Monday, September 19, 2016
Dining in the Vestibule
Where to dine if one's home lacks a dining room? According to a few mid-century issues of Connaissance des Arts and House & Garden, the vestibule, that's where.
Thankfully, I have a dining room, so figuring out where to seat my dinner guests is not something I have to worry about. But if one's home isn't blessed with a designated dining area (and that seems to be many apartments and condos these days), hosting a seated dinner in a vestibule or hallway is not a bad option, especially if one's vestibule is the size of the one above, which was located in a 1950s-era Paris apartment.
Based on the photos seen here, it seems that a small square or rectangular table, a coterie of modestly-sized chairs, or a banquette or settee are the most practical ways to furnish a vestibule-cum-dining room. When not in pressed into service as a dining table and chairs, these pieces can be positioned along walls, where they will serve as occasional seating and, in the case of tables, surfaces for display.
Of course, if elaborately-prepared meals are your thing, then there is no reason why you can't serve a four-course meal in your vestibule-dining room. But, in my opinion, a slight space seems to call for less-complicated meals, which require less-complicated though still-elegant place settings. Perhaps soup to start, followed by a Boeuf Bourguignon or Veal Blanquette, and ending with some kind of fruit dessert?
Even if you have a dining room, an adequately-sized vestibule or hall can still be used as a dining area, especially when you're dining à deux- so much cozier than dining at one end of a large dining table.