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Love the entry into dining room but??
katiewms
September 11, 2012 in Photo Questions
I am considering using the space directly in front my entry as our dining room, and putting our formal living room off to the side where our previous dining area was, the dining area will be the first thing you see when you enter our home, it's a large open space, are there any design rules that I would be breaking by doing this? We entertain more in the dining area and need the space more then we do for the formal living area. HELP:)
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Lanie Brown, REALTOR®, Martha Turner Sotheby's
I did exactly this in my home for the exact same reason! The original dining room was simply too small to put leaves in the dining table for entertaining. I absolutley love the change! I did not have overhead lighting in my new dining room at first - a challenge my husband pointed out, but I asked him to move the furniture for our next dinner party anyway. To get enough lighting I turned on the chandeliers in the entry and new parlor, plugged in table lamps along the sides of the new dining room, and lit candles on the dining table. Now I do have a chandelier installed above the dining table, but that wasn't immediate. I don't know about any official design rules, but I think the professional designers would tell us to use our spaces to suit our lifestyles. I hope you go for it!
2 Likes   September 11, 2012 at 10:16PM
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karen paul interiors
Would love to see photos of the space.
1 Like   September 11, 2012 at 10:40PM
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ibcnunabit
This isn't a *modern* design rule, but according to Vastu Shastra (the Indian version of Feng Shui, but thousands of years older), the house's main entrance must not face the dining room's door. I don't know whether that applies if there is no dining room door(way), just a big open space--but I will say that this could cause any person that comes to the door to interrupt you if you have a dinner planned, and if it is as this picture indicates, that also means that anyone coming to your door can see that you're eating or having a dinner with friends, and it *might* be awkward (or not). ("Do I invite them in? is there enough food? Will they feel unwelcome?" or some such thing.)

But no matter what anyone says, if you try it and enjoy it and like it, that's all that matters. But try to be attuned as to whether it "feels right" to you after giving it a try for awhile.
1 Like   September 11, 2012 at 11:29PM
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apennameandthata
You could read "The Decoration of Houses" by Edith Wharton. She wrote it is the late 1800s and it gives a description of how the shape of houses/palaces evolved since the medieval era. She was a famous author. Her style is a little like Oscar Wilde and is entertaining to read. You can get it on Kindle.

My understanding is that in medieval times, when there were only two rooms, the public area was where the chief met guests and ate. Later, well designed houses had a vestibule, and then an area where you could go up stairs or to the public entertaining areas of the house. So, basically, you do violate a rule. But like the other people, said, who cares? You have a LOVELY house and you if it feels right and suites your lifestyle then go for it.

I wonder how the original inhabitants used the spaces? Has the house been added to a lot?

If you are outgoing enough to regularly entertain enough to fill your dining room table, chances are you don't mind interruptions and need as much space as you can get for your dining room.
1 Like   September 12, 2012 at 1:36AM
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charleee
It sounds like a great idea to me, and I wouldn't worry about whether "it's proper" or not! If you need the space here, and it's available over there, go for it! Doubtful that anyone invited to your home for a dinner party will say "oh no, I can't eat here, it's all wrong".
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 2:02AM
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Tim Cuppett Architects
Listen to your intuition; you'll know if it feels good to you and your guests. In our little home (photo above) we sit for hours with guests around the table. They always come back.
2 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 4:41AM
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katiewms
:) Ii am trying the arrangement today:) I am going for it:) thank you so much
For all of your input :) we just moved into our home a couple of months ago and have been toying with idea since the day we moved our furniture in:)
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 5:16AM
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katiewms
Agree with comment about a guest walking into a meal going on, there is about 18 feet between the front door and where the able will be, a bit of a buffer, I may put in a foyer table in that space to break it up. I will post pics if I can:) love the feed back!!!
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Lanie Brown, REALTOR®, Martha Turner Sotheby's
fyi - Random guests don't generally come to the front door and catch us eating dinner. I like to keep the dining table dressed for the season so it's part of a beautiful entrance, and it is separated by a step down from the entry. I have a table with large crystal vase of flowers in the "vestibule" (Is that right?) and plans to eventually change that arrangement for a lower table and small chair. But to walk in on us eating dinner on most nights, guests would have to catch us on the love seat with our TV trays!
2 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 6:46AM
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katiewms
:) You are correct... It's a formal dining area, we eat in in another area off the kitchen. Well I changed it around today and I love it, as does my husband. I will post photos when I finish final touches
1 Like   September 12, 2012 at 10:56AM
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judianna20


Instead of another table in the entry, could you put up two decorative columns to visually separate the spaces?
1 Like   September 12, 2012 at 11:01AM
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katiewms
The columns are a great idea:-) Here are a couple of before shots, ...After shots to follow on next comment.
1 Like   September 12, 2012 at 1:51PM
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katiewms
And After...The first pic on the top left above is the view from the front door. Below are the after shots, not done with the walls, and the furniture in the living room will be changed soon. Lots of work to do!
1 Like   September 12, 2012 at 1:56PM
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katiewms
Top right photo is the NEW view from the front door. We can now seat as many as need be in our new dining space, good thing, we are expecting 20 for Thanksgiving!
3 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 1:59PM
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stara
OK, lots of good ideas, so here's mine.
1. YES, walking into the dining area is weird but they USE it the most. So how to fix? SIMPLE!!!
CHANGE THE ENTRY!

