When was the last time you used your dining room? According to a recent survey studying the habits of high-end homeowners, many people are looking to maximize the space in their homes by transforming dining rooms into something more practical that will be used on a daily basis.

The Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate survey focused on the interests and habits of high-end homeowners, finding that many are choosing investing in their homes as a wiser course than investing in the stock market. In fact, 60 percent of luxury homebuyers surveyed would choose to have as many upgrades as they can afford in their home, rather than more square footage.

That’s where the disappearing dining room comes into play. Take, for example, a recent Wall Street Journal article highlighting homeowners who converted their dining room space into everything from home theaters and exercise rooms to libraries and entertainment lounges.

Does this mean the death of the dining room? Not necessarily. But it does mean that you’re not alone if you choose to take a second look at your dining area. With a limited amount of time, effort and money, you can transition your dining room into something that will better fit your personal style and daily use needs. For instance, it only takes a few strategic furniture changes and some creative rearranging to create a game room, a meditation/spa retreat or a homework/craft area that the whole family would enjoy.

To make up for the lack of a formal dining space, many home designs are incorporating extra room into the kitchen area, creating a shared space in what is well-recognized as the most popular gathering space in most homes.

The bottom line?

Don’t ditch your dining room just yet. Formal dining areas are definitely not obsolete, as good meals with family and friends will never go out of style. If you’re looking to maximize your space, an easily converted room is best, and what most people are keeping in mind as they transform their dining spaces into new and usable spaces that fit their lives. The benefit of transitional thinking like this is that when the home eventually goes back on the market, a room that shows potential for formal dining as well as something new and appealing will not risk turning potential buyers away.

So if you decide to take a second look at your dining room, keep in mind how best to temporarily transform your space into something you’ll enjoy and use more often, while still enjoying the option of hosting gatherings with family, friends and food for those special occasions.