February 1, 2011

BCH Dining Room Series, Part I

Even though they are no longer on the "must have" list when buying a home,  I still love a formal dining room.
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.



  1. What a great idea to have a niche, Rhonda. Better to think ahead!


  2. Rhonda---oh dear...you sound a lot like me. You and I could have probably shared books. I can't tell you how much I spent on those little suckers...and in the end, I drew up our plans myself and took them to an architect for final drawings. I think there should be more women architects because we think practically! I gave my hutch to my daughter and had two hutches recessed and built in to my dining room too. I can't WAIT to see the rest of your pictures. Hugs- Diana

  3. Fabulous planning. I havn't had a seperate room, just a living and dining all in one room, but I so would love to have one. Very smart to make an alcove for the china. Love the idea. Can't wait to see more. Hugs, Marty

  4. I have a friend with a china cabinet niche and I think it is such a great idea!! It saves space like you said and it gives the room a nice clean look. Not too cluttered up by furniture.

  5. Now I would love to have that china hutch niche in our new house!! We have been debating what to do about the hutch. We don't think there is enough room for it in the dining room!

  6. Rhoda,

    The plans you came up with sound much like my dining room. However, my niche is created by a fireplace and not centered like yours. The dining room you designed is perfect and functional. I will be back to read all you have to share!

    Your Friend,

  7. I so miss having a formal dining room. I love the idea of having a china cabinet niche. I have one of those strange open plans with the living room and dining room flowing together in one long room. It is not at all convenient considering I have to walk from the kitchen through the living area to get to the dining area. Because of its shape and the fact that the front door is right there, I cannot switch them around.

    I cannot wait to see Part II and the before and after photos!

    ~ Tracy

  8. What a perfectly wonderful idea! Can't wait to see more!

    Lou Cinda


So happy you are here - I love your comments!