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The demise of "formal" dining/lounge rooms

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Jacque, 13th Oct, 2008.

  1. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Sydney
    I was talking to a client today about the demise of these "formal" rooms, as more home owners seek open living spaces in which to converge, cook, discuss the days events and generally "hang out". Yes, there also needs to be a TV/Family/Living room but increasingly, I'm noticing the traditional formal room is not only being shunned (my grandmother's dining room was referred to as the museum!) but renovated to be changed into something far more practical ie: bedrooms, studies or walls knocked down to encompass larger one room living spaces.

    Not that open plan is always a good thing for some. Indeed, as much as I like my large family/kitchen area, it's also a form of escapism to retreat to a separate area where the family can't find me :D- preferably with a good book and a block of chocolate!

    So, out of interest, who here still uses their formal dining rooms for the purpose they were intended for? My guess is that, as our lives change and we adapt to less fancy get togethers for meals and family/friends (remember dinner parties?) they're going to be phased out altogether in new builds and become soon a thing of the past.
     
  2. Billv

    Billv Getting there

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    Hi Jacque,

    We don't have a formal dining or lounge room.

    When we built our PPOR 3 years ago we decided that we did not need formal rooms so we went for 2 TV viewing areas, a computer corner, a gym plus a guest room.

    From about 10 of our close relatives only 2 still maintain a formal lounge
    and they only use it when they get visitors

    It's a waste of space if you ask me.

    Cheers
     
  3. Thudd

    Thudd Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Perth, W.A.
    I put it down to the McMansion boom where houses were seemingly sold purely on the basis of square meterage and formal rooms (which were inevitably never used) were a status symbol.

    Open up the new homes section of the newspapers today and you'll find that the formal lounge hasn't died as such, they've merely changed the name of the room on the plans to the home cinema (and also inevitably the designs of such rooms are wholly inappropriate for that purpose).

    Mind you, my opinion of modern home design is pretty low...
     
  4. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Agree 100% and hence the changing form of our new house designs. I also think that because most Aussies do a lot of entertaining outside on decks, pergolas etc that formal dining rooms are becoming superfluous.
     
  5. suburbangirl

    suburbangirl New Member

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    1st Jan, 2007
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    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hi Jacque,

    We recently upgraded to a house in a nicer area, and we 'sacrificed' our dining room in the process.

    The home we upgraded to has a huge eat-in kitchen and no formal dining room (our old place had a separate dining room, which we did use for meals). Interestingly enough, not only do we not miss our old dining room at all, I actually find it much nicer to be preparing a meal in a room where my daughter can sit and chat to me as I cook, rather than being closeted away in a separate kitchen with only the radio for company!

    We do plan on adding a rumpus to our new home so that our daughter will have a separte space to hang out with her friends when she gets older, but honestly? There is no real need for these formal areas. At the end of the day, I think they are a staus thing more than anything.
     
  6. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    I believe they hark back to the days when families ate in the kitchen (literally) and then guests ate in the "good room", or dining room. Now that our kitchens have expanded to include a separate meals area, rather than a laminate table and six vinyl topped chairs right in the centre, and all of us have less time to entertain on such a "formal" basis (BBQ's have replaced dinner parties) it's only natural that our housing needs change.
     
  7. handyandy

    handyandy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Sydney Nsw
    We have a 'formal' dining room and I would say that it is the most underused room in the house.

    In our recent remodel we would have incorporated this room into the kitchen/family space but unfortunately structural walls restricted us.

    The conversation angle extends not only to family but also visitors. It is nice that host/hostess can still participate in the dinner conversation whilst preparing for the next course.

    Cheers