Use it as a Game Room
Encourage your kids to play some board games as a family or bow to your significant other's long-standing yearning for a pool table. Turning the dining room into a game room isn't all that impractical. When you're not entertaining, you can cover your dining table with a pad and do just about anything you want on it. If you do go the pool table route, you can buy an insert that will effectively turn your pool table into a buffet or dining table for special occasions. It'll give you the best of both worlds -- and you can rest easy in the knowledge that all your rooms are worth the mortgage payment.