Are Dining Rooms Going Extinct?

Gone are the days when the absence of a dining room in a home was unacceptable and seen as odd, things are different now. Modern houses now have a lifestyle that suits every other room in a house except the dining room. People in our clime are not too busy with life that the dining area is not reckoned with.

Many Lagosians have their meals on transit because of the lengthy hours they have to spend in traffic while others eat out more than they settle for homemade meals. It feels like life has become busier than it was years ago.

One major difference between old and new is that we now have two working partners unlike what it was like during the days of our fathers when women were relegated mainly to the position of home keepers and child bearers. Women are gradually living up to their full potentials and grabbing new realities; forgoing the stereotypes that the society threw at them.

Today’s families come home at different hours of the day and also leave home when life calls which varies for different family members. Parents get home late into the night when it no longer would be appropriate to sit at the dining, even the hitherto usual timetable for meals is no longer in vogue. Times are changing you would say.

Due to these facts, it is not uncommon to have a staggered family meal, depending on what time everyone gets home. Albeit, what does these have to do with having a dining room? I’ll tell you…

Our world keeps evolving with every passing decade. Times have changed from what it used to be. We are presently in 2019 but 2009 was a whole lot different from what we have now, so was the year 2000. Our present homes are a reflection of our extremely busy and casual lifestyles.

There were days when meals prepared in a kitchen and transferred straight to the dining room in coolers and stainless steel bowls, however it is a different ball game now.  Food can now be eaten in different sections of the home except the convenience. Some don’t even leave the kitchen from the time of preparation of meal to the period the meal finally ends up in the bowels making the dining room increasingly irrelevant.

Gone are the days when dining rooms were a daily part of our lives and one of the most important rooms in the house. They are fast going into extinction. Some still try to have a proper meal in a dining room while others use it once in a while and that’s only because they can’t spend on a place that won’t be useful. There are families who use it to entertain guests and family gatherings or during the holiday season which happens once or twice a year.

The Kitchen in particular is now the new dining area for families. This is where they congregate the few times they are together and possibly eat and relax, for homes that have a large kitchen with a sitting area fitted with music and television sets.

Now, many of the formal dining rooms have been left vacant for small talks and gossips. Some gather spider webs and dust from the previous harmattan haze. Others have been converted to offices, libraries, play rooms and study.

Expanded spaces and open floor plans are very much in demand these days. Newer homes are built with this thought in mind, and older homes are being reconfigured and redeveloped so that they too can have this open feel.

Family and homes are changing with the trend and harsh economic realities don’t support the old way of living. For many young people who graduate from school and hope to start a life away from family which should be the norm, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find an affordable home. Hence the urge to move back home upon graduation even when they become gainfully employed is strong.

Invariably, the dining area in a home is no longer a priority as families tend to create more space out of nothingness to accommodate their increasing number.

In addition, as our population ages, many elders are also moving in with their already established grown up children, so even the children are giving less thought to the idea of having a room that would probably only be put into use just twice in a year or at random times. They would rather use it to create more space in the house.

These days we rent, buy and furnish our homes with the idea of how we want the rooms in the house to look like, but how many of us do put a dining room into consideration. For some of us that don’t even know where we will have our next meal, not having a dining room is not exactly a concern.

Are you of the opinion that dining rooms are going extinct? Do you think it’s obsolete to have a dining area in your homes? Have your say.

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