Whether they have a full room devoted to them or merely a corner of a space, dining areas are the arena for drama, with the focus on food. We must eat to live, and we must eat well to live well. Healthy meals involve much more than good nutrition.
We have discussed about dining tables and dining décor in our previous issues. This week, we focus simply on a functional and affordable dining room. To decorate a space does not mean to purchase all expensive products.
A separate room set aside for dining did not become common until the Victorian era, before which a special room for eating was a luxury and not to be found in average homes. Modern living often dictates a return to earlier practices, and after enjoying popularity for several decades the custom of a separate room for dining is once again in recession. Smaller living spaces demand that the dining room be combined with living or family living, while the kitchen has been put in the hallway to accommodate multipurpose functions.
Our featured apartment is about 2400 sq. ft., and is situated in Dhanmondi. It has a large space allotted for the hall room, and this is where we arranged the family lounge.
As a designer I encourage my clients to work with what they have, and recycle any product they can. The dining table at this apartment is an old one, with a simple design. The table is small and oval shaped. According to feng shui sharp corners should be avoided, and chairs should have steady backs. So, this table set is ideal for recycling. The table was re-burnished, and the chairs re-upholstered. With an embroidered white tablecloth, topped off by a beautiful crystal vase with a rose, the entire set-up looks very elegant. The clients had an old dinner wagon, which was re-burnished for a new look.
A cute small trolley was also placed beside the dining area. This being an open space, all the possible punch areas had potential for functional activities. A built-in hutch was installed to store dinner accessories. A micro-oven and a coffee maker were placed in the middle section, so food preparation becomes convenient.
The refrigerator is another controversial appliance. In our country people want to keep this item in their dining area. In the Western countries, people prefer to have it in the kitchen, and if the kitchen is too small they put it in the dry kitchen area. Our featured apartment is small, so we kept the two fridges close to the kitchen and beside the dining area. We also installed a Thai aluminum door to separate the wet area. Now it is convenient for cooking and especially for children, when they make their own food.
The dining area is cozy with elaborate furnishing, and it plays an important role. If you organise family activities, so that every one comes together for a meal at least once a day, many conflicts will be resolved. The dining area can be a place to talk, negotiate and exchange ideas; and quarrels are squelched by food.
Nazneen Haque Mimi
Photo Credit: Hasan Saifuddin Chandan
Special thanks to: Dr. Zakia Sultana Shahid