When we were building, I don’t think we saw a single floorplan that didn’t come with a formal dining room. Since we were coming from a much smaller, older home with no island or eat-in kitchen and a dining room as the ONLY place to eat, we just couldn’t wrap our brains around needing three large areas for the 4 of us to sit down to eat. We only have large family gatherings three times a year, so our table that seats 8 and island that seats 3-4 seemed like plenty. I wanted to set this room up as something that would be much more functional for our family, especially since it’s location is right off the entry. It’s also very open to the rest of our living area.
I brought this up when I was picking out our lighting at a local KC shop. I let our sales lady know that I didn’t envision it as a dining room, and would therefore need something that didn’t hang too low because there wouldn’t be a table there. She was the person that stated “I just had clients who were calling their formal dining room a lounge. What do you think of that?” My mind started spinning on overdrive with ideas. Almost instantly, I was able to visualize a moody space with a combined library/den vibe. It would lean more masculine and moody and include a dark leather couch, velvet accents, dark walls, a statement light, and a bar cart. I had a vision! And I started making PicCollages like this!
But you wanna know what else I had? A budget. And furnishing this space was not at the top of the priority list. We agreed to buy all new furniture for our first floor when we moved, so the priority was definitely the living room seating, kitchen barstools, and breakfast room table and chairs. I could’ve bought some less expensive placeholder furniture for the lounge, but I decided I would rather buy for this room once. It was worth saving up for so I could get just what I wanted, so other than the bookshelf we brought from our old house, it sat empty for exactly 9 months.
Then the leather couch I’d had my eyes on arrived! Once I saw it against the a gray wall, I knew I wanted black and white abstract art. I purchased two large prints from Katherine Jury and had them framed.
I decided to do something unexpected and purchased the velvet ottoman in my favorite color: green! I received my late granny’s card catalog (which I painted black), then a bar cart with mirrored glass for Christmas. Plantation shutters came after Christmas as well.
I had a blast decorating this space and just when I didn’t think I could love it more, I decided to paint it black Super Bowl weekend just before Covid hit. The black paint coupled with the vintage mirror and light is my favorite thing!
All of this to say, don’t let the suggestions on a floorplan box you in. I’m convinced that the lounge is my favorite room because of the risks I took in the space. Color outside of the lines and get creative. Do what works for YOUR family. I definitely see dining rooms that are beautiful and appreciate them. I just knew that it wasn’t what we needed and that there were other ways. This room is now something that gets a lot more use than it would’ve as a dining room. It’s the perfect place for reading…and naps.