The Dining Table’s New Role in 2022


Dining room tables have always served a purpose that goes beyond basic convenience. Now more than ever, the dining table has become the very heart of the home, serving a wide variety of practical purposes.

The events of the past two years have profoundly influenced all aspects of family life. Things we once took for granted became rare privileges, as we found ourselves confined to our homes indefinitely.

At the center of the whole thing was (and still is) the dining table. From the most traditional farmhouse tables to ultra-modern and minimalist designs, spending more time than ever before at the table became the norm.

With little say in the matter, households across the country were forced to repurpose their dining room into multi-functional spaces for all purposes.  Something which, according to many interior designers and sociologists alike, could prove to be permanent.

What Makes the Dining Table Such a Central Feature of Importance?

Nobody would dispute the practicality or versatility of a good dining table.  Built to last from the highest quality materials, it can serve more important purposes than just about anything else in the home.

But in terms of how the dining table has become such a central feature in households across the country, it’s all about the way the pandemic has impacted our lives. More specifically, the extent to which the humble dining table caters to a wide range of changes we’ve been forced to adapt to.

A few examples of which are as follows:

It’s where we now eat again as a family

First up, staying in became the new going out at the very beginning of the pandemic. Even when lockdown restrictions were eased, the desire to mix in spaces that couldn’t be guaranteed safe remained somewhat unappealing.

Consequently, the dining room table once again became the center of the family’s dining experience. A tradition that had somewhat faded over recent decades, dining together as a family became one of life’s genuine joys.

Morning, afternoon or evening, there’s no better place to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

It’s our own private space for entertaining and socializing

In a similar vein, entertaining and socializing at home remains the new norm for many. From sophisticated dinners to casual cocktails, a dining table is a quintessentially social piece of furniture.

Over time, the inability to socialize and seek entertainment away from home ceased being a burden. It instead became an opportunity to rediscover the joys of the amenities you already have access to at home.

Armed with nothing more than a few good recipes and a comfortable dining space, there’s little reason to venture far in search of a good time.

It’s where home office productivity happens

Then there’s the mass shift to home working, which for millions may indeed prove permanent.

For some, this has meant transforming unused rooms and spaces around the home into fully functional offices.  For others, a distinct lack of space has made it difficult (or impossible) to set up anything of the sort. Precisely where something as simple as a good dining table can make all the difference.

Working from home doesn’t have to mean confining yourself to a cramped and uncomfortable space in a corner of the home. If you’ve a suitably comfortable dining space, you have everything you need for a productive home working experience.

It’s the center of the kids’ home schooling experience

The likelihood of UK schools closing in masse again anytime soon is minimal. But what became clear during the course of the pandemic is how impossible it is to provide kids of all ages with a beneficial and enriching educational experience at home.

One which, of course, has a tendency to center on the dining table.  This is often the only piece of furniture at home large enough to accommodate kids’ educational activities. In addition, a dining space typically provides kids with the kind of quiet and distraction-free environment to focus on their tasks.

Now kids are back at school, it’s back to business as usual – the dining table continuing to do its thing for homework and after school projects.

It’s perfect for fun, games and crafts

Last up, we’ve all been forced to find new (and old) ways to entertain ourselves while the world has been crumbling around us.

A deck of cards, a family favorite board game, a forgotten set of watercolor paints, a poker set – all ideal for fun and games at the dining table. Not to mention, the perfect setting for video calls with family and friends, helping maintain connections with those closest to us in challenging times.

It may serve a predominantly practical purpose, but a dining table can be a genuinely enjoyable piece of furniture to spend time doing pretty much anything you like.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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