If I had the opportunity, to own or design my home, I know that one of my conscious choices would be to not have a dining room
I would argue that most people whose home has a dinning room, don’t use it. At most, very rarely and probably not for it’s intended purpose. That’s because older homes were designed for a different lifestyle and newer ones are designed by developers, usually without the insight of architects. Sure, you could lament the demise of family dinners and that making the case for a formal dining room is a great way of supporting the tradition, but most likely that large, flat, horizontal surface becomes a collection zone for clutter.