Let's face it: as much as we'd all like to think of ourselves as the sort of people who throw dinner parties all the time, the formal dining room is mostly obsolete. So what's a modern family to do? You can set up a dining table and chairs in there and then let stuff collect on the table (I'm pretty sure this is the default), or you can take it one step further and transform your dining room into a multi-purpose space that you'll use every day.
One of our favorite ideas? Using bookshelves (built-ins or wall-mounts) to turn your dining room into the library you always wanted and never knew you had.
Above: A dark library and a wonderful place to dine from Bo Bedre.
In this mostly-white space, painting the inside of the bookshelves black makes the colorful books really pop. Image from My Domaine.
Wall-mounted bookshelves are all it takes to turn a dining room into a shrine to learning (or just your favorite page turners). Image from A Cup of Jo.
This dark dining room from Vogue wins points for style and functionality.
A dining room/library combo from Desire to Inspire.
This double duty room is from designer Billy Cotton's Vermont home, spotted on Domino.
A wall of books adds interest to a dining room from Nuevo Estilo.
A super-stylish space for eating and reading, from Vogue.