The Dining Room

Many folks will tell me how they admire my minimalism….but they could never do it with kids/spouse/pets or think about giving up their books/Pez collection/baseball cards. “OK,” I say. Every game has its rules. Draw a big Sharpie circle around whatever it is you can not do without and think about minimalism outside that circle.

Here is my dining room. This is the room my family of four eats in 2-3 times per day. It also gets used an “office” or project room, a place to read and sometimes a place to fold laundry. All of the rooms in my house multi-task. This is normal in many traditional homes around the world. I’m not sure when middle class folks started to designate rooms to furniture types instead of function, but I would guess that it happened about the time marketing took off after WWII.

Total number of objects in the room (in the share with my kids category) is 42. Here in the corner hutch you will see


This includes two Corning ware serving pieces with lids. These can be frozen, baked, microwaved and look fancy on the table. They are versatile. Next shelf down are five mugs–used to be six. Ah, that is family life. (And some paper napkins, in case you were wondering) Down from there are five glasses and five small plates. Used to be six and eight. So. Down one more shelf are nine bowls and six large plates. Used to be ten and eight. The reason some are missing is that we use these dishes every day. Small and large plates, bowls, glasses are all used as serving pieces from time to time. All are inexpensive (mostly from Pier One or Target) and white or clear. Everything matches, can be used together and if all but one of the large plates breaks I just buy some more white dishes and call the lone large white plate a “serving piece.”

Also in the room are the über functional table and chairs.

table and six chairs

And because every environment needs a little soul, there are three works of art. The first is a movie poster for a movie two of my kids help make.

Paper Airplane poster

That is beloved daughter in the upper left corner and beloved middle son in the lower right. The movie was a hoot. Here is a trailer for it.

Here is a painting that my mother carted back from Mexico City at significant risk to our personal safety. Mom and I both think the painting says, “Welcome.” Other family members were too traumatized to see it in a positive light.


And my artistic favorite-The Joyful Buddha, an housewarming gift from mom.

I think he is pleased with the minimalist room he dwells in

There is also a portion of the dish hutch with a solid door. The only thing in there is the tool to unscrew the bulbs from the light fixture.

Intelligent design?

So there you have it. One of the most used rooms in the house–42 items total.


5 responses to “The Dining Room

  1. Yes, Bienvenido means Welcome. i like the painting J

  2. You’re an inspiration. I’m getting ready to move into the apartment, and I already have at least 500+ things (and that doesn’t count the PEZ that I still have). Looks like you could use another person for dinner sometime at that table…

  3. What do you do when you have visitors for meals? I mean for seating and for eating utensils and plates, cups, etc? Thanks!

    • Well, the most people I have had for a meal was 8. Youngest son and the band and one groupie=5, plus me, plus middle son and his girlfriend. The band and I ate in the dining room and middle son and his girlfriend ate on the back porch. There are enough utensils of various sizes for everyone. If I was going to have a bigger group than that I would borrow stuff.

  4. Ok, thanks! Borrowing–great idea!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s