• Jessica Bellef

Why you should eat in the library

There's something about a dining table surrounded by bookshelves that makes me feel instantly warm, comforted, and yep, slightly hungry.

Image by Leslie Williamson

We've all heard the saying that 'the kitchen is the heart of the home' but in my mind it's a dining room/library combination that effortlessly nabs the top spot for the richest space in the house. A dining table speaks to me about community and sharing. Everyone loves to sit around a table with family and friends, eating great food and catching up, as the hours slip away and the candles melt down. The feeling of togetherness in this situation fills you up with good vibes- you are enriched. Now, take that social situation and place it in an interesting space that is layered with stories and meaningful objects. Major love heart eyes and a warm fuzzy feeling that is hard to beat.

Image by Carl Dahlstedt

At the risk of sounding naff, a dining table surrounded by busy shelves represents nourishment of both the body and the mind. Books are soaked through with moments, visuals, thoughts, people; they symbolise whole worlds and infinite potential. What we place on our bookshelf reveals so much about who we are, where we have been and where we want to go. All you need is a few shelves worth of collections to instantly infuse a space with life and meaning- YOUR life and meaning. By placing these collections next to the dining area, dinner guests glean an understanding of you, and feel more connected and relaxed because of it.

Solo dinners or quiet cups of tea at the dining/library space sound pretty darn blissful too. I love the idea of dining alone amongst inspiring tales and loved objects. Every meal or moment at the table would be a restorative activity, reminding you of the things that make you happy and transporting you from the daily humdrum. What a great technique to help you eat more mindfully, perfect for your well being... and waistline!

Even though I love the idea of a separate room dedicated to eating and reading, you don't need a formal dining room with floor to ceiling custom joinery to achieve this set up. A row of floating shelves affixed to a wall adjacent to your dining table would do, as would a stand alone book shelf. Fill the shelves up with books, favourite travel treasures and family photos and you can guarantee your next dinner party will flow with merry chatter and awesome discussion.

No need to sneak snacks into this type of library.

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