Better for resale, a formal dining room or formal living room?
Michele Taber Art
December 11, 2013 in Polls
What's worth more, a formal living room or formal dining room?

The original owners of our home opted to have a main floor home office instead of a dining room. What would have been a formal living room is a formal dining room (the kitchen, dining space and family room is one big room). We considered knocking down the walls to the home office and converting it to a formal dining room but the cost benefit is just not there. By the home appraisal and comparative market analysis, we're estimating that it was a -5k decision on their part, give or take.

We're thinking about selling this home in 2 or 3 years and are making decisions with that in mind. So, should this room be a formal living room, a formal dining room, or, throwing caution to the wind, do a library/lounge or a music room instead?
Formal Living Room
Formal Dining Room
Library
Lounge
Music Room
Don't Know
Don't Care
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JudyG Designs
I think the wording of your post is off-putting. Most do not want “formal” anything.

Maybe best to leave the house as is, or post some pictures so houzzers can comment specifically.
4 Likes   December 11, 2013 at 3:08PM
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printesa
If you are planning to move in 2-3 years, then I would just leave it as it is. Many people want an office at home. From what I read, formal dinning rooms are not very popular either. Everyone uses the rooms as it fits. I'm sure you can use the current office as something else (living room or a library, music room). It's what you make of it
5 Likes   December 11, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Dytecture
Here in Canada it is common to have a 'flex' room which could be used as a variety of purposes depending on the home owner.
1 Like   December 11, 2013 at 3:44PM
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happyasaclam
You could take the gamblers route: Proceed with a $$$ remodel making it into the "whatever" room. Add the estimated -5k that the office takes away from the estimated current value, to your actual $$$ investment doing a remodel in the "whatever" room, then wait 2 - 3 years, put it on the market to see if your bet paid off. Or you could take the sensible, relatively safe route: You use the room however you see fit now without the $$$ investment and let the new owners spend their $$$ doing what they want with it.
4 Likes   December 11, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Michele Taber Art
@Judy Our neighborhood is full of homes with both formal living rooms, formal dining rooms and first floor family rooms, it's the design of the development.

@Dytecture LOVE the idea and term "flex room" and have been telling my husband that we need to find a dining table that can go from cocktail table height to dining height. That would be awesome!

@Happy - I'm talking from a merchandising standpoint. At this point, we don't use the office or the dining room or the small hall they made between. We don't host huge events, so really we don't need a huge dining room. If I could, I would convert it to my studio as it has the best natural light of the house.

Anyhow, it is a big room ... it needs to make sense in the scheme of the house. Right now, I don't think it does. Seems odd to walk into a house with a huge formal dining room (right off the entry) where one would expect to find a formal living room. And, the fact that it does have formal dining, it's a let down to learn there is no companion formal living room.
0 Likes   December 11, 2013 at 8:56PM
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kitasei
Make it a studio! What could highlight the light and architecture better?
0 Likes   December 12, 2013 at 1:20AM
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happyasaclam
My response stands. Do whatever will screw-up the house the least.
0 Likes   December 12, 2013 at 5:37AM
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smileyface2013
I voted for a formal dining room, but honestly, it's hard to give a good answer without more information, such as the style of the house (traditional, contemporary, colonial, ranch, etc), how big is the great room, how big is the currently designated eating space, how big is the living space, and most helpful to give a better informed answer would be a floorplan of the current space plus what you propose to do.

I think that people are still looking for a dining space when shopping for a house, even if they don't plan on using it as such. A weird floor plan or layout can be a turnoff.
0 Likes   December 12, 2013 at 5:59AM
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mydecorandstyle
I like formal dining room but do whatever suits your need we have a formal living room,formal dining room and a flex room which we use as a office.
0 Likes   December 12, 2013 at 6:01AM
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smileyface2013
Also, prospective buyers need to be able to visualize their things in your house, can their furniture work in that space, and does the house fit with their lifestyle. So if the floorplan is similar to most open floor plan homes, you're probably ok without the formal dining room.
0 Likes   December 12, 2013 at 6:02AM
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feeny
Since I like to separate the TV from the living room, I would set up the large room as a living room, use the family room for the television, and put the dining table either at one end of the living room (you said it was large) or as part of the kitchen/family room. OTOH, if there isn't room for a dining table in the kitchen/great room/family room or the living room, then I think you need to keep the large front room set up as a dining room.
0 Likes   December 12, 2013 at 6:04AM
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yoboseiyo
i put music room, but if you need a studio and it has great lighting, make a studio!
seriously, it would be useful to you, AND it will highlight how much light the room gets.
0 Likes   December 12, 2013 at 6:19AM
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