One of my favourite childhood memories always involves being around my parents dining table. Yes I love food, but that's not why, it's because it was the place that we all got together as a family. Our lives didn't seem as busy as it does now, but regardless of what was happening every evening my Mum would get us all round the table for our tea. Conversation flowed, arguments were had and forgotten and the laughter, well that is something that will always stay with me. Celebrations were always the time for those 'occasional chairs' that suddenly seemed to appear out of every room in our house. Our dining table would be surrounded by a collection of chairs from small to high, the normal to the 'is that really a chair?' The dining table was truly the heart of our home as it was in every house on our street. So what happened? Over the last twenty years we have seen our dining rooms and dining tables become a secondary space, with many new homes building kitchens too small for a table and not even having a separate dining space. The culture of being social online seems to have taken away from our important time together as a family, but it hasn't always been that way. Looking back throughout history the dining room has played a significant part in the way we live. I think it was the ancient Greeks who first recognised that eating in private and comfort gave them a sense of status. The most powerful of men in the city would gather in rooms specifically designed for feasting. The Romans saw dining as ritual and part of their domestic life, they took meals in their version of a dining room called a triclinium. I wonder if history would have been different without banqueting halls in castles, they were a place of intrigue, treachery, murder and love. Bringing together respected friends, guests and often enemies the banqueting hall was the place of celebration and most importantly dining. It was a drain on the senses as it was loud, smelly and often smoky and void of table manners of future generations. [caption id="attachment_6195" align="aligncenter" width="620"] "Chatsworth House, Dining room" by Flavio Ferrari - Chatsworth House. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.[/caption] As the years moved on so did our view of dining, becoming more elegant and refined with rooms such as 'palours' and 'dining chambers' forming part of our homes. No one loved their dining room more than the Victorians, creating luxurious spaces and spending large sums, they filled their rooms with foreboding furniture, decorative bone china, and silver cutlery. Racing forward to the 20th Century no home would be without a space to dine and this spanned the social classes. But what happened, our love affair of the dining room seamed to disappear. The living room was more important than a dining space for modern Britain as our living space focused on, well let's face it the TV. Where the TV is placed is an integral part of design for our living rooms today and our want for a special space to eat seems to have diminished, or has it? [caption id="attachment_6197" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Grand Reclaimed Wood Rustic Dining Table, from £1,240,00[/caption] Recently the trend of open plan kitchen and diner has put the emphasis back on the dining table making it again an important feature in our homes. It's a place not only to eat but to teach, to play , to study and to yes, socialise. Our passion for returning to traditional values for how we 'live' is again transforming how we want to live in our homes. Parents today are making more of a conscious effort to get the family around the table for a meal even if it's only for a couple of nights a week. I was overjoyed to hear that in a recent survey by Anglian Home Improvements, it was revealed we want the dining room back! Surprisingly over 60% of those surveyed even stated that they preferred to have a separate dining room to an open plan. [caption id="attachment_6198" align="aligncenter" width="672"]Prestige Dining Table, from £1,930[/caption] I am passionate about the importance of a dining table in our homes, I'm unsure whether it was my experience growing up that has influenced my thoughts but I bet it has. I think this desire to bring 'dining' back into the heart of how we live was one of the initial drivers behind the new prestigious collection. I wanted to design another dining table for my EAT collection that was modern, sleek and effortlessly stylish. Make sure you put 'dining' back into your home to eat, share, love, laugh, cry and most importantly and simply just talk. Have you fallen back in love with dining?