Do you use your formal living for the sophisticated soirees that it was decorated for? Yeah, me neither.
It somehow doesn't sit right with me have a room that is rather museum-like in one's house. Why bother? I will tell you that the layout of this particular house allows me to enjoy the room without being in it sometimes but still that seems a waste. I have met people that turned this room into a playroom for their kids and the resulting plastic wasteland is a huge turn-off right inside the front door, for me at least.
It may seem silly but the way I use my formal living room is to have relaxing phone chats. It's as far away from the noise of TV as can be and the pretty things I love are right there to look at while I talk.
In addition, moving my little desk into the living room makes for a very pretty place to write checks and handle other sundry office chores. When it was in a different location it did not always stay tidy but the higher order of the living room shames me into always leaving it looking nice.
It is perhaps still not living up to it's full potential and when I have elegant parties in it I'll be sure to post here. Until then, I am enjoying it anyway.