• Nikole Starr

Rooms We Never Use and Can't Live Without


A seldom used, but cherished daily breakfast room.


Dining Rooms. Ah those mysterious spaces. Hardly ever used by most families - but does that really stop us from admiring these beautiful areas? Not a bit. I sometimes wonder if the dining room will one day become the long forgotten "formal living room." I remember growing up, spending Christmas at my uncle Eldon's house. Our parent's would be having joyful conversations in the Living Room, while the kids played in the ... forbidden formal living room. However, unless you have a large home, time and time again I walk into homes that the once formal living room has been converted into a study. While formal living rooms are beautiful, new technology has created a totally new way of living. We can now work just as efficiently as ever, but in the comfort of our own homes.


Queue the ridiculously unflattering photo of me pretending to work in my office.

In my past house, I made what used to be labeled as the formal living room into my dining room and the previous "dining room" in to my home office.


Formal Dining Turned Study

This room of my previous home was made to be the formal dining room. Instead, I found the size better suited for a study. Fun fact. Those cabinets behind me are inexpensive cabinets from overstock that I tried my best to fancy up. I got mirrors cut to fill the inserts for a more custom look. Unfortunately, the "wood" material the cabinets were made of was so ridiculous that not even the strongest adhesive would keep those mirrors on. They often fell off when using the cabinets in which I stored fabric books in. It was extremely inconveniencing, to say the least. #diyfail


"Formal Living Room" turned into a dining room at my previous house.

You can see this room is much larger. Therefore it was a great area to extend the dining table once a year when guest used it. I kept it at a shorter length most days since I used the front door often, I preferred an easy access to it from my office. I secretly reward myself when I can make it to the door for the post man before my yappy dogs notice anyone has approached. Nothing worse than barking dogs when on a conference call while working at home. Embarrassing.



A once empty room transformed into a custom study that can showcase treasures.

I recently read that 3.9 million Americans work from home. That is impressive! Makes sense that a dedicated home office is required over a seldom used dining area. However. I find that even if hardly used. The dining area is a room that will hold a special place in all of our hearts, because of the 1 or 2 times a year it does get use.


Those memories stay with us for a lifetime. Therefore, I am one of those people that STRONGLY support a formal dining room.


My current house. Notice I swapped the mid-century modern table for a chunky reclaimed one. I love how the dainty chandelier really balanced it all out.

We will use the dining room to cherish family and friends maybe once a year. However, we walk by it DAILY. The dining room is usually the center of attention and close to the front door --- One of the FIRST impressions your home will make to all that enter! So let's make it beautiful!!


Step one. Get the best table you can afford. The table makes the space.


Step 2. Centerpiece y'all. Every dining room needs a beautiful natural, organic shaped piece on either the dining table or buffet. That is if the space has room for a buffet.


Get a centerpiece or one for your buffet that speaks to your soul.

Use texture in your dining room!

#pier1 is the best place for amazing textured table items. All the pieces you see here are form pier1, minus the floral, that was from my one and only love #homegoods.


Make it fancy! Add host chairs. Add large scale art! Add a dramatic centerpiece. Add architectural details. We did all those things in this dining room. One of our favorite transformations. I will be sharing more transformation before and after soon.




Hope your Friday is a lovely one!!


-Nikki




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