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Multi-Purpose Dining Room Tour

I love old my old house. I love my old house. I love my old house…just keep telling yourself…

Okay, so I don’t love EVERYTHING about my old house, but I have learned to make do with some of those little annoyances that come with century old homes. I’ve accepted things like tiny kitchens, leaky bathrooms, too few outlets, and multiple doorways in every room. And, I’ve fallen in love with things like tall ceilings, glass door knobs, original solid wood trim and pocket doors, built-in window seats, hardwood floors and much, much more. There is a “lived-in” character that can’t be replicated in new(er) construction – even as I dream of a glorious new modern-day kitchen… {sigh} … someday. 

In recent years we’ve had to be creative to find more space for things like a home office and homework station so that’s how our dining room became our little multi-tasker in the Robb household. Do you have a room that has to perform multiple duties in your house?

Even this little guy gets tired just thinkin’ about it.

#1 Dining + Storing

First of all, I had this darling buffet tucked away in the corner near a doorway. There is a swinging door into our kitchen on one side of the room and sliding pocket doors on the other side, plus four windows. This room has always been a challenge for me to decorate. Lest I mention that it has paneled walls that we painted when we moved in and a drop ceiling from a leaky upstairs bathroom. We are making do with the walls and ceiling for now… Although I have tired of this red that turned out pink in my photos. Bear with me.

Anyway, this was a bad location for this big piece of furniture and I could never figure out what to hang above it or how to style the top of it. Plus, this dark wood was no match for my red walls. So, I moved it under my windows and painted it with Valspar’s Ancient Stone. The combination of natural light and paint color brighten the space instantly.

The painted buffet better compliments my DIY farmer’s table. Read more about that project here.

#2 Workspace + Homework Station

I work from home a few days a week. Old house = no office space on the first floor. With kids and a dog around while I’m working, it’s imperative that my workspace be near them. My desk space also serves as my craft space and Silhouette Cameo center. Super multi-tasking. Crafting and DIY never stops. Dinner may be on the stove while I hammer out a blog post, cut a stencil with my Silhouette machine or browse a little Pinterest in the next room.

Do your kids jump right in and get started on their homework after school? Neither do mine. We’ll find any (yes, ANY) reason not to get started… distractions are EVERYWHERE. 

I don’t have a pencil. I need a yellow crayon. Where are the scissors? My pencil needs sharpened. I’m hungry. Where’s the glue sticks? Do we have any construction paper? I left my ruler at school. I need another pencil.

Ok… so they still get distracted, but all our supplies are corralled right here. The dining room table is our homework desk – allowing us to eat snacks while we complete worksheet after worksheet after worksheet. Boom. 
I don’t have “home office” meetings but if I did, someone could totally sit here. 🙂

#3 Entertaining

Is it ironic or clever that the entertaining portion of my dining room comes just after I shared our homework and work stations? Clever, most definitely. We used to just set all our liquor bottles out in the open. Kinda looks like we have a problem, doesn’t it? Still, this shelf is perfect for storing cocktail glasses, wine bottles and other vintage goods.

The real problem here? Not finishing a bottle after we open it.  LOL!

My husband eyed a better solution at an auction. See what I did just there? Clever. Seriously, I’m on a roll.
Got the industrial eye cabinet for $5 at an auction.
Thrifty is my middle name.
Another view and more storage – our primitive cabinet in the corner. I swear there’s no liquor in there… just dishes.

#4 Doggie Space

Last but not least, we adopted a labrador last Christmas. What were we thinking? We love the guy but there were no extra doggie-ready spaces for a dog, especially a lab prone to chewing every pillow in the house. His cage is big, but so very necessary. Into the dining room corner it goes. A little burlap cover helps mask the ugly cage. I have discovered that he doesn’t have a taste for burlap – the ONLY fabric he hasn’t chewed in this house.

Reader Interactions


  1. 1

    I soooooo need you to come over to my house….I think that is about the eighth time I’ve said that!

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