Dining room demise

I don’t think that it will surprise most of us the sales of dining room furniture are in decline. Smaller households, cafeteria style dining in the home and the rise of the television as the true focal point at dinner time have rendered dining room furniture almost obsolete in many houses across Britain. Indeed, according to research from Mintel, over the last five years alone sales of dining room furniture have declined by 8% to just £119 million this year. This decline defies the trend in other furniture markets such as home office furniture, where sales have risen by almost 40% since 2000 and bedroom furniture, which increased its sales by 37% over the same five year period.

Today, dining rooms have become almost defunct as a place where a family enjoys an everyday meal together around the table. Scenes like those from the iconic OXO adverts featuring Lynda Bellingham, which ran for some 16 years, are now no longer a reflection of contemporary British family life and as a result have since been abandoned. Indeed, for many grazing or eating on the hoof have replaced meal times while for those who do sit down for dinner it is often merely a case of a self service meal eaten on the lap in front of the television or a bite at a local eatery, comments David Bird, senior market analyst at Mintel.

But perhaps the most significant factor behind the continued decline of the dining room furniture market is the demise of the dining room itself. With the continued breakdown of traditional family models, rising divorce rates, later marriages and an ageing population more people are living alone. These smaller households are often converted properties or new builds, which often simply do not have a separate dining room and boast an open-plan living-dining-kitchen area, adds David Bird.

For those who have a dining room it is usually kept only for formal occasions or has changed its function completely. Many have made it into a home office so that some consumers are now more likely to be found working on their laptop than eating at the dining room table. All this has contributed to the decline is sales of dining room furniture.

So, if you have an old dining room that you’d prefer to have as a home office or knock into an open plan kitchen pop in and see us, we’re here to help.