Kitchen & Bathrooms

DESIGN – Are Formal Living and Dining Rooms a Thing of the Past?

My background from University of Florida helped me in both design and engineering.  While engineering has not changed much, design has drastically changed.

If I were to say twenty years ago, “let’s build a home without a dining room or formal living room”, you would have thought I was crazy.  Now, all those formal living rooms and dining rooms are being remodeled into studies, home offices, flex spaces, or other living square footage.

Re-purposed Formal Dining Room

Re-purposed Formal Dining Room

Generations change and people just do not entertain the same way their parents or grandparents did.  For years, guests were limited to the front of the house where the formal living room, dining room, and powder room were located.  Guests did not venture outside those areas.  Growing up, my parents had a sliding pocket door to separate the kitchen from the rest of the house.  The kitchen was kept closed off and out of sight of all guest.

Now, when you visit someone’s home, the kitchen is the natural gathering place for friends and family.  It’s considered to be “the heart of the home.”  Where lasting memories are made.

People are creating a living and entertainment space out of their kitchen area.  Closed off dining rooms are passé.

Photo courtesy of Carolina Classic Builders - Kitchen Remodel

Photo courtesy of Carolina Classic Builders – Kitchen Remodel

People crave big open floor plans.  From the smallest to largest custom home, it’s not uncommon for formal dining and living rooms to be missing from the architect’s plans.  The kitchenette table is being removed to create larger openings to the dining room where you’ll find a more casual, relaxed table.  People are moving from the formal ornate dining rooms with hutches and dark painted/wallpapered walls to simpler more casual lighter spaces.   Open floor plans that embrace the casual lifestyles that singles and families are wanting are becoming increasingly popular.

Architects are designing custom homes, complete home remodels, and home additions to enhance their client’s lifestyle while maximizing efficiency.  Generational living is also a raising trend with open living areas to accommodate additional family members.

Bringing Families Together

Bringing Families Together

Clients want and need spaces they’ll utilize all of the time, not just when entertaining.  Having a good builder and designer to help understand your needs, wants, and lifestyle, are paramount.  They’ll help you maximize your vision and even expand on it, making your dream into reality.  Always do your research so when you ultimately engage the builder/designer, you’ll be prepared to give them as much information about your lifestyle, your personal styles, you’re likes and dislikes.

Your home is for your enjoyment every day with your family and friends. Make sure you get the most from all the available square footage.


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