the reasons for LIVING
The current phenomenon regarding the use of living rooms in Japanese residences is that they are not being used to fullest, despite being situated in the center of most homes. The reason for this recent trend seems to be because there are fewer opportunities to entertain guests in the living room. In addition, because each family member has his/her own individual room, it is rare for the whole family together in the living room to watch TV. The concept of the "living room" itself was introduced in Japan only half a century ago through post-war democratization and the influx of American culture. Therefore, Japanese people never really grasped the intrinsic meaning of the Western custom of the "living room." Morever, because it is common in Japanese residences for the living room and the dining room to be combined in one room, the living room fails to be of much importance.
However, it is necessary to establish a proper living room space on the underlying premise of having different functions for the dining room which fundamentally means "dining=movement" and the living room which suggests "relaxation=serenity".
For instance, creating stairs or partitions would create separation between a dining and living room. Painting walls with different colors or hanging art as a focal point could also create differentiation. Furthermore, the living room should reflect what the resident would like to do in that space. For example, if the family is fond of reading books, then the living room can be built mainly with bookshelves hinting sort of a library. If the family likes music, the living room can be a space to play instruments or listen to music.
Essentially, the living room has a function of the "residence's face". Acquiring the affluence of the residence depends on how one creates that space.