If you’re on my mailing list, you know by now that we’ve moved to California. Our dining room is very different here! It’s not open to the kitchen, so it has a very different feeling. I miss the floor in our old dining room which made it such a great space for crafting and messy projects.
Our new dining room is carpeted – not my favorite, but we’re making it work.
The biggest difference between our Maryland dining room and our California one is that all of the furniture but the table “went away!” We used a PODS shipping container to move ourselves, and much of the dining room furniture didn’t fit. We left behind the chairs, the black cubby shelf, and the white cookbook shelf. We did manage to fit the pantry cabinet and the kid-cabinet, but when we got to California we decided we didn’t need them, and sold them.
I can’t wait to show you my bright, modern, streamlined dining room in our new home! Even though it’s a VERY different space, functionally (we really only use it for meals and snacks now), it’s gorgeous and we love it.