Americans are Abandoning Their Dining Rooms – Here’s What You Should Do About It
Years ago, the dining room was the backdrop of countless family gatherings. But it seems that in recent years, the dining room has taken more of a back seat to other common areas of the home, with modern homeowners putting their focus on upgrading their kitchens instead.
“The formal dining room might have once been a must-have, but it’s rapidly becoming the most repurposed room in the house,” said Angie’s List founder and CMO, Angie Hicks. “I still have mine, but the only time I go in there is to adjust the thermostat.”
Indeed, Angie’s List, a website that crowd-sources reviews of local businesses and contractors, surveyed 1,245 of its members in the U.S. last month to determine what purpose, if any, the dining room had in their home.
As a home and housewares brand, these findings may be particularly interesting to you.
Some consumers are ditching the dining room
13 percent of survey respondents say they’ve replaced their dining room with spaces to pursue hobbies such as yoga or arts and crafts. Another eight percent of respondents say they’re re-doing their dining rooms altogether. While these numbers may not seem the most significant, might they represent an upcoming trend?
Does the survey strongly indicate that home and housewares brands should cease trying to sell dining sets to consumers? Not quite. However, they should take into consideration that the dining room is becoming less traditional and more and more consumers are doing their “dining” elsewhere.
“It’s where they’re eating that’s changed the most, and that’s affecting home improvement,” continues Hicks. “Remodelers and builders tell us they’re seeing a big spike in elaborate kitchen islands and more spacious kitchens that include tables and bar space.”
For those curious, the survey showed that, in terms of where consumers like to eat:
- 57 percent eat at a table or island in a shared kitchen-dining room space
- 36 percent eat in the family or living room
- two percent eat standing up at the kitchen counter or island
What Home and Housewares brands should do
If you’re a home and housewares brand, perhaps it’s time to shift your focus… or, at the very least, change how you market your kitchen and dining room products to your customers. Place a bigger emphasis on products that would feel more at home in a kitchenette or island bar. Perhaps add smaller dinette sets to your assortment to better suit for those consumers who’s homes simply don’t have enough square footage to accommodate a traditional dining room. 72 percent of Angie’s List members said they are planning to spend as much or more this year on home remodeling. Follow in fellow Hubba brand Aston Bath’s footsteps – take advantage of your consumer’s drive to renovate by making your products easy to customize and ready-to-install. Either way, like we always say, it can never hurt to anticipate trends in the market (which stem primarily from consumer needs) in order to better your product offering.
Follow her at @D_isforDayana