1. The gorgeous high ceilings and entry windows are perfect. Bump out the front entry and have an 'entry room' that would be a resting place before entry to the home.

2. If you have the $, see if you could have the door to the side instead of facing the dining area. Front bump outs entail roofing and matching the design but can totally change and enhance the homes exterior appeal as well as give a 'redirection' to the path people take upon entering the home!

3. Re-use all the windows and the front door on the bump-out.
Aloha
1 Like   September 12, 2012 at 3:47PM
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stara
the finished look is gorgeous! congrats!
2 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 3:49PM
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katiewms
Yes... I would love a more defined foyer, the builder made a partial attempt with the the dividing wall that you can see in the photo, but but the dining room size isn't practical. I drew a layout a few weeks ago to bump out not only the front door, and but the front wall in the dining room as well.. That will have to wait though... We want to remodel the kitchen first:)
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 5:10PM
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katiewms
Wait... The French doors behind the dining table go to the back porch, I took the photo from the front door:)
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 5:12PM
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katiewms
In the before group of photos, and the top left hand photo gives a better view from the front door...
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 5:15PM
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katiewms
To Tim... I absolutely love the photo of your dining room... And the paper grouping above the buffet. Your home appears historic which is my truly where my heart is. (just sold a 1927 beauty, and the house love of my life before our move)
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 5:21PM
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magilla310
Your house is beautiful! As Lanie said, the dressed dining table can be part of a beautiful entry. I think it looks fantastic!
2 Likes   Thanked by katiewms    September 12, 2012 at 6:53PM
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AMN
There's absolutely nothing wrong with your new arrangement. I think it looks wonderful. I've walked into plenty of houses where you see the dining table in full display from the front door.
1 Like   Thanked by katiewms    September 12, 2012 at 7:00PM
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katiewms
Again, I thank you for all of your feed back, sweet comments and great ideas) Very happy with the result... I needed encouragement to actually do it! I may post with more questions when I start redecorating the new living/old dining area!
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 7:25PM
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camillealbert
Everything seems to fit better now.
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 7:47PM
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katiewms
The gold light fixtures in front of the entry and hanging in the old dining area are leaving asap:) I am going with a lantern style (kind of like the one in the very first pic on this post) in the entry way then barrel shade chandeliers with dangle crystals or the like, for the living a d dining. I found gorgeous ones for our last house, but the new owner had to have them:(
0 Likes   September 12, 2012 at 9:06PM
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lk_designs
If you're worried about people coming to the front door and seeing you eat, you could always use a decorative screen, either 3 or 4 panel.
Or a see through shelf arrangement. This gives you the idea.

Contemporary Dining Room

Screens imply a separate space without actually closing it off and they are portable !

