Dividing Living Rooms and Dining Rooms?


When designing Houses, the question often comes to us: "Should we divide the Dining Room and the Living Room?" 

First of All, what is the benefit of Dividing it?

What are the benefits of keeping them together in one big space?


I am designing a house And I found that problem... any help is welcome, Don't eat me, I am just 15 :)

Jul 22, 13 9:32 pm

A common practice is to have  semi divided living and diving room. This is done with a fairly wide cased opening.

That dining room appears fairly large. You could divide the room by pulling a wall from either side of the stairs.  You would essentially be either extending the right, longitudinal kitchen wall, or pulling a wall from the center of the landing.

Jul 22, 13 9:47 pm

this is a really good question for you to be asking at 15.  there's pretty much an infinite amount of solutions, depending on the degree you want to separate them.  sometimes its as simple as furniture layout, or even a rug on the ground when defining space.  or maybe if the ceiling was lower in one spot or not the other, or the floor material changed, or if there's some kind of half wall or columns between the two.

first things that jump out at me in regard to the benefit of keeping them open:  makes the house look bigger, especially if its not that big.  people in one room will also interact with people in another.  you lose privacy though, so it really depends on who's going to be occupying the space and how they like to live.  also, the structure of the house might change since there's no wall to support the 2nd floor.

Jul 22, 13 10:04 pm

It's a lifestyle question. Some people like a separate "formal" dining room, some like the informality and bigger spaces that are created when you combine the main living spaces.

The kitchen can be open or closed as well, but if open should be arranged not only for function but also to hide the messy views from the living and dining areas.

Is "Random" the name of the person who will use that room?

Typically when designing a building (or anything else for that matter), you start with a program. A program is a list of requirements that the design is supposed to satisfy. For a house that would typically include things like the number and type of rooms, amount and type of storage, kitchen features, budget, size, style, etc.

Jul 22, 13 10:37 pm

Thanks a lot, I decided to divide the dinning room and the living room with a wall that wont touch the ceiling, It is sutile and doesn't completely divides

Jul 23, 13 1:58 am

Sutile? That means stitched together. Interesting. Or do you mean subtle? Meaning: not obvious.


Jul 23, 13 8:37 am
A wall that does not touch the ceiling is usually called a "knee wall" or a "partial height wall". I think a knee wall could be a good solution. My new (historic) home uses a large cased opening with decorative columns to accomplish this fairly elegantly. I have seen others where a large set of sliding French doors divide the spaces.
Jul 23, 13 9:38 am

One way to critique this design would be to discuss whether the structure was designed from the outside in, or from the inside out.  In conjunction with Miles Jaffe's note about the building program, this suggests a place to start when designing.  In this case, it appears that the young designer has chosen an envelope and is now struggling to fill it appropriately.  How much easier -- and more engaging -- to use the program to design a series of spaces, which then suggest an exterior form ?

Of course, this ignores the situation where the envelope is a given -- as, for instance, in the redesign of an existing building . . .

Keep up the good work !

Jul 25, 13 12:04 pm

Putting some kind of divider has the advantage of providing an additional  element against which to place furniture.  The disadvantage of dividers is that they will lock in the size of the living and dining areas and reduce flexibility.  When a mob comes to the house for Thanksgiving or such, it is nice to be able to push living room furniture closer together in order to make a longer table than normal in every day living.

Also, be aware that, generally speaking, square rooms are less desirable than oblong rooms because it is easier to furnish them and create focal points.

Jul 26, 13 1:34 pm

Clarification:  Oblong rooms are generally better because they are easier to furnish.

Jul 26, 13 1:36 pm

Living room is the place where family members sit together in casual way and watch TV, chat among them etc. 
Drawing room is the place where the guests are first received and discussed in a formal way. Usually the family members will also try to be in a formal dress in drawing room while with guests. 
But today’s economy does not permit every one to have a separate Drawing Room & Living Room. So it is Drawing/living/dining room nowadays.

Feb 17, 15 3:46 am

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