It’s Almost Thanksgiving and I Have Dining Room Envy

by hookedonhouses on November 24, 2010

Norman Rockwell ThanksgivingIf you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your house, raise your hand. I am. And I’ve been looking at my small dining room and wishing I could magically make it bigger by Thursday. There’s no way everyone can fit around that table, so I’m going to have to set a second table in the kitchen. I hate that because I want everybody to gather together in one room. If Norman Rockwell painted my family at Thanksgiving, the half stuck in the kitchen would have been left out!

This morning I started fantasizing about the dining rooms I wish I could host my family in, and The Tuohy house from the movie The Blind Side came to mind:

Blind Side-Tuohy House Dining Room

While I’m dreaming, I’d love to have a fireplace in my dining room, too. (See more pics of the Blind Side house here).

The Family Stone had some great dining room scenes with the family around a big dining room table. And they’ve got a fireplace, too:

Family Stone dining room

I wouldn’t mind having Meryl Streep’s table from It’s Complicated, either, even though hers isn’t in a formal dining room (more pics here):

It's Complicated dining table

In Monster-in-Law, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Vartan have a table that seats 12 (I’ll be lucky if mine will seat 8–and that’s with two people crammed in together on each end):

Monster-in-Law dining room

I love the big dining room in Nora’s house on the TV show “Brothers and Sisters,” where the entire clan can fit around the table, including the kids.

Brothers and Sisters-Walkers dining room

Better yet, I wish I had an outdoor table like the one she has in her backyard for balmy nights (more pics of her house here):

Brothers and Sisters-Walkers backyard table

It’s going to be cold and rainy here for Thanksgiving, though, so I guess the backyard table wouldn’t work anyway. Maybe next year I could move both my kitchen and dining room tables out onto my new sunroom, though, so at least we’d all be together in the same room!

Does anyone else have Dining Room Envy this time of year? What does your Dream Dining Room look like?

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Heather November 24, 2010 at 9:10 am

The sunroom sounds like a perfect plan! Have a fabulous cozy Thanksgiving!
.-= Heather´s last blog ..How to build a Flip – Flop monkey =-.

Maureen November 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

no matter where in the world….which culture…having a meal together is a social function that unites all.

Stephanie@Geezees November 24, 2010 at 9:13 am

The last picture is dreamy!
.-= Stephanie@Geezees´s last blog ..Inspired by Vintage Bus Rolls =-.

Luciane at November 24, 2010 at 9:15 am


What a Fun idea! I love seeing all of these beautiful tables! Only you to make it so interesting!



Luciane at

Kimberlee J. November 24, 2010 at 9:21 am

That hurt, but I really liked it. :)
.-= Kimberlee J.´s last blog ..Crafty Thankfulness =-.

Pat November 24, 2010 at 9:23 am

I’m with you on the envy part. I love the dining room in Blind Side, looks like there were plenty of empty chairs!
I don’t have a formal dining room, I just use a part of my living room, which only seats a few. Last year I set two extra tables in the living room just so we could all eat together in the same room! This year I don’t have the energy, we’ll be eating where ever we land, which should be interesting since I thew out my coffee table and don’t have a replacement yet!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Still No Coffee Table =-.

Lili November 24, 2010 at 9:23 am

Well, we were so lucky in buying our first house this summer. We have an average dining room, just off of the kitchen, it is 12×11… which just fits our hutch, buffet, and fully extended table (that seats 8). BUT- we also have what we call the “tile room”, which is just down the stairs that come off of our kitchen; it is a 23 ft long room, with industrial tile (you know, the smooth stuff like in schools and hospitals?) and it is PERFECT for setting up buffet tables! (Which I did last night!!)

So, I am putting all of the food on my dining table, and bringing the guests down into the “tile room” to eat… it works out perfect for a crowd- especially since we are having about 40 people! So for now, no dining room envy : ) Although eventually our bedroom is being converted to a nursery, and the tile room (with new flooring) will be converted to the master bedroom… then I might be a little lost for floor space!

Nichole November 24, 2010 at 9:27 am

I do have enough room in my formal dining room for everyone. BUT, half the people who are coming are kids. So my lovely new benches and even my beloved blue and white chevron stripe rug have been removed. Maybe I can have slip covers made for my benches by next year. But I’m never letting them eat on that rug. :)
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..Less Scary =-.

rosie at 3rosebuds November 24, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I am glad I am not the only one who removes rugs for company! Just after we bought our living room furniture, I had my son’s 4th birthday party with all his friends. I actually covered everything with sheets just so there wouldn’t be any tears (mine) I wouldn’t let them eat on the rug, either!
.-= rosie at 3rosebuds´s last blog ..Cinnamon and other Scones from King Arthur Flour =-.

beth November 24, 2010 at 9:30 am

what a great idea Giulia!Thank you!
I love Nora’s house and I like seeing all the Walker’s clan around a table!

