Special offer

Builders should eliminate the DINING ROOM

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty 8431215

Simply put, my idea is right there in the title.  All new homes should (minimally) come with the option to eliminate the mostly never-used Dining Room and spill all that dramatically unused space into the eat-in kitchen.  Now your kitchen is dramatically larger AND more functional.  Just think-- a center island, a huge pantry, more counter space and likely more cabinets!   Just eliminate it to make the home more functional for 95% of all people.  While we are at it, eliminate the seldom used living room and make it into a functional office with bookshelves and perhaps a small closet.   Or at least make it an option.  After 30 years in my house and having joined a cloud based broker (Fathom Realty), I just closed off the wall between my never used dining room and living room and added beautiful French doors at the foyer opening to officially make the old living room a very functional office. 

Posted by

Michael Elliott



Burlington, New Jersey Real Estate 

Broker / Salesperson

Fathom Realty


cell (609) 864-8164   office (888) 455-6040


Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

For sure dining rooms and even living rooms are not looked at in the same light as they once were.

Mar 02, 2024 04:27 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Michael,

We are seeing builders eliminate the formal dining in Austin and put that space dedicated to a large eating area in the kitchen with an oversized center island that can seat extra people. Lifestyles have changed and many are using their outdoor space for entertaining too.

Mar 02, 2024 04:32 AM
Michael Elliott

Awesome!   Love that.

Mar 02, 2024 04:33 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Michael. We once owned a traditional home with a large dining room you entered off the foyer through French Doors. We purchased a custom made dining room set to occupy the space. What a beautiful room. Use in twice! Moved the furniture three times and use it about the same amount of times. Finally, on the next move, left it for the new owners. Good move. Enjoy your day.

Mar 02, 2024 04:34 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Seeing that here in the new models. Thanks for sharing, make it a great Saturday and enjoy your


Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

Mar 02, 2024 04:45 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Michael - life and living styles change and evolve. In homes and in the way homeowners occupy them.  Tastes, preferences plus so many other factors play into that too. 

As for should dining rooms be eliminated.  Like could and would, that word is a start of a conversation.  Maybe it could be held tonight at the family dinner table.  Hmm...

Mar 02, 2024 04:46 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Lifestyles have changed, rendering many traditional living spaces obsolete, while kitchens have expanded in size!

Mar 02, 2024 04:53 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I see that more often than not these days, there isn't a formal dining room in homes or people use them for something else.

Mar 02, 2024 04:58 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

We do not have a formal dining room - but we do have a nice island, lots of counter space and cabinets, and a good sized area for eating and it's open to the living room. I wouldn't replace a living room with an office though. Many people still want the living room space for hanging out.

Mar 02, 2024 05:30 AM
Jim Crawford
Long & Foster - Fredericksburg, VA
Jim Crawford Broker Associate Fredericksburg VA

Sorry, but personally I love a dining room for those special occasions.  It's not as if the builders are doing away with the dining rooms for free, they are giving you less square footage and charging you more.  Society has gone way too casual in my own opinion. I prefer the special touches even if the dining room size is scaled back, that is ok with me.

Mar 02, 2024 07:37 AM
Michael Elliott

Jim--  many builders now, without altering the foundation footprint (square footage) give you flexibility with floor plan options.  Most homeowners view the dining room as a maybe once or twice a year room and would prefer to spill that space into always-used kitchen.  Some, like you, prefer the formal DR.

Mar 02, 2024 09:35 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing this perspective. We have a nice dining room that is rarely used. We would enjoy that space more in the kitchen and family room.

Mar 02, 2024 10:19 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Michael Elliott (609) 864-8164 I understand where you are coming from, and see the merit in it, but maybe I am old fashion, I still like the idea of a formal dinning and living room space.

Mar 02, 2024 12:11 PM
Michael Elliott

I hear you, George !  Do you use your dining room often?

Mar 02, 2024 12:15 PM
George Souto

Mainly for family get togethers.

Mar 03, 2024 11:51 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Michael- flexibility is key. We do have a dining room and use it many times throughout the year when I have my family over. On holidays that may mean 30+ people. That said, it would be nice if builders gave buyers an option. 

Mar 02, 2024 01:26 PM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Homes

I still love my dining room and this past Thanksgiving we had dinner for 12 all seated at the table. Full on china, crystal and the works. I enjoy it very much but I realize not everyone does. Eating at the counter or island isn’t the same for me.

Mar 03, 2024 10:21 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I have kind of turned my dining room into an office - whenever anyone is on a zoom call, it takes place there. 

Apr 15, 2024 05:17 AM
Michael Elliott

Lise Howe my living room is an office!   And I love it.  

Apr 15, 2024 05:19 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

That works for condos and starter hones in these parts, but grown ups really, really want dining rooms. This is a real dinner party town!

May 03, 2024 12:14 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Most builders are eliminating the FORMAL dining room; however, the trend is having an open space that can be used for dining or additional seating areas; i.e. conversation zones. Congrats to you on renovating your home to suit your need for an office! It's nice to have a little privacy to get your work done.

May 15, 2024 09:29 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Our area is less traditional and formal, and back in the day when I sold houses, I RARELY came across anyone who required a formal DR, wanting instead to repurpose as a game room or office. Also we have lots of 'open floorplans' and my house has a large 'great room' that houses informal dining and living area . . . the ONLY time in my recollection that a dining room was a deal breaker, the buyers were from the Pacific NW and had gorgeous DR furniture they were not gonna relinquish! LOL did a lot of measuring with those buyers, as I recall! 

May 16, 2024 05:36 AM
Kukun--240-483-3649 Franklin Carroll
Kukun, Inc. - Menlo Park, CA
Elite client engagement tools and proptech

I was with you: Until you referred to the living room as seldom used. I think most people want a living room; more importantly, an office has to be tucked away somewhere so you can get away from other people in the home---if for noise reduction reasons alone. 

May 16, 2024 11:45 AM
Michael Elliott

My living room is now my office, after having closed off the opening between the dining room that my wife insists on having and adding French doors at the foyer opening.   We used the living room on Christmas only.  

May 16, 2024 11:48 AM
Michael Elliott

Do you also have a family room or great room? 

May 16, 2024 11:49 AM
Kukun--240-483-3649 Franklin Carroll
Kukun, Inc. - Menlo Park, CA
Elite client engagement tools and proptech

Replying here: I have a living room----but I live in a condo. Two baths, two bedrooms, a small room I use as an office, and a living room. I don't have a dining room, but rather a  space in front of the kitchen where we place the dining room. 

May 16, 2024 01:26 PM
Michael Elliott

Larger homes have been built for yrs with LR and FR or great room.   Almost no one uses both like they did years ago.   Thats why I asked.

May 16, 2024 02:11 PM