Serena Screen
1 Like   September 12, 2012 at 9:36PM
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Lanie Brown, REALTOR®, Martha Turner Sotheby's
katie, I love it, and even more, I'm glad you love it! Congrats and early Happy Thanksgiving!
0 Likes   Thanked by katiewms    September 12, 2012 at 10:28PM
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Jehan Sanchez
Thank you so much for this information. I have an entrance, well I have two actually. One is so big perfect for a dinning room, and that is the entrance we use everyday. The other entrance is very small but perfect. I will follow your advice and move the dinnig room table ,that way I can have more space when I have guests. When I have guest I have at least 30 women plus children, men rarely. I live in Saudi Arabia and so I don't have to worry about hosting m husband's friends. But I have a question... on the other side where I have the smaller entrance, there is a sink to the right as you enter and I have no door. An ideas as to how to disguise that sink? I was thinking of taking it out because it is right next to the bathroom and the bathroom has a sink- and a door of course. Well I hope some one can give me some ideas. Thanks alot! :)
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 4:13AM
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katiewms
If it isn't too much trouble I would probably remove the sink if it doesn't serve a need:)
1 Like   October 22, 2012 at 5:52AM
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Lanie Brown, REALTOR®, Martha Turner Sotheby's
Jehan, can you post a pic of the sink area? I'm wondering if you might play it up with a bar/tea cart for a wet bar/serving area.
1 Like   October 22, 2012 at 5:52AM
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katiewms
That is a great idea:)
0 Likes   October 22, 2012 at 5:53AM
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Jehan Sanchez
Katiewms and Lanie Brown, thank you so much for your wonderful advice. Katie I took the sink out, it was just sitting there anyway and as you said Katie it did not serve a need . I will take a picture from before and after. Lanie I like your idea too, but since the sink is right next to the bathroom a bar/tea area would not work, but you gave me an ide as to what to put there ... here in Saudi Arabia, us women use what is called an Abayah when we go out from our homes and so I have a small closet that will fit there perfectly. That way when women visit I have a place to put their abayas right by the door. Wonderful advice ladies. I also put the dinning table as it is shown in the picture and I have had family over a few times and it was so much easier, so much more space, as soon as I am finished I will post some pictures. Have a great day! take care :) Jehan.
1 Like   December 2, 2012 at 11:19AM
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katiewms
Can't wait to see photos:)
1 Like   December 2, 2012 at 12:19PM
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katiewms
To go along with dressing the table for the holidays I decided to set up a small Christmas tree for our center piece with battery operated lights:) I put ALOT of beading on as you an see in the photo, didn't want it to be perfect, which its obviously not, but I rather like it:)
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Lanie Brown, REALTOR®, Martha Turner Sotheby's
Jehan, I'm so glad this discussion helped you too. It's fun! Merry Christmas, katie!
2 Likes   December 3, 2012 at 6:01AM
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Ellessebee
I think it's useful to have at least partial separation between the front door area and the living space. Walking into the dining room is not the issue. I would try to make some sort of vestibule 4-5 feet inside the front door - something as simple as a book case or dresser facing either toward the door or toward the dining area (finish the back, of course) would do fine. It could serve to hold gloves and scarves etc. as a mudroom closet would or if facing the dining room could hold serving things - or anything. Or you could build a half wall. I also love the earlier suggestion of 2 columns - just something that visually creates a front entry area separate from the living space. It's where you greet guests (or the line past which uninvited guests don't go:). If you do something more solid than columns, it could also serve as a sort of wind-break so you don't get leaves and other things blowing in to the dining area when you open your door. You are brave to make this shift but I think it makes so much sense given your space needs.
1 Like   December 3, 2012 at 7:42AM
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katiewms
are truly enjoying our larger dining area:) in the photo above the french doors behind the table go our back porch in the front door is behind me from where I took the photo. I will post a better photo once my bigChristmas tree is decorated:)
0 Likes   December 3, 2012 at 8:25AM
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Luminous Spaces
I applaud your reinventing your space to suit your family's needs! That is great. So glad you are enjoying this space. I recommend a few things, for comfort (Feng Shui):

First, I'd add sheers to the front door and side windows, so that there is a bit of privacy while eating, but you will still benefit from the beautiful sunlight coming through.

Second, I would add a round area rug to the entry area to help delineate the space and separate it from the dining area. Round promotes softness and slows down the flow of chi into the home.

And lastly, I agree with Ellessebee that if you have the space (and only if you have the space because you don't want it to be cramped) I would add a table with a fresh flower arrangement or a live plant to help slow down the chi here. Chi flows into the house primarily through the front door (aka "Mouth of Chi") and can disturb whatever is "in the way," hence, family and friend gatherings.

Enjoy the Holidays!
2 Likes   December 3, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Ellessebee
Hi, Luminous Spaces. I am currently building a house - my dream house, I hope. I would love to learn more about Feng Shui because I think instinctively, I agree with many of its principles. Can you suggest an easily accessible book or article or other way to learn more? Thanks.
0 Likes   December 3, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Luminous Spaces
Sure Ellessebee! I can definitely suggest Feng Shui books, but the best way to learn about Feng Shui is through instruction. If you'd like, email me at maureen@luminous-spaces.com and we can have a sidebar conversation.
0 Likes   December 3, 2012 at 3:09PM
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katiewms
Thank you Ellessebee:) The doors in the photo aren't the front doors, they go out to a porch which faces a wooded preserve, but I agree that shears would soften them up:) My front door is at the other end of the table... About 15 feet away.... I need to post another photo, it's a little confusing:) Thank you so much for the info on Fung Shui, you answered my question on what type of rug to get for the entry area:)
1 Like   December 3, 2012 at 6:32PM
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Jehan Sanchez
Hi Lanie Brown, Yes, this site has been wonderful help. I am so glad I found it because here I can ask and get answers. I am almost done with the entrance, just have to paint where the sink and towel holder were. Thank you!!! :)
1 Like   December 8, 2012 at 7:32AM
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Tina Nesse
I also did this, we had to move into this house really ran out of time, my dilemma was we use our back door ( really side) and we walk right into kitchen I can not use my front door because we live on a main drag ... I love to entertain so I moved the living room and the dining room, I'm trying to make it work but the house is very odd lol:) thank you for this discussion makes me feel better
0 Likes   August 18, 2014 at 11:04PM
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