Claire November 24, 2010 at 9:32 am

If I had to choose from the rooms above, I’d have to go with The Family Stone, hands down! I love everything about that movie (and that’s saying a LOT since I actually can’t stand Sarah Jessica Parker!!). That house is the perfect “going home to the family” kind of house – crammed with memories, comfortable beyond belief, and LIVED IN!

Oh geez, now I need to watch it again!!

Ann November 24, 2010 at 9:34 am

Our dining room is quite small, too, so when we hosted a dinner party for 12 a couple weeks ago, we swapped the dining room furniture with the neighboring living room furniture. The barely used living room is twice as big. We’ve ended up leaving the furniture swapped – we use the couch in the dining room all the time now as a cosy seating nook right off the kitchen, and thrown several smaller dinner parties in our “new”, larger dining room. Other than a chandelier in front of the couch, it’s perfect!

Ricki Jill Treleaven November 24, 2010 at 9:45 am

I feel your pain, Julia. I have a tiny dining room. I have a rather small table that only seats six, and when everyone is seated, you cannot walk between the chairs and the armoire! I know my room needs a smaller table, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of my ugly 1980′s Miami Vice glass top table because of my art. It is too easy to keep clean, and I can’t ruin it. I will also have a children’s table in the kitchen, but I truly make it more special than the adult’s table.
I recently inherited a gorgeous group of hand-decorated Henredon dining room furniture. The table seats 12! I will never own a home large enough to accommodate it, so I will need to sell it.
Still, I love my home, I am very thankful for it, and we bought a neighborhood, not a house. Although I would love to have a large dining room a couple of days a year (who wouldn’t?) :D
Thanks for the post, and I am definitely the most envious of the large kitchen and informal dining room from It’s Complicated!!!
.-= Ricki Jill Treleaven´s last blog ..Dixie Diva Book Club November Meeting =-.

Janet November 24, 2010 at 9:50 am

I like Nora’s dining room- nothing too precious to allow children near, yet it is classy and formal. We learned as kids to conduct ourselves properly and comfortably in formal spaces thanks to parents who insisted on meals around a dining room table with full place settings and honest-to-God tablecloths and napkins several nights a week. I’m grateful every time I don’t embarrass myself at a good restaurant :)

I hate the way new houses are designed to have rinky-dink living rooms and dining rooms, focusing all daily living on huge family room/eating area/kitchen combos. Such a waste!
.-= Janet´s last blog ..The Following Conversation Actually Took Place =-.

Janet November 24, 2010 at 9:51 am

Yep. It doesn’t get much better than 72 and sunny in the backyard in So Cal.
.-= Janet´s last blog ..Dining Rooms =-.

Maaike Quinn November 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

I like the Monster-in-Law table the best. I love the big windows in the background and the warm light everywhere. Beautiful!
.-= Maaike Quinn´s last blog ..Clutter has taken over the living room =-.

Ashley November 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

*sigh* I LOVE the Walkers’ backyard dining table. I even dream about it sometimes!
.-= Ashley´s last blog ..Leavin on a Jet Plane =-.

Deb November 24, 2010 at 10:19 am

I had a small dining room (and large family gatherings) but luckily, I had a large formal living room, which never got used, so I switched them out. It made all the difference in the world :) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
.-= Deb´s last blog ..How can you NOT smile when you look at this =-.

Sarah November 24, 2010 at 10:32 am

I want the dining room and the backyard set from Parenthood. Watching it last night, I just kept thinking, that is the perfect house for holidays!

hookedonhouses November 24, 2010 at 10:34 am

That’s another good one!

Strictly Simple Style November 24, 2010 at 10:43 am

I like my dining room, but it’s small. Love the one from Blind Side.
.-= Strictly Simple Style´s last blog ..What are you doing Thanksgiving weekend =-.

Bella Michelle November 24, 2010 at 11:09 am

This year (for the 1st time) we have a dining room big enough and I am having dining table envy…LOL. All these years I have wished my dining room were bigger as it always seemed to be so snug with all my furniture….now, I am wishing for a bigger table. We will compromise and add a card table slid onto the end and covered with a table cloth to extend it and have everyone around one big table.
.-= Bella Michelle´s last blog ..Thanking God for the Challenges =-.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile November 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

My dining room also is small, but it has a big archway into the living room. So we push a second table up to the end of our dining table and let it come through the archway into the living room. Then we set the whole thing as one big table.

I always put the skinniest people in the seats against the archway and they often have to get up to let other people out, but I love getting everyone in one table. This year, we’re having 15, so it will be quite a crowd. But I love it!

I posted today about my table:

Have a happy Thanksgiving, Julia!
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..John Willey brings pattern- color to getaway home =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now November 24, 2010 at 11:26 am

I feel your pain! If one of T’s coworkers accepts our invitation for Thanksgiving dinner, we’ll just be able to squeeze him in along with our other adult family members. The girls are going to be sitting at the kids’ table in the addition. :s Thankfully, it’s open from the dining room, so they can be right next to us.
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Thanksgiving Table Rough Draft =-.

Marie November 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Oh Julia – Just like you, I have a dining room envy as well. My table only seats four, and how I wish I could have that backyard set up you had shown us.

Wishing you a peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving!
.-= Marie´s last blog ..Giving Thanks =-.

Karena November 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm

We will be at my sisters who has a large table for our huge family. my condomiium has just too small of a dining space although my table has extra leaves!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Art by Karena
.-= Karena´s last blog ..The Winner of an Artistic Pillow from Empress of the Eye =-.

melissa November 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Hello! happy Thanksgiving to all! For me, a big crowded, imperfect table is, well…perfect! I love the dining table scenes in The Family Stone and Dan in Real Life. Cozy, full of food and lots of conversation, how wonderful!
Wishing you all a warm, cozy, and blessed holiday! -Melissa

Erin November 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Does your dining room open into your foyer? Two years ago, I turned our table and then put a folding table at the end to extend it into the foyer. Would that work for you? I know your feeling of wanting everyone at one table. Growing up, I was always stuck at the “kids table” and wasn’t too happy about it! :)

Kim November 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm

As I was thinking about dining rooms I like from tv shows or movies, one that came to mind was the 7th Heaven one. Everytime I watched an episode where they gathered in the dining room, I couldn’t help, but want one like that. It’s not fancy nor expensive looking, but it’s a simple yet great space. Who says you have to have expensive furniture to have a great dining room? Here’s a link to a youtube video of the 7th Heaven theme:
At the very end they show the dining room. I love the french doors leading outside and the swinging door (leading to the kitchen), in the back. Plus that beautiful beadboard is nice.

Out of the ones above, I would have to go with “The Blindside” dining room. It is absolutely gorgeous. That table looks like it could seat 10. I would love a table that big.

Julia, thankyou for taking the time to do this post. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your family tomorrow. Having thanksgiving in your sunroom sounds like so much fun.

Deb in Oz November 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! We don’t celebrate this holiday in Australia of course, but Christmas is just around the corner and all of the family is coming to my house. We will have around 21 people ranging in age from 90 (my Grandma) to 14 days (my newest grandbaby). Because there are so many of us we will set up long tables outside and enjoy our turkey and ham and plum pudding al fresco. Just hope it’s not too hot!

The English Organizer November 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I remember how lovely the Blind Side Thanksgiving was… but that backyard setting has to be my favorite!
Struggling to be Stylish is now The English Organizer. Please visit me at This week I have a $75 CSN giveaway and I’d love for you to enter!
.-= The English Organizer´s last blog ..75 Giveaway at CSN Stores Over Here!! =-.

linda @ Lime in the coconut November 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm

We carry our ten seater farm table out to the pool area…and eat surrounded by the turqoise of the water and banana trees. Sometimes we light a fire in a fire pit too.
.-= linda @ Lime in the coconut´s last blog ..Traditions… =-.

Cindy November 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm

This would do nicely:

Unfortunately Hearst Castle doesn’t belong to me.

hookedonhouses November 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Ha! Yes, I think I could make do with a dining room like that… ;-)

rosie at 3rosebuds November 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I actually love my dining room and my enormous dining room table. I even like adding another table and going into the living room with one long table when we have a crowd. Thanksgiving is small this year so no need to extend into the other room-but my big farmhouse table will be nice and cozy :)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
.-= rosie at 3rosebuds´s last blog ..Cinnamon and other Scones from King Arthur Flour =-.

Maggie @ Interior Design Ideas November 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Happy Thankgiving!. Dining at the backyard is best for me we have a
big family if we have get together it feels crowded because we have a
small dining table. I think we need a 15 to 20 seaters of dining table. :)

Natasha November 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving over here in Australia but we are having a Thanksgiving dinner here anyway! I love the idea of taking time to give thanks for all of our blessings. I just had to tell you that I have been using the table and home from The blind Side as my inspiration for decorating our table this year too.

Happy Thanksgiving and stay warm!

Best wishes,
.-= Natasha´s last blog ..The Scent of Christmas! =-.

judy fink November 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm

We personally have a small dining room, but have managed about 35 or so Thanksgivings, seating sometimes 15. I love the dinning room in the film Meet Me In St. Louis.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman November 25, 2010 at 12:44 am

Yes, I have dining room envy. :-( I *SO* wanted a house with a dining room, but this one doesn’t have one. Instead, it has a living room AND a family room (what’s up with that?!?) However, I plan to make part of the family room into a dining room with a LARGE table that hubby will make. someday…!

And yes, Parenthood gives me dining room table envy. LOVED their Thanksgiving meal…and to live somewhere you can eat outside often? *Swoon*
.-= Handy Man, Crafty Woman´s last blog ..Fiesta Ware Thanksgiving Table Setting =-.

Nita November 25, 2010 at 12:59 am

My mom had a big dining room and table with a counter along one wall where the kids sat. I never got to sit at the big table. But, I am happy with what I have, which is a dining area at one end of the living room. I pulled out the leaf, and if I crowd the chairs, I can seat 8, but I may leave it at 6 and put the 3 kids at another table, a card table in the living room. They will be in the same room. Trouble is, I’d like to be the master of my own house and say I want the kids at the small table, but I just know my older daughter will insist her two, who are in high school, get to sit at the big table. But, if my other daughter’s fiance’ who has to work tomorrow, is here to sit with us, then I am going to insist, insist the kids sit at the small table.

Maria November 25, 2010 at 2:09 am

I don’t have a dining room so when I had TG I put them in our sunroom, but it was a lot of work. All furniture was moved. The kitchen table moved in with it’s leaf and so did the dining table that normally was in the living rm. Plus, set up buffet tables out of draped palywood/saw horses. If I had the fireplace going in the family next to it and with a lot of people it was warm enough to eat dinner out there (N. CA, non-heated sunroom).

Christmas Eve was a smaller group and kept the DR table in the LR. We ate by the lights on the tree/candlelight. Wonderful, but I still and have always wanted a dining room.

E. George November 25, 2010 at 3:05 am

Hi Julia I would go for the dining room in Monster-In-Law it looks more roomy but cozy at the same time. Till next time I wish you and your family a Wonderful and Warm Thanksgiving. Regards Esther from Sydney with a very very small dining room.

Renae Moore November 25, 2010 at 7:50 am

Happy Thanksgiving Julia…….may you and yours enjoy the blessings of the day!
.-= Renae Moore´s last blog ..Project Monday =-.

Cole@LavishProperty November 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

Yes, I agree, the outdoor table is very beautiful.
.-= Cole@LavishProperty´s last blog ..3-195-000 – Westlake- TX =-.

Bre November 26, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I absolutely love ALL these movie and TV show dining rooms! Nora’s indoor and outdoor dining tables are so gorgeous and practical. I think hosting Thanksgiving in your fabulous new sunroom is a great idea! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

P.S. Know what TV homes I’m DYING to see more of? Jules and Ellie’s houses on Cougar Town. Ellie’s living room is gorgeous! I love all the different prints and textures.
.-= Bre´s last blog ..Give Thanks =-.

Jocelyn November 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I love the dining room from The Break Up. It just seems so warm and inviting! I would like a bigger table than the one they have though.

Love The Blind Side dining room too!

karen ho fatt@ fire pit reviews November 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Had folks over last night. Our small dining table was satisfactory but had the tremors every time I bumped it with my knees! Would love a larger table, our dining room can fit – An extendable and sturdier table is due but we will have to wait unfortunately till all renovations are completed. I have searched around and found one that is suitable with 2 leaves to accommodate much larger gatherings. The dining room is open to the living room with a fireplace which is a bonus and we can get extra seating for about 3 more at the kitchen counter.
.-= karen ho fatt@ fire pit reviews´s last blog ..Landmann Big Sky Western Fire Pit – Rustic Charm At Its Best =-.

Richella at Imparting Grace November 30, 2010 at 9:09 pm

You know, Julia, we have a pretty dining room. . . at least I think it’s pretty. . . but the table isn’t very big. So you know what I did for Thanksgiving dinner? I set up a buffet on the kitchen island and we all ate at the family dining table! It’s huge–11 1/2 feet long–so all 12 of us were able to sit there. It was such fun!

I’m so excited about your sunroom. I look forward to seeing more progress. I know this is a room you’ve wanted for a long time, and you’ll make it a gorgeous part of your home. I’m really glad for you!

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