The reinvention of the dining room

Over the last year, as the world changed all around us, the meaning of home changed too. 
farmhouse style dining room

Over the last year, as the world changed all around us, the meaning of home changed too. Homes transformed from standard living spaces into our offices, classrooms, workout spaces, virtual hangouts and more, as we spent more and more time there. We started using our spaces differently, making each space work harder for our families’ needs. And with all of the time we were spending at home, we used some of it to make long overdue updates and upgrades. In essence, we reinvented how nearly every space in our homes was used.

One of those spaces was the dining room. While generally a more formal space in many homes, and typically reserved for holidays and other special occasions, the functionality of the dining room shifted. The space had to play double- and triple-duty as we worked from home, learned virtually and more. The dining room table converted into our desks, as parents and children worked alongside each other. We played more games and did more activities around the table. And shared even more meals together, making the occasional more ordinary.

breakfast dining nook with white framed Andersen window

But what does this dramatic shift in functionality mean for the traditional use of the dining room? We think it means that dining rooms will become less formal and more casual. The space will be used more frequently vs. reserved for special occasions. And that the space will be able to transform and function for whatever future needs arise.

More Glass

With this shift in functionality, we’re also seeing a shift in the design of dining rooms. Spaces are using more windows to bring more light into the room. Homeowners are opting for larger windows too and using them in combination with other windows, creating large walls of glass for an almost floor-to-ceiling look.


We’re seeing doors, alongside windows, finding their way into dining areas too, often surrounding spaces on up to three sides. This allows light to flood the space for longer periods of time throughout the day, creating brighter, more inviting spaces. 

Light and bright dining room with black windows
Courtesy of @JacksonBuilt_Custom_Homes
contemporary dining room with large table and black framed Andersen windows
Courtesy of @CrystalNagelDesign
coastal dining room with large table and Andersen white framed windows
Courtesy of @BillHuey-Architecture
white traditional dining room with round table and white framed Andersen windows
Courtesy of @CostalSignatureHomes

Black & White

Window interiors appear to be a mix of traditional white and more modern black. Both colors lend themselves to a shift in the rooms overall design and function. And while some homeowners are opting for more classic grille patterns, many are choosing no grilles at all.

Bohemian dining room
Courtesy of @CVI_Design
Formal white and wood dining room with white windows
Courtesy of @LoansByTanyaBudzynski
Modern black and wood dining room
Courtesy of @FargoFarmhouse
White windows in dining room with dark accents
Courtesy of @MooreDevelopment

Relaxed Interiors

The rooms themselves and furniture within, are changing too, as they become more relaxed and inviting. With more windows and doors, there’s less wall space, so traditional wallpaper treatments are being replaced with bright white and warm cream paint colors. And lighter, natural elements like washed woods, wicker, rattan, and woven materials are finding their way onto tables, chairs, flooring and lighting.

White and wood natural dining room with large windows
Courtesy of @StudioMacleod
Indoor outdoor living dining room with bohemian style and furniture
Courtesy of @Snow_Builders
Wood and light dining room
Courtesy of @EriksonBuildCo
Kitchen and dining room white and wood with bohemian elements
Courtesy of @StudioMacleod

No matter where the future may take us – whether inside our homes or out – our spaces are what we make of them. So rethink, reinvent and reimagine your spaces to make your home uniquely yours. (And maybe start with the dining room!)

Sign up for emails

Get inspiration delivered

Beautiful projects, useful selection tips, and tools for planning your project — get it all in your inbox.