I remember a story in the New York Times about how many a modern dining room had become repurposed either intentionally or purely by disuse. The story profiled people who could no longer resist that inviting expanse of empty table surface and had now occupied it as a designation for studying, crafts, laundry folding, and bill-paying. Some people scrapped the idea of a dining room altogether and transformed the space off their kitchen into a playroom, media room, or study.
There can be something unwelcomingly formal about a dining room–especially when compared to the warmth of the kitchen. But the dining room has great potential, in my mind most especially as a place to harbor fond memories of gathering, eating and celebrating. Maybe it’s just a matter of some little adjustments to make the dining room more receptive to its purpose. Here are some quick fixes I came across in Feng Shui Dos and Taboos (Storey Publishing, 2000) by Angi Ma Wong that may help transform an underutilized dining room into the heart of your home. They might also usher in a little health and abundance along the way.
• Keep a bowl or an arrangement of fruit on your dining room table to represent continuous sustenance to your family. Add a mirror on the West or Northwest wall of your dining room to double the food on your table.
• Put images of food and fruit in the East area of your dining room to represent the abundance and sustenance that you want to attract to your table and home.
• Don’t hang too many pictures of birds in your dining room, as this will create an imbalance in yang energy.
• Place persimmons in the South areas to symbolize joy and festivity.
• Don’t leave cleaning supplies in the dining room. They symbolize the “cleaning out” of income, good health, nutrition, and prosperity.