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Living Room vs. Family Room: Is There a Difference?

It can be downright baffling to pin down the difference between two seemingly identical concepts. In the epic clash of living room vs. family room, is there really a clear distinction? As a matter of fact, yes. Read up this article to find out more.

Where It Is Located in the House

The living room is the most spacious room of the house and is usually at the heart of the house, occupying the front portion. It’s also known as a front room. Sometimes it’s connected to the dining room.

Family rooms, on the other hand, are generally located in the back of the home, near the kitchen and often adjacent to an outdoor space like a deck, patio or courtyard. Family rooms are more traditionally reserved for the family itself to use on a daily basis. Sometimes close friends and extended family members will be entertained in the family room during more casual gatherings.

Formal or Casual

The furnishings in both a living room and a family room tend to be similar in function but typically differ greatly in style. Since people gather and sit in both rooms, each type has seating areas with a couch or sofa and chairs.

In living rooms, the furnishings tend to be much more stylish and sometimes more formal. For example, wingback chairs and sofas are popular in traditional living rooms. The living room is also the space where valuables and family heirlooms would be displayed.

Meanwhile, in family rooms, the furnishings focus on comfort and usually are casual. Family rooms are much more likely to have recliners and easy chairs and plush, comfortable sofas.

Entertainment or No Entertainment

In more formal living rooms, these elements are generally not present. Instead, living rooms are more likely to display fine art or formal portraits on the wall.

Casual family rooms are the place where families gather to play games and watch television and movies. The focal point of many family rooms is often a fully stocked entertainment center, complete with a television, music system and any gaming devices.

Appropriate Décor

Many modern homes blur the lines between a living room and family room. Defining the space with appropriate decor helps set the proper tone for each room and defines the room's purpose.

The living room, can still be inviting but needs to have a classic look. Antiques and art should fit the mood in this room. This is the place to display an elegant sofa and antique chaise. The living room should feel appropriate to host holiday gatherings and receive dinner party guests but not the right place for your children to color.

For the family room, choose warm, inviting colors; plush, comfortable furnishings; and functional items like entertainment systems and bookshelves. Make the family room a space for the immediate members of your family to relax and enjoy being together, watch television or read a book.

To simplify the differences, living room is formal and for important guests whereas family room is for family members to create the bond and spend time creating memories.

LIVING ROOM

FAMILY ROOM

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