I’m just curious.  Do you use your dining room? How often?  Do you really think you need a room you use two or three times a year, or do you want it because your realtor told you that you needed it for resale?  I have thought about it many times in my own home.  What else could I use this room for in the front of my house?  Especially in these economic times, where less is becoming more, could I give up my dining room and create a function for the room where I would get more use out of it? I started thinking like this back when I was working on my Interior Design degree, when the book “The Not So Big House” by Sarah Susanka was introduced as reference for a project we were working on. (A great book and great concept.)  Since then, I have been hooked on the idea of “living better, not bigger.”  Do we entertain formally anymore, or do your friends tend to congregate in the kitchen? Some may still entertain formally but I know I don’t.  How about just one really nice place in the house where you could eat every day, and nice enough that guests could eat there too?  It’s a lot like going ahead and using the good dishes every day.  What are you saving them for?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  Do you really need a separate dining room?