I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen this week, so I chose it for my word this time out of the others that came to mind: food, eating, table. Kitchen's a more flexible term, because has a similar joy/happiness duality to it. Technically, a dining room and a kitchen are separate things. And if there's a table in the kitchen, it's a "breakfast nook." The word "kitchen" is of a coarse sort, implying the out-of-the-way room where servants work in old books (there's my connection to books for this post!), but if the table and chairs are in it, it usually becomes a more homey place.
For one, the table gets used for more than just eating. If you have a formal dining room, chances are this won't be the case. I've been sitting in the little kitchen of my new abode, reading, going through papers, on the computer. It can be a handy thing because it lets me keep an eye on anything that's on the stove. The cooking is still there, just added to.
So I propose we come up with a new room for multi-functional kitchens. If we have bedroom and bathroom, why not call it stoveroom? It just mentions something in the room, not a limit. But it's still not quite right . . . . I guess I'll leave "kitchen" be.