Please explain the point of redundant dining and living spaces
Even though our lifestyles have gotten so casual these days, so many new houses still have separate casual and "formal" spaces for living and dining. There is the casual family room and formal living room; a casual breakfast book and formal dining room. To me, these formal spaces are a waste if the family does not use them on a regular basis. A waste to build, a waste to furnish (and remodel) and a waste to heat/cool. The house I grew up in had split personalities with the kitchen in the middle...needless to say, the formal side, which was really about half the downstairs, was rarely used because it seemed so cold and unlived-in. Why not use the space to make the rooms that are actually used bigger and better? We lived in half the house and it felt cramped.
I admit I watch HGTV a lot, and the families seem to repeat the same desire, to have an open floorplan for people to gather. So why all these boxy, cut-off, redundant formal spaces? I realize some folks do have formal lifestyles, but the trend is moving away from that. Why is it so hard to find new houses and floor plans that reflect how people actually live? I believe that a house should conform to its residents, not the other way around.