We use ours for major holiday meals - Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and when we have guests over.
G-Man also uses it for spill-over work since his study opens onto it.
Our last two houses were custom built. I actually designed Blue Creek Home with the help of a great Architectural planner. During the planning it was never a question of whether to have a dining room, but where it would be located and the best layout for our lifestyle.
I looked at hundreds of house plans and could have built a playhouse with the money I spent purchasing house plan books and magazines. Not one plan was perfect for us. That is how I came to design our plan myself.
In an average size home, the dining room isn't usually very large. The electrician hangs the chandelier in the center of the room, obviously. The home owner centers their dining room table under the chandelier and puts the china cabinet against one wall.. You know what happens? When the chair is pulled out during a meal, there is barely room to pass between it and the china cabinet. Plus the room looks too heavy on that side.
When I was working on this plan, I took some room from my closet to create a niche for the china cabinet. It fits perfectly inside with finger room on each side.The front protrudes a couple of inches into the room.
And guess what? My dining table is perfectly centered under my chandelier.
In Part II, I will share the decorative paint treatment that I did in the dining room that took sooo long that only one wall was finished!! And, I recently made a small change to my window treatments that made a really big difference. I will have before and after photos of that, too.