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24 Great Ways To Repurpose an Unused Dining Room

If you have an unused Dining Room, here’s 24 great ways to repurpose a Dining Room into a useful space! Includes some very low cost options!

Should you Repurpose a Formal Dining Room?

Like a lot of people, we really only use our Dining Room a couple of times a year. Mainly because our kitchen has a pretty large area for a table and chairs. So, we eat all of our meals in the kitchen

And, we even have 3 stools at our kitchen island. So, we have tons of kitchen seating.

All of that kitchen seating means that I could turn my Dining Room into a room we’d actually use. And, there are SO MANY possible uses for an unused formal Dining Room!

Looking for other uses for Dining Rooms? Here's 24 great dining room alternative uses. Option to convert a small dining rooms or large.
Don’t forget to save or share 24 ways to repurpose formal dining rooms.

This post goes over all of those ideas. If you also have an unused Formal Living Room, check out how I turned mine into a beautiful Family Room with wall to wall Built-Ins.

OK, let’s go over those 24 alternative Dining Room ideas.

24 Great Ways to Repurpose an Unused Dining Room

Just remember, some of these ideas for dining room alternatives for something else won’t work for everyone.

Some of these dining room conversion ideas will depend on the size of your Dining Room, it’s location in your house, budget, and sometimes it’s connection to your kitchen or entry.

But, don’t worry, a lot of these other uses for dining rooms will still work for your unused dining room.

View through an archway of a white foyer with board and batten walls.
This view from our Dining Room table is one of my favorites. And, since it’s right next to the Foyer I just remodeled, I always think it would be a nice spot for a second office or a craft room.

1. Split the Room in 2

Let’s start with an important option to remember when it comes to dining room alternatives. You can always split a large Dining Room into 2 different rooms.

Maybe you can turn your Dining Room into a Butler’s Pantry AND a big walk-in pantry. OR, maybe half Mudroom and half craft room works better for your family.

Whatever it is, just keep splitting the room in 2 in mind while you read this list.

Traditional home office with tons of design inspiration and DIY office remodeling projects.
Turn that unused Dining Room into a beautiful home office with tons of storage. Check out 17 Best Area Rugs on a Budget to see great rugs for any room in your home.

2. Home Office or Second Home Office Space

With so many people working from home these days, turning your Dining Room into a home office is a popular idea. Some couples that both work from home might even need a 2nd Home Office.

I LOVE this idea for people that need quite and room to spread out when they work. And, a home office is a great place to keep all of that paperwork out of sight when you’re trying to relax.

3. Extend Your Kitchen

Depending on the layout of your kitchen and Dining Room, expanding your kitchen into an unused Dining Room can greatly improve your kitchen workflow, cabinet storage, and countertop space.

Of course this option can get pricey and is probably easiest to do as part of a full kitchen remodel. But, it’s worth thinking about. Big kitchens are popular with home owners AND home buyers.

Image of a dark brown wood stain with a brown glaze on a kitchen island. Kitchen island design ideas.
If you have a small unused Dining Room next to a small Kitchen, you could turn those 2 rooms into one large dine-in kitchen with an island and tons of counterspace.

4. Mudroom

If you’re lucky enough to have that Dining Room near the door you always use to come and go, then maybe you can turn that Dining Room into a Mudroom. We definitely use our Mudroom daily!

Just add bench seats, shoe storage, and space to store coats and bags into that unused room. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally have a place to hide away all of those shoes and backpacks?

5. Walk-In Pantry

Again, it depends on it’s size and how your Dining Room connects to your kitchen, but a walk-in pantry could be a useful option. Everyone always wants more kitchen supply and food storage!

Image of a Dining Room seen through a large white kitchen.
You can see the large drinks and coffee station I designed for our kitchen here. Something like that, but with even more features would be great in a Butlers Pantry. You can see how I made that Beautiful DIY Geometric Wood Table Top in another post.

6. Butlers Pantry

Or, how about a beautiful Butlers Pantry. A Butlers Pantry is usually designed with the same cabinets as the kitchen, with tons of storage for your best serving dishes, China, linens and silverware.

You’ll often find a sink, coffee station, drinks mini fridge, wine storage, microwave, and dishwasher in these rooms too.

7. Laundry Room

If your home is old enough, your Laundry might be in a garage, basement, or small closet. You could turn that unused Dining Room into a great first floor Laundry Room with tons of storage and a folding area.

This Colorful Laundry Room Makeover is full of easy DIY updates you can easily do in your own home. This colorful laundry room makeover looks great with boho, farmhouse, and traditional homes. Combine light upper cabinets and colorful green lowers for a fresh, open, light, and bright space.
A spacious Laundry Room is definitely better than an unused Dining Room in most homes.

8. Wine Cellar

Can you still call it a Wine Cellar if it’s not underground? I don’t know. But these rooms are always popular with people that love to drink and collect wine. And, they look nice too.

Add some comfortable seating and a nice table where you can enjoy a drink!

9. Panic Room / Secret Room

This idea probably works best when you split the Dining Room into 2 rooms. You can redesign the Dining Room to have something like a mudroom or Library with a secret entrance to a Panic Room.

These days, Panic Rooms are mostly used to hide a safe, valuables, the security system controls, and maybe some emergency food and water supplies.

Image of large emergency water storage containers and small water bottles.
Setting up a Panic Room? You might like this post on the 4 Best Ways to Store Water for Emergency (Long Term).

10. Home Library

Give your huge collection of books a new home by turning that unused room into a home library.

Just line those walls with bookshelves. Add cozy seating, rugs, lamps, and a coffee table to design your own perfect home library.

11. Homeschool Room or Homework Room

You can always turn that unused Dining Room into a permanent homeschool room or homework room for your kids. Add a chalkboard, some kids desks and storage for all their school books and supplies.

Step by step build plans for a wooden DIY Kids Desk with storage drawers. Build this beautiful little arts and craft or school desk for your kids. Printable build plans and build overview video included on tutorial.
This DIY Kids Desk with storage is perfect for homeschooling.

12. Formal Living Room

If you would prefer a Formal Living Room over a Dining Room, it’d be a pretty easy change. Just replace the Dining Table with beautiful Living Room furniture, rugs, tables, and lamps. Easy Peasy!

13. Family Room

Or, if you prefer a more casual space for your family, you can turn that unused room into a relaxed and comfy Family Room for your whole family.

Family Rooms are a great space for movie nights, gaming consoles, game nights, and binging your favorite TV shows.

Magnolia Homes by Kilz paint color Duke Grey on Bookshelves. I am LOVING this Before and After Family Room Makeover Transformation! Check out the amazing pictures and budget friendly DIY projects.

14. Video Game Room or Teen Lounge

Or you can take that Family Room idea one step further by turning that Dining Room into a Teen Lounge. Give them a separate space to hang out with their friends, play video games, and relax.

You can give them a small drinks fridge, snack bar, little indoor basketball hoop, pinball machine, and dart board to amp up the fun. And, it’s a great way to keep the teens where you can see them. 😉

15. Play Room for Kids

I’ve known more than a few parents with young kids that converted a Dining Room into a big playroom for their kids! You can line the walls with pretend play kitchens or other playsets.

Add a soft rug and a low table for train sets, puzzles, or arts and crafts. Or, put in a little slide, ball pit, and a play tent to design your kids’ best play space.

Top down look at the kids play kitchen with a sink and oven.
You can see how I made this fun DIY Play Kitchen for Kids in a previous post.

16. Music Room

Encourage your kids to practice and play a musical instrument by turning that unused room into a Music Room. I wish we had something like this when I was a kid. Maybe I can make one for my kids!

17. Traditional Game Room

You can also turn a large unused Dining Room into a traditional Game Room. Just add a pool table, ping pong table, or foosball table to the center of the room.

Add a mini bar, dart board, poker table, a fun home Juke Box, or something like this great 2-Player Pac Man arcade game to make your Game Room the coolest room in your house.

Check out 50 Best Traditional Game Room Ideas for more Game Room inspiration.

Here's a peek at the rooms I've never really shown you. And, the story behind why I haven't done their room reveals yet. A couple just need a few finishing touches. Like our family game room. But, they're all full of Traditional Home Room Makeover Ideas. #AbbottsAtHome #GameRoom #PlayRoom #PoolTable #TraditionalHome #ManCave
Looking for other uses for dining rooms? Make it a Game Room. This Game Room would have been a lot more fun by adding some fun neon signs, a couple arcade games, and a mini bar.

18. Garden Room

Dining Rooms often have great windows and tons of natural light. So, it’d be pretty easy to turn a Dining Room you don’t use into a beautiful Garden Room or Plant Room.

Fill it with lots of plants from floor to ceiling, in stylish pots and you’re good to go!

19. Sports Room

Or, give your favorite sports fan a Sports Room dedicated to their favorite sport or team. Add a big screen TV, drinks fridge, snack bar, and a couple Lazy Boys to design the perfect Sports Room.

Sports Rooms are also a great way to decorate a room with sports memorabilia, without letting it take over the rest of the house.

Image of a Dining Room for a post about how to repurpose an used Dining Room into a new room.
Don’t forget to Save or Share this list of ways to repurpose Dining Rooms!

20. Home Bar or Home Speakeasy

How about your own stylish Speakeasy? Search the vintage shops for some great period bars, chairs, drinkware, and tables to design your own classic speakeasy or home bar.

21. Guest Room or In-Law Suite

And, last but not least, you can convert a Dining Room you don’t use into a welcoming guest room or in-law suite. That’ll give an elderly family member a bedroom on the ground floor so they can avoid stairs.

Tile Feature Wall in a Bedroom. Interior and Furniture Design Inspiration Pictures from Model Homes and Local Stores.
Repurposing a dining room into a guest room or an in-law suite might be pretty easy, depending on it’s size and the layout of your home.

22. Home Theater

I noticed a trend in Model Homes recently that moved the Home Theater from the second floor to the first floor. It seemed like a clever way to replace Formal Living Rooms.

BUT, you could do the same thing in an unused Dining Room. Just add carpet or carpet tiles, to dampen the sound. Then add a big screen, popcorn machine, lots of seating

23. Exercise Room or Home Gym

I’m a huge fan of working out at home. It’s so much nicer than waiting for a turn on the machines at the gym. You could turn that unused Dining Room into your own custom Home Gym.

Add your favorite cardio machines, mirrors, weights, benches, or even a Pilates Reformer (my fav) so that you can get your work out done without ever leaving home.

Image shows 2 examples on a list of the best home workout equipment on a budget - for strength training and gaining full body muscle.
You can see my favorite beginner exercise equipment in a previous post.

24. Craft Room or Hobby Room

Does someone in your house LOVE crafting, sewing, painting, building models, painting furniture, knitting, or crochet?? You can dedicate a whole room to all of those hobby supplies and projects.

Check out the 57 Best Bedding Sets on Amazon & Etsy for any Budget if you need pretty bedding ideas. Or, this post on the 30 Best Amazon Bed Frames if you want to find a stylish new bed frame too!

Image text says "24 Great Ways To Repurpose your Unused Dining Room".
Don’t forget to Save or Share these alternative dining room ideas!

That’s it for the Best Ways to Repurpose A Dining Room. I hope it helped you find a few good alternative dining room ideas!

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Wall to Wall cabinets and bookshelves in a home office with tons of storage and great home office decorating ideas.

Feeling inspired? That’s it for my dining room alternatives! Let me know if you have questions.

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