Having a separate dining room seems to have fallen out of fashion, with the trend for open-plan kitchens taking their place instead.
But if you are selling your home you’re missing a trick if you have a separate dining room and do not show it off to its full potential, say property design experts and estate agents.
They explain that a dining room – or showcasing a separate dining area in an open-plan kitchen – can add thousands of pounds to the value of your home, as buyers picture themselves entertaining their friends and family there.
This dining room is part of five-bedroom detached house in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, being sold via online estate agents Yopa
Turned the dining room into a playroom though, or knocked through into the kitchen?
All is not lost if you don’t have a separate dining room, so long as you have a dedicated dining area, which is important to buyers as they see it as both an entertaining space and a cornerstone of closer family life.
Stacey Dibley, of Alexander James Interior Design, said: ‘Although formal dining rooms may seem old fashioned with the rise of open plan kitchen and eating areas, they are still a very special room in the home and are now seen as a unique feature that can set a property above the rest.’
She added: ‘It could be said that open plan cooking and eating areas have taken the magic out of meal times, with many multitasking as they eat each meal.
‘A separate dining area allows you to switch off from all other distractions that occur with open plan living, and focus on the food that you are eating and enjoy the company of those you are with – making every meal a special occasion.
A separate dining area allows you to switch off from all other distractions that occur with open plan living, and focus on the food that you are eating and the company you are with
Stacey Dibley, Alexander James Interior Design
‘Importantly, formal dining rooms allow you to hide the food preparation area that you would not want your guests to see, making a separate dining room a must for those that love to entertain.’
Experts explains that for those without a separate dining area, so long as you create a good space for eating, then it can help to sell your home.
Yopa’s Emma Peak said: ‘It doesn’t matter whether it is a two-bedroom flat or a nine-bedroom mansion, the principles of using your dining room to help sell your home are the same.
‘If there is a dining room, show it off to its full potential.
She goes on to say: ‘Make sure a buyer can see that there is a space for a table and chairs, especially if you’re trying to appeal to families as they need to know that they won’t be sat on the sofa with their children on their knees when they sit down for a meal.’
Here, the Yopa agent provides six top tips on what buyers want to see in a dining space to entice them to make an offer.
1. Set the scene with some colour
While it’s important not to go over the top, a well-presented dining room will always have an injection of colour. It doesn’t have to be bright yellow. It could be a subtle light green with matching curtains that have a pop of pink in them.
Emma says: ‘It is important there is some personality in the decoration and it is not completely beige.
‘There could be a feature wall with some colourful wallpaper. You just need to make sure it is not over the top.’
This dining area is in a five-bedroom house in Tarporley, Cheshire, being sold by Yopa
2. Invest in some modern furniture
If you have an outdated dining table and chairs, it may be worth investing in some new furniture to help present the room in the best way.
It is likely that you will take the new items with you and so it won’t be a wasted spend and could end up selling your home if it helps to make the room appeal to buyers. If you don’t take them with you and the buyers like the space, you could offer to sell them – this is particularly handy for first-time buyers.
Emma says: ‘A more modern approach is good, with a glass or oak table. It can help the space by ensuring that the room doesn’t look outdated.’
This dining area is in a three-bedroom house in North Shields, Tyne and Wear, being sold via Yopa, it is smaller but the round table makes it look more attractive and intimate
3. Keep it to scale
Emma says: ‘It is important to display the space correctly. If you have room for an eight-seater dining table, make sure you demonstrate this with the table extended and in the centre of the room.’
This means you need to avoid pushing the table up against a wall as a four-seater.
At the same time, if you have a smaller area consider a round table that fits appropriately into the space.
4. Inject sophistication with pendant lighting
An interior designer’s trick is to install lighting in odd numbers, especially in threes. This can work well with lighting and can be applied to pendant lighting to add a modern and clean look.
This dining area is in a five-bed house in London’s Regents Park Road, being sold via Yopa
5. Soften hard surfaces with fabrics
Consider comfortable and inviting chairs covered in fabric that match the rest of the room, and heavy full curtains to give a warm and cosy feel to the room.
This dining room is part of a five-bedroom house in Tenterden, Kent, being sold by Yopa
6. Dress your table for the occasion
If you know you have a viewing, make sure your dining table isn’t cluttered with papers relating to life admin.
You can go even go a step further and dress it for dinner to help clearly define the purpose of the space in the room.