1.12.2010

the end of the formal dinner?

Interior design trends constantly adapt to suit social trends and I think the appearance of sofas at dining room tables is an example of that. More and more when I have dinner with friends we wind up sitting on the sofa around the coffee table to eat dinner.

Am I alone in experiencing this trend not only socially but in interior design?

35 comments:

La Dolfina said...

Definitely not alone! You've made me feel much better about our habits :)
Good insight...I think you are on to something.
Terri

A Life More Fabulous said...

This is so true Blair! Glad to know I`m not alone. Not entirely sure how I feel about it... there`s still something special about gathering around the table.

Rachel Follett said...

Such great examples! Family dinners tend to drag on so having a super comfy sofa would be awesome!

Camille @ STYLE NOTES said...

Totally agree! I'm an event planner by day, so at night when I'm home w/ my husband, I love to set a beautiful table with glassware, candles, & flowers. However, we've grown accustomed to setting it up at our little couch/breakfast nook instead of the formal dining table, because it's just so darn cozy!!

Paula Grace Designs said...

The sofa ~ not so much ~ the banquette ~ you betcha. I think a sofa is lovely but may not let everyone access the table well. I do love the L shaped banquette though. Soooo cozy! I am lovin' the floors in the last picture. Simple elegance!
Paula Grace ~

Lavender and Lilies said...

I absolutely love this new thing i've seen of upholstered settees at dining tables. It looks fabulous!

Jamie said...

Love the Moravian stars in that third picture!

sarah said...

Absolutely LOVE settee's at the dining table!
There is something lovely about sitting around the living room with great friends and an informal meal!

Flick, said...

I love the look of sofas at the table, and it sure would be comfortable, but probably not overly practical in our house, (the little destroyers) but I also love the occasional formal dinner... for that I love my full dining setting!
:)

Brunch at Saks said...

Not alone at all! I have noticed this more and more lately as well, Gorgeous images!

Nicole Marie said...

wow, i love the looks but i'm not sure about not having a formal dining seating

Spotted Sparrow said...

This is very common in Germany, especially in older homes. People often have a couch at the dining room table, or just have the table in the living room where the couch is.

Adriana said...

Blair, you're not alone in noticing the trend but I am not feeling it at all! Even if it's not formal dinner, I like sitting at the dining table. I oppose turning living into dining, I hope others agree :)

Emily said...

I definitely agree with you Blair and I have to say, I love the idea. Also love those star lights in the second to last image. adds a bit of glamour!

Federica said...

Not alone Blair!

Appletree said...

those are gorgeous. I am so going to do this once my kids stop spilling stuff at every meal. WHEN do they stop spilling stuff at every meal?

Heidi Lyn said...

I love this trend and will storing away the images you've posted. It feels so comfy and warm, so casual and intimate. Beautiful!

Dallas Shaw said...

love that top chair!
dallas
http://dillydallas.blogspot.com

SogniSorrisi said...

I adore banquettes!

From my own personal experience I would rather have one large table (either in the kitchen or a more formal dining room) rather than two.

I know so many people who hardly ever use their formal dining rooms, which to me is a waste.

Beautiful Habitat said...

Not alone.
It seems that, apart from meals at the holidays, we gather at the sofa or around the kitchen island at nearly all gatherings or events.
I love the top room - it has great balance.

Down and Out Chic said...

oh i love the look. we have a couch in our kitchen too!

Mackenzie said...

beautiful examples for a spot-on argument. thank you for this gorgeous inspiration for living and dining in comfort.

TERI REES WANG said...

I once had a dining room but, it went neglected. I had a breakfast room too, the stayed empty.
I have an open kitchen/family room.
I have a table and chairs set up there, I set the food and the plates and set myself down, and then I realize that who ever it is that is joining me...has helped themselves to set not where I am, not where the food and the table and the plates are but, at in front of the sofa and T.V. instead!...

Wild Country Safari with the windows rolled down.

Courtney said...

Although I have seen a couple of sofas used in lieu of regular chairs recently, I have also noticed the increase in "bench style" seating at a "formal dining room table" (versus a kitchen table).

I quite like the look and think we'll end up having the bench (with back up chairs) at our table (once we find it)!

I find that this style of arrangement is a bit awkward... but I do enjoy it.

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

Yes, I've seen this too. I think it's great for some type of food, when you don't need to use fork and knife... otherwise I still prefer sitting at a table. What I do love is having a more relaxed dining space! xo

MB said...

With a three year old I don't think we'll be going cloth or suede sofa at the dining room table anytime soon. We would have to replace weekly if not daily.

Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

i think this is a great design element, however, I think it could only be done without kids or "messy" individuals. I would hate to spill something on such beautiful sofas! Also, love the imperial trellis pillows in the third picture!

cassandra @ coco+kelley said...

even more than this i'm seeing the return of the banquette. forget formal dining rooms, people want cozy cozy. i'm all for it!

Christen said...

I love this look, but what do you think about the functionality, especially with a round table? It seems like only 1 or 2 people might be able to share the sofa while still having enough space to eat. Meanwhile, there is a lot of couch space left over. Thoughts??

In Honor Of Design said...

Iactually love this! My husband and I love sitting on the couch for dinner. I think its important to have a sit down formal dinner once in a while too.
:D

CaraBella said...

Interesting --- I know I'd seen the banquette + kitchen/breakfast nook coming back for a few years, and benches with dining tables (we have one), but sofas... am I crazy for thinking this is too forward for me :D? I like support when I'm eating dinner! A-hem :D -- unrelated, I know you don't really do this thing here, but I just wanted to let you know that I gave you a blog award for being one of the ten bloggers who brightens my day :) -- just wanted to say thanks!

kanishk said...

Not entirely sure how I feel about it... there`s still something special about gathering around the table.

Work from home India

Fashion Maven said...

I had this arrangement myself at home for thanksgiving one year. I had a table for eight with a banquette for 2 on one end in lieu of two chairs.

I also had another table set up for 4 in the same room. All of the chairs got filled up, but when the other 2 came in and saw that the only seating left was the banquette, they chose the other table. Bummer, lol.

I think banquettes work best with pedestal tables (mine wasn't and wasn't really long enough anyway) and I think for some people, it just doesn't seem "right" so they avoid it, unless it's 3/4 banquette to 1/4 chairs around a table. I think l-shaped banquettes work best.

What I'd really like though is to get a long oval glass top table that can seat 2 on each side and use wood bases that let me raise it from a coffee table height to a full table height. Then I'd have the best of both worlds!

ohbrooke said...

These are beautiful. The only thing stopping me from this kind of home is money. I love beautiful things, but I'm a CHEAPSKATE! I can't help but want to keep my bank account full and my home a *little* empty.

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