Living Room vs. Family Room?

Being a person always willing to highlight my real estate ignorance, this interesting article (and associated slideshow) from Slate on a town being built in a former cornfield outside of Philadelphia made me realize I don’t know the difference between a family room and a living room. Wikipedia says the difference is one of formality and highlights the fact that the differences are blurred for those of us who grew up in homes with only one such room. To confuse matters more, we always called our room the den, which (according to a wikipedia redirect) is the same thing as a study.


6 thoughts on “Living Room vs. Family Room?

  1. A den is a study? Oh dear. Is an office a study? Can you have a great room AND a family room? What if there is only one of those rooms, is it a living room or family room, or is it a great room? Maybe we can start small: we all agree what constitutes a bathroom, right?

  2. LOL, I consider myself a mega expert on baths, family rooms, studies, dens, great rooms, etc…I’m doing a post with floor plans and an historic review of how and why these names came to be and changed over time 🙂 I LOVE this topic.

    Now someone tell me why everything except a tudor is called “a craftsman” around here and I’ll give you the skinny on the history of expanding and diminishing floor plans and names of rooms.

    The one they tried to change was “master suite” or “master” anything, under the guise of answering the question WHOM is “THE Master”? But that one didn’t fly. Some areas did rename “family” room as it suggests residents must be “a family”. Lots of politically correct activity and discussions in the real estate business over the last 25 years.

  3. Dustin,

    Were you baiting me with the “cornfield outside Philadelphia”? Nothing excites me more than new homes built “in cornfields outside Philadelphia”.

  4. Pingback: Living Room is to Parlor as Den is to Study | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  5. I was wondering about living room vs den but decided that in my new house, the room as you walk in the front door, is the “front room”or in my case,we sometimes call it the “sun room” because it has bright, sunny colors with wrought iron suns on the walls and wicker furniture. The larger room with the t.v. is the “living room”.
    When I was little, we had an addition put on our house. For the next 30 years we called it the “new room”. That settled that!!!

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