Are we deserting the dining room?

Former 'Great British Bake Off' judge, Mary Berry, has made headlines this week for claiming that she and her husband are done with their dining room. That they prefer to use their kitchen. That their kitchen is more 'homely' and 'informal.' 

Read more from The Times.

Mary Berry! Yes!

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In the years we have been designing and making kitchens, the kitchen - the hub of the home, the cog that keeps family-life fuelled and friends fed; where we eat and entertain; and, where we work (I am at my island right now!) and play - has become a show-piece. With sparkly worktops, appliances you don't want to hide and painted cupboards in shades crafted over weeks of contemplation, the kitchen is where we choose to be sociable.

Not the dining room!

 Open-plan entertaining: dining, island-seating - a sociable space. Loved too by lovely doggy, Toffee.

Open-plan entertaining: dining, island-seating - a sociable space. Loved too by lovely doggy, Toffee.

 Open-plan living: space enough for friends and family.

Open-plan living: space enough for friends and family.

We can be more sociable in a kitchen - more relaxed, more creative. The trend to live open-planned means that in our busy and often very chaotic lives, we can still cook, chat, work, eat together.

All at once, if we want! All at once, if you have small children ... bah!

The open-plan kitchen-dining room involves everyone.

 There is no island in a dining room, around which a toddler can run 100 times, while you're serving up pancakes on a Saturday morning.

There is no island in a dining room, around which a toddler can run 100 times, while you're serving up pancakes on a Saturday morning.

As for the island - I may be working at mine right now, but - it is a focal point. Like a centre-stage, with seating - it involves the chef and the guests; I can cook whilst talking to my friends or watching my children play in the garden.

With huge followings for TV cookery and baking shows, we love to watch food being prepared and cakes being made. It is no surprise that we want to be in the kitchen.

 And, who would not want to be entertained in a kitchen as wonderful as this one?

And, who would not want to be entertained in a kitchen as wonderful as this one?

Not sure I mentioned that there is no wine cooler in a dining room, either.