“Even if we do use our great rooms and formal dining rooms to host Thanksgiving and entertain those circles of friends, we’re still designing our spaces for maximum occupancy instead of the average family of three to five people who actually live in them every day. If you build a 4,000-square-foot house for a family of four, that’s 1,000 square feet per person, and if the house were being used to its full potential, nobody would ever see each other. There’s a reason why the UCLA study showed that the most-used common areas are the kitchen and the informal living room: People like to spend time together eating and watching TV, without the glare from those two-story great-room windows. Large, unused spaces designed for social functions foster isolation instead.”
I’ve never understood nor appreciated formal living and dining rooms; they’ve always felt to me like they were optimizing for the wrong thing.