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Living Room vs. Family Room, etc.

Living Room vs. Family Room, etc.

What’s the difference between the living room, family room, den, etc.? Find out here.

The traditional names for different rooms in the house have changed over the centuries. While older times might have had drawing rooms, hearth rooms, and parlors, today, those have been replaced with other names like living room, family room, and others. When designing a custom home, it can become confusing what room is what. Here is a helpful list describing what each room name typically means.

Living Room

The living room is actually the modern-day version of the parlor. In other words, it is a formal reception room for guests. It is usually in the front of the house and contains seating that will facilitate comfort and conversation. You will likely not find a TV in there. 

Family Room

The family room, meanwhile, is a room designated for daily family living. It’s a place for the family to spend time together and enjoy day-to-day activities. It might be messier than the living room and house the TV and pet toys. It might also have a fireplace. More intimate friends and family will generally enjoy their visit in this part of the house.

Great Room

If you don’t have a formal living room or family room, you’ll likely have a great room. This space may conjure a particular image of high ceilings with a chandelier, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a grand stone or brick fireplace. You will usually see it connected to the kitchen and dining room via an open floor plan.


The den is the common term for a study or relaxation area that is closed off from other rooms. It might contain a library, a desk, a comfy chair, a TV, or all of the above. It is a general term that has since split into the inventions of the man cave and lady lounge.

Rec Room

The recreational room, or rec room, is specifically for hosting friends to party and play games. It can also be called the “game room.” Here, you’ll find the pool table, foosball table, air hockey table, cornhole, and whatever other indoor sports games you can think of. This room often includes a wet bar and comfortable couches.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 at 5:33 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.