The human eye can adopt either to bright areas or dark ones, but not to both at the same time. So if you look at bright areas, then the dark ones are hardly visible like in this study. This effect was used, e.g. by Rembrandt, Tizian in their portraits. The human eye has no HDR capabilities.
Also the room is a nice place for “him” to read by the fireplace, work on the PC, or play a game of chess with a friend. Undisturbed by “her”.
Video of it here: