Homeowners under-using dining rooms despite space, study suggests

British homeowners are increasingly shunning the traditional purpose of dining rooms and many only use them for entertaining and special occasions, new research suggests.

In an independent survey by lighting specialists LampShopOnline, almost three-fifths of the British public said they use their dining room for everyday meals.

But results suggest this space is being underused in many households, with 30.8% admitting they mostly use their dining room for entertaining or special occasions.

According to research conducted by the Energy Saving Trust, lack of space is the number one bugbear for UK homeowners, a problem easily rectified by making better use of the dining room.

Rob Holroyd technical manager at LampShopOnline comments: “With space being an issue for many, it makes sense to make full use of all rooms in the home. Dining rooms can easily be adapted from a bright office space in the daytime to a more intimate dining space in the evening, simply through creative lighting.”

Dining rooms serve a range of purposes, such as studying and working - the most common usage for 13% of households in the LampShopOnline survey. A further 10.7% of respondents said they use their dining room mostly as a children's playroom.Living room and dining rooms

Arthur Smith, lighting expert at LED watcher advises: “To create a dining room that’s multifunctional and as suitable for day-to-day means as it is for special occasions, you need to add multiple lighting layers to the room.

“For example, you could add some recessed downlights into the ceiling and smaller accent lighting like floor lamps or uplighters will be great when you want to keep the room dim and cosy.”

Lighting that is easy to adapt will also contribute to the flexibility of the room. Dimmer switches and independently controlled fittings create an instant transition between uses.

“Make sure each layer of lighting can turn on and off separately to allow the lights to serve their multiple purposes,” said Arthur.

“Dimmers will also allow for much more variety with your lighting. In addition to having different lighting fixtures to turn on and off, you can also dim your lights to fit the ambience to every occasion.”