The trend away from formal entertaining has accelerated in all but the highest echelons of society. Yet most older homes were built to a style that demands that we eat away from the utilitarian kitchen.
So what happens now? Tremendous advances in kitchen design means that we are as proud today of our kitchens as our great-grandparents were of their dining rooms. A smart kitchen is a style statement. Today’s kitchen is the “heart of the home” where style and comfort combine to make the most welcoming room in the house. Where better to entertain our friends?
Our buyers increasingly request a large kitchen for this reason, yet few demand a formal dining room. RSJ (Reinforced Steel Joist) manufacturers must be doing a roaring trade as many dining rooms that are adjacent to kitchens get knocked through to make a large open kitchen/dining area – ideally with a TV seating area as well if space permits.
Where the dining room is adjacent to the sitting room, it is also quite impressive from a buyer’s perspective to see one large sitting room in its place for wow factor. However, a word of caution when this relates to a family home where the sitting room is already a reasonable size. It may be that the old dining room could be put to better use as a teenage TV room/den or homework room, especially as children are leaving home later in life.
Also, with increasing numbers of people working from home, a dining room can represent valuable office space, which is lost if knocked through.
So before getting the sledgehammer out, you might want to ask us for advice about current buyer preferences if you are to maximise the chances of appealing to the widest audience when the time comes to sell. We’re always happy to help and our advice is free.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents