The birth of family rooms in the 1950s and kitchen-breakfast rooms and "great rooms" in the 1970s may cause an evolution in the dining room in the 1980s.

Interior designers predict the once-formal eating area will no longer feature only food.

Designers say when edibles aren't on the table, that space will serve as a hobby corner, an office or even a sewing center.

Another factor that will play a role in the changing shape of the dining room is the shrinking dollar.

With the square-foot cost of housing going through the roof, experts say we'll learn to live in smaller homes in the 1980s and use interior space more efficiently.

To make the decorative metamorphosis complete, designers are moving multipurpose furnishings into what once was the dining room -- expanding that part of the house into more than a room used only for Sunday dinner and holiday get-togethers.

Here's how to transform dining quarters into a spot for dancing, chatting, studying or working.

A dining table can be made to divide, swing under a window and join the shelf framework along the wall to create a dance area.

When the main course is correspondence and reading instead of Wheaties and sweet rolls, the breakfast table can be turned into a desk because the table has drawers for storing papers.

For decor, you can mix antiques with pieces from the nostalgic "golden era" and traditional furniture collections.

When the table does its "now-you-see-me, now-you-don't" act, the dining room's chairs can be moved elsewhere.

And, at the bottom of the kitchen and dining room is a no-wax, brick and beige colored floor. It is easy to maintain and works well in both rooms.