Family Room vs. Living Room: What’s the Difference?

Family Room vs. Living Room: What's the Difference?

Almost everyone knows the kitchen is for cooking, the bedroom is for sleeping, and the bathroom is for, well, you get the idea. Things get confusing in describing the spaces of an apartment when we start talking about the living room and the family room. Survey a large group of people and you will likely get many different answers about the purpose of a family room versus a living room.

What is the real difference between the family room and the living room? Usually, these are two rooms where people in a house get together for various activities, whether it is to converse, watch TV, read or sleep. What really highlights the differences are the design choices we make: the type of furniture we choose, the items that hang on the walls and serve as centerpieces, and other types of furniture. decoration.

Deep down, however, you and your family are the ones who define the family room versus the living room, simply by how you use them.

What is a salon?

According to a New York Times column, the term dates back to the 1600s. As originally designed, living rooms were intended to be showcases, used only for the most special occasions. They were intended for formal business where owners could show off their wealth while entertaining high society people.

Next, an architect writing in a French newspaper described a different concept for the design, where the bedrooms would focus on the daily activities of the family rather than being used as large centerpieces. Houses would still have some special rooms, but they would not be the focal point. The functional focus of the house would be on the spaces to live your life.

According to the New York Times article, other architects noticed and began to explore the concept further. The term salon became fashionable in the 1800s.

Today, to some extent, we still think of living rooms as more formal spaces, but that definition is no longer so rigid, according to Elle Decor Magazine. Families today can still book the lounge for special occasions, but it’s not as off limits as it once was.

Decorate a living room

Keep in mind that you can decorate the rooms in your apartment however you like. If the idea of ​​a more formal living room interests you, consider using furniture and other decorations that have the most meaning and value for your family.

Maybe you have some old furniture, such as chairs, tables, cabinets, or other items. You might find these helpful in defining the room as a more formal place. Or, maybe you’ve invested in a premium sofa, maybe with white fabric, that you’d rather not get too used to. These could also be good to reserve for the show.

Layout is important. Family rooms tend to be organized around the television; lounges don’t have to be. Think carefully about where you want to place your furniture and how that defines the room as a very special place. The items you choose to put on the walls can also help give the room meaning.

What is a family room?

Today’s family rooms are also defined as places where the family comes together to relax and enjoy the company of others, whether you live in a house or an apartment. Sounds familiar, right? The difference in many households is in the formality. Family rooms attract more relaxed types of activities. If it’s a home with kids, the family room is probably where you’ll find a collection of toys. You might see a bookcase or a series of magazines, and the room is probably set around the television.

According to Elle Decor magazine, citing authors Avi Friedman and David Krawitz, the term family room could have originated around WWII. Families began to desire less formal spaces where they could be themselves. Today, the family room has taken on different names, such as the game room or the media room, according to HGTV.

You are just as likely to find someone who plays video games or watches TV as you are to find someone who reads a book or works at a hobby like knitting or scrapbooking.

Ideas for decorating a family room

Since family rooms generally have a more casual feel, you have a lot more freedom to decorate than you would otherwise.

Your first step is to imagine what types of gatherings you would like to encourage? Do you want the kids to bring comfortable friends? Do you like entertaining neighbors to watch a game or for a barbecue? Then you might want to choose large pieces of furniture that provide plenty of space for people to sit down and feel at home.

If this is what you are considering for your family room, you might want to think about rooms that can absorb a lot of use. Put down a carpet that resists traffic. Choose sofas and chairs with fabrics that can take a beating.

If you want the room to be fun, consider designs that give off an eclectic vibe. If you have young children, you may want to consider play mats or a throw mat on top of your mat to contain the mess. Put up family photos to give her a sense of privacy. Know your family, look inside yourself, and let these findings guide your design.

The advantage of having more relaxed definitions for the family room and living room is that these spaces can take on any definition you choose.

Don’t be bound by convention. You will be spending a lot of time in your new apartment, so create spaces that will make you happy and that your family will love.