Dining room

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Historical example of a domestic dining room in Germany. 2008-04-12 Freilichtmuseum Detmold (34).jpg
Historical example of a domestic dining room in Germany.

A dining room is a room for consuming food. In modern times it is usually adjacent to the kitchen for convenience in serving, although in medieval times it was often on an entirely different floor level. Historically the dining room is furnished with a rather large dining table and a number of dining chairs; the most common shape is generally rectangular with two armed end chairs and an even number of un-armed side chairs along the long sides.

Contents

History

Dining Room in the Lancut Castle, Poland Lancut Palace - inside 06.JPG
Dining Room in the Łańcut Castle, Poland

In the Middle Ages, upper class Britons and other European nobility in castles or large manor houses dined in the great hall. This was a large multi-function room capable of seating the bulk of the population of the house. The family would sit at the head table on a raised dais, with the rest of the population arrayed in order of diminishing rank away from them. Tables in the great hall would tend to be long trestle tables with benches. The sheer number of people in a Great Hall meant it would probably have had a busy, bustling atmosphere. Suggestions that it would also have been quite smelly and smoky are probably, by the standards of the time, unfounded. These rooms had large chimneys and high ceilings and there would have been a free flow of air through the numerous door and window openings.

It is true that the owners of such properties began to develop a taste for more intimate gatherings in smaller 'parlers' or 'privee parlers' off the main hall but this is thought to be due as much to political and social changes as to the greater comfort afforded by such rooms. Over time, the nobility took more of their meals in the parlour, and the parlour became, functionally, a dining room (or was split into two separate rooms). It also migrated farther from the Great Hall, often accessed via grand ceremonial staircases from the dais in the Great Hall. Eventually dining in the Great Hall became something that was done primarily on special occasions.

Toward the beginning of the 18th Century, a pattern emerged where the ladies of the house would withdraw after dinner from the dining room to the drawing room. The gentlemen would remain in the dining room having drinks. The dining room tended to take on a more masculine tenor as a result.

Contemporary usage

Example of a modern-day dining room from the United States. Orange Dining Room.jpg
Example of a modern-day dining room from the United States.

A typical North American dining room will contain a table with chairs arranged along the sides and ends of the table, as well as other pieces of furniture such as sideboards and china cabinets, as space permits. [1] Often tables in modern dining rooms will have a removable leaf to allow for the larger number of people present on those special occasions without taking up extra space when not in use. Although the "typical" family dining experience is at a wooden table or some sort of kitchen area, some choose to make their dining rooms more comfortable by using couches or comfortable chairs.

In modern American and Canadian homes, the dining room is typically adjacent to the living room, being increasingly used only for formal dining with guests or on special occasions. For informal daily meals, most medium size houses and larger will have a space adjacent to the kitchen where table and chairs can be placed, larger spaces are often known as a dinette while a smaller one is called a breakfast nook. [2] Smaller houses and condos may have a breakfast bar instead, often of a different height than the regular kitchen counter (either raised for stools or lowered for chairs). If a home lacks a dinette, breakfast nook, or breakfast bar, then the kitchen or family room will be used for day-to-day eating.

This[ clarification needed ] was traditionally the case in Britain, where the dining room would for many families be used only on Sundays, other meals being eaten in the kitchen.

In Australia, the use of a dining room is still prevalent, yet not an essential part of modern home design. For most, it is considered a space to be used during formal occasions or celebrations. Smaller homes, akin to the USA and Canada, use a breakfast bar or table placed within the confines of a kitchen or living space for meals.

See also

A Japanese example: the dining room of the Fujiya Hotel in Hakone The main dining room, Fujiya Hotel, Miyanoshita, Hakone.jpg
A Japanese example: the dining room of the Fujiya Hotel in Hakone

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Hall Large room used for meetings, social affairs or events

In architecture, a hall is a relatively large space enclosed by a roof and walls. In the Iron Age and early Middle Ages in northern Europe, a mead hall was where a lord and his retainers ate and also slept. Later in the Middle Ages, the great hall was the largest room in castles and large houses, and where the servants usually slept. As more complex house plans developed, the hall remained a large room for dancing and large feasts, often still with servants sleeping there. It was usually immediately inside the main door. In modern British houses, an entrance hall next to the front door remains an indispensable feature, even if it is essentially merely a corridor.

Kitchen space primarily used for preparation and storage of food

A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation in a dwelling or in a commercial establishment. A modern middle-class residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator, and worktops and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a microwave oven, a dishwasher, and other electric appliances. The main functions of a kitchen are to store, prepare and cook food. The room or area may also be used for dining, entertaining and laundry. The design and construction of kitchens is a huge market all over the world.

Parlour reception room

A parlour is a reception room or public space. In medieval Christian Europe, the "outer parlour" was the room where the monks or nuns conducted business with those outside the monastery and the "inner parlour" was used for necessary conversation between resident members. In the English-speaking world of the 18th and 19th century, having a parlour room was evidence of social status.

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A boarding house is a house in which lodgers rent one or more rooms for one or more nights, and sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months, and years. The common parts of the house are maintained, and some services, such as laundry and cleaning, may be supplied. They normally provide "room and board," that is, at least some meals as well as accommodation.

<i>Ryokan</i> (inn) Traditional Japanese inn

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Pantry room where accessories, provisions, etc. are stored

A pantry is a room where beverages, food, and sometimes dishes, household cleaning chemicals, linens, or provisions are stored. Food and beverage pantries serve in an ancillary capacity to the kitchen. The word "pantry" derives from the same source as the Old French term paneterie; that is from pain, the French form of the Latin panis, "bread".

Family room informal all-purpose room inside a house

A family room is an informal, all-purpose room in a house. The family room is designed to be a place where family and guests gather for group recreation like talking, reading, watching TV, and other family activities. Often, the family room is located adjacent to the kitchen, and at times, flows into it with no visual breaks. A family room often has doors leading to the back yard and specific outdoor living areas such as a deck, garden, or terrace.

Domus Roman urban house of upper classes

In ancient Rome, the domus was the type of house occupied by the upper classes and some wealthy freedmen during the Republican and Imperial eras. It was found in almost all the major cities throughout the Roman territories. The modern English word domestic comes from Latin domesticus, which is derived from the word domus. The word dom in modern Slavic languages means "home" and is a cognate of the Latin word, going back to Proto-Indo-European. Along with a domus in the city, many of the richest families of ancient Rome also owned a separate country house known as a villa. Many chose to live primarily, or even exclusively, in their villas; these homes were generally much grander in scale and on larger acres of land due to more space outside the walled and fortified city.

Great hall largest room in a medieval manor

A great hall is the main room of a royal palace, nobleman's castle or a large manor house or hall house in the Middle Ages, and continued to be built in the country houses of the 16th and early 17th centuries, although by then the family used the great chamber for eating and relaxing. At that time the word "great" simply meant big and had not acquired its modern connotations of excellence. In the medieval period, the room would simply have been referred to as the "hall" unless the building also had a secondary hall, but the term "great hall" has been predominant for surviving rooms of this type for several centuries, to distinguish them from the different type of hall found in post-medieval houses. Great halls were found especially in France, England and Scotland, but similar rooms were also found in some other European countries.

Great chamber ceremonial centre of a manor or castle

The great chamber was the second most important room in a medieval or Tudor English castle, palace, mansion, or manor house after the great hall. Medieval great halls were the ceremonial centre of the household and were not private at all; the gentlemen attendants and the servants would come and go all the time. The great chamber was at the dais end of the hall, usually up a staircase. It was the first room which offered the lord of the household some privacy from his own staff, albeit not total privacy. In the Middle Ages the great chamber was an all-purpose reception and living room. The family might take some meals in it, though the great hall was the main eating room. In modest manor houses it sometimes also served as the main bedroom.

Triclinium Roman dining room

A triclinium is a formal dining room in a Roman building. The word is adopted from the Greek τρικλίνιον, triklinion, from τρι-, tri-, "three", and κλίνη, klinē, a sort of "couch" or rather chaise longue. Each couch was sized to accommodate a diner who reclined on their left side on cushions while some household slaves served multiple courses rushed out of the culina, or kitchen, and others entertained guests with music, song, or dance.

The meanings attributed to the word hall have varied over the centuries, as social practices have changed. The word derives from the Old Teutonic (hallâ), where it is associated with the idea of covering or concealing. In modern German it is Halle where it refers to a building but Saal where it refers to a large public room though the distinction is blurred:(Halle ). The latter may arise from a genitive form of the former. The French salle is borrowed from the German.

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Room distinguishable space within a building or other structure

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Mrs. William B. Astor House building in Manhattan, New York, United States

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References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?id=cRd307GIP6sC, page 25
  2. "dinette - definition of dinette by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2013-02-15.