Difference Between Living Room and Family Room

Main Difference

The main difference between the Living Room and Family Room is that Living Room is most capacious room, formal area and heart of the house whereas Family Room is situated next to the kitchen serves as family space and casual area.

Living Room vs. Family Room

Living room in a house serves as a relaxing and entertaining purpose for guests, whereas the family room is an area used mostly by family members to spend time together. The living room is present at the heart of the house or front portion of the house, therefore also known as a front room. Sometimes it also connects with the dining room whereas; the family room is mostly present next to the kitchen and, often consist of a door that directly leads to a courtyard, garden, or terrace, etc. Living rooms are the more likely formal area in the house for formal occasions to entertain, socialize and relax with guests while family rooms are the casual area in the house that serves the main purpose of relaxation and refreshment of only family members or sometimes for more casual gatherings. The furnishing of living rooms consists of sofas, wingback chairs, etc. while family rooms more likely contain comfortable sofas, chairs, and recliners. Family rooms are the focal point of the entertainment center, television, gaming devices, and music system, whereas formal living rooms do not have these elements. Decors of living rooms usually need to be classic with artwork, heirlooms, and less personalized elements, but family room focus on décor with warm, inviting colors, family photographs, functional elements, and entertaining system.

Comparison Chart

Living RoomFamily Room
It is a room in a house that serves as relaxing and entertaining guests.It is a room in a house that serves as a place for family members to spend time together.
Location
Present at the heart of the house, center or front of the house and is connected with the dining room.Present at the back of the house and next to the kitchen.
Purpose
The purpose is to socialize, relax and receive guests.The purpose is relaxation, entertainment, and recreation with family members.
Formal
FormalInformal
Furnishing
Furnished with sofas, wingback chairs, and coffee tables.Furnished with sofas, recliners, couches, bookshelves and entertainment elements.
Decor
Decor focuses on the classic design, artwork, heirloom, antique and less personalized elements.Decor focuses on comfortable design, family photographs, functional elements.

What is the Living Room?

A living room is a capacious room in the house, and it is present at the heart of the house. It is also called a sitting room and lounge room. When it is near the entrance of the house, It is also known as a front room. For guests, It serves as as a reception room. Therefore, this is a comfortable place that serves as entertaining guests, socializing, and sitting with visitors. It is somewhat a formal area. The furnishing of the living room is more formal and stylish than comfortable. It is often elegantly furnished with occasional tables, sofas, chairs, coffee tables, electric lamps, wingback chairs, rugs, etc. The living room is not for the family; they usually do not have entertainment systems. The decoration of living room based less on function and more on style. Formal portrait, artwork, heirlooms, antiques, and valuables are displayed. As living rooms are present closer to the entrance of the house, it enables visitors to enter the house more conveniently without being exposed to other messy rooms in the house. These rooms are liable to have a less child-friendly environment. It only needs surface cleaning weekly to make sure that they are always ready for guests.

What is the Family Room?

A family room is an entire space for relaxation, entertainment, and recreation of family members, and it is present adjacent to the kitchen. The family rooms often have doors that lead to outdoor areas such as backyard, deck, garden, or terrace. The furnishing of the family room should be durable, comfortable, and low-maintenance with recliners, sofas, plush, side tables, bookshelves, couches, and entertainment systems. It is where the real living happens. The Family room decor focuses on choosing warm, inviting colors, family photographs, knick-knacks, and functional items. It requires a full entertainment center which includes music system, television, and gaming devices. It is more informal, multipurpose space as the family members gather, do their activities, and enjoy their time by painting, reading the paper, using a computer, hang out, play games, eat, watch movies and play with pets. Homeowners use furnishings that can withstand wear and tear. It must have plenty of room for storing games, books, and craft supplies. It should be cleaned daily to ensure that the