Wednesday Was Prince Spaghetti Day Until Everyone Stopped Using Their Dining Room

Somehow we got into the habit of eating at our desks at the office and watching television in the den over time. Post-pandemic, there was a need to allocate more space to a home office and even a second home office. A separate dining room was relegated to infrequent holiday get-togethers or used as a home office rather than daily meals. I love our formal (it has a wall) dining room but I’d rather eat most meals in our kitchen.

Source: Brick Underground

NYC’s essential resource Brick Underground wrote about this phenomenon way back in 2019: Why a newly built NYC apartment with a separate dining room is hard to find. While architects tell us is it what people want, it is also a creature of new building codes that require more light and air.

“When you have a kitchen more than 30 feet from a window, it must be open to the living/dining area, and considered a ‘kitchenette,’ which is a cooking area that is under 80 square feet. There are some exceptions but this is the general rule,” says Tim Fryatt, director of Marvel Architects.

Brick Underground

And we’re eating out a lot!

The Atlantic also had an interesting design piece: Why Dining Rooms Are Disappearing From American Homes.

According to surveys in 2015 and 2016 by the National Association of Home Builders, 86 percent of households want a combined kitchen and dining room—a preference accommodated by only 75 percent of new homes. If anything, the classic dining room isn’t dying fast enough for most people’s taste.

The Atlantic

Home design shows like Fixer Upper championed the open floorplan with the combination of kitchen and dining area/family room that became all the rage during the show’s run. The need for a formal dining room seems to have been lost as we became more pragmatic than aspirational. However, that Fixer Upper open plan design style will probably appear dated in a decade or two, fueling an inevitable home renovation boom. I point to the popular sunken living room (conversation pit) design of the 1970s as proof.


On top of the change in dining habits and the need for different functionality, new home sizes have been shrinking in recent years. Builders have focused on offering homes with modern features and space previously allocated for formal dining rooms has largely been repurposed.

And if you look back to 1975, new home sizes nearly doubled through 2015. It seemed as though new homes were getting larger for my entire adult life until recently. In a world with high mortgage rates and high prices, average new home sizes are at a 13-year low, presumably to make them more affordable.

And most importantly, Wednesdays used to be nicknamed Prince Spaghetti Day for people of a certain age, instead of the awful “hump” day in more recent times. But sadly, Anthony is no longer with us…

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