You are currently viewing New Trend: Turn Your Formal Dining Room into a Bar

A formal dining room is great if you host big formal dinners often or enjoy a grand set-up for family meals.

But if you’re eating all your meals at a table or island in your kitchen or great room (and therefore never using your dining room), you probably have a big chunk of wasted space available that happens to be right near your kitchen. 

How about turning your under-used formal dining room into some more usable – like a bar and social area for gathering?

We’ve been seeing this trend more and more, and we really love it.  If you’ve got the space, it’s a cool opportunity to move your bar/gathering area out of your basement and/or direct kitchen area, but still keep it close to the kitchen for food prep & serving.

The same transformation can also happen for an old playroom when the kids are all grown up.  (Perhaps your old playroom was even a formal dining room before it was taken over by toys!)

Here are a few ideas for how you can turn a formal dining room or old playroom into a comfortable entertainment and socializing spot within your home.

1.     Add a bar for drinks and/or counter height seating to gather with friends outside of the kitchen.

Relaxing seating with a bar to stand at gives the feeling of being “out”, but in the comfort of your own home. 

in home bar designed

bar island with back bar

2.     Add a TV to watch big games and events.

Don’t miss a moment of the action while you step into the kitchen to grab a refill or the next course of food.

Bar with white top, seating for 4 people and TV behind the bar


3.     Add plenty of extra storage.

Cabinets behind a bar provide an ideal place to store glassware, seldom used dishes and other entertaining pieces such as large serving dishes and trays.

bar back wire front shelving

bar back with cabinetry and TV

Wondering what your formal dining room could look like as a bar instead? Come see our designers at our showroom in Old Forge. We help bring your ideas to life.

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