Make Room for Dining Table

By Christine Brun

June 1, 2016 5 min read

There is nothing more fun than spending a leisurely Saturday rearranging furniture. But when you're expecting your adult child to move home after college graduation, it becomes more than a dreamy pastime. We've all heard jokes about parents who immediately turn their son or daughter's bedroom into a sewing room or man cave the minute the kid leaves for college. They wave goodbye as the kid drives away, and then they race back inside to begin redesigning the space. But in this economy, many college grads move back home for a period of time, causing parents to have to rearrange the home again. There are plenty of ways to rework living space to accommodate your adult child's move home.

The way in which you reorganize space in your home largely depends on how long your child will stay. If it's a short-term stay for just a few months, consider laying out an air mattress in the home office or family room. Or, perhaps the solution is a good-quality convertible sofa. Ikea has an armless futon that is made of soft upholstery. A duo bed may be another option. One duo bed design includes two large ottomans that slide up against a sofa to form a large bed. In fact, a duo bed is a great option for any guest, say, in case your child brings a friend or significant other over to stay. Plus, a duo bed is a multipurpose option; you can rearrange the individual furniture pieces as a couch and two chaise lounges.

If your child's stay is more long-term, you'll need to put more thought into creating a space to make your child feel comfortable. If you invested in furniture and completely converted your child's bedroom to another room, you may have to rearrange other rooms in your home. For example, if you turned your child's bedroom into a home office, consider repurposing your dining room as your own home office and returning the bedroom to your child. Then, move your dining room furniture into your living room.

To do so, you may have to remove some soft seating to make room for dining room furniture. You can get creative and use your dining room table in a different manner. As one option, push the table up against the back of your sofa, as shown here. When you want to serve dinner, pull the table a few feet away from the sofa, just far enough away to create walking space around the table. After dining, simply move the table back. Another space-saving arrangement involves pushing the dining table up against a wall in the family room, living room or kitchen. If you have a kitchen island, you could even push the dining table perpendicular against the island.

My dining room is good-sized. I no longer use it like I did when our son was growing up. If the need presented itself, it would be easy to gain back the bedroom by redecorating the dining room as a home office for my husband and I. As for dining, I have a 54-inch round wooden pedestal table that can accommodate up to six people comfortably. I keep it at the far end of the living room. Any party larger than six would require serving food buffet style on the table or eating outside on the patio. The point is, you can shake up the use of space to increase the functionality of any room in your home.

It's important to account for storage needs, too. If you have too many furniture pieces altogether, you may need to rent a small storage unit for a while. It will cost you, but it's less expensive than paying to rent an apartment. Be sure to provide enough furniture pieces that have good storage capability, so your child's room or space won't be messy. Fortunately, online shopping makes purchasing furniture easy. Check out HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, Ikea, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma online to find affordable small nightstands, bookcases, dressers and lamps. The Container Store is a great site to look for closet equipment and storage ideas.

Try any one of these recommendations to reorganize your home to fit your family's needs.

Photo Credit: Ballard Designs

Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego-based interior designer and author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at [email protected] To find out more about Christine Brun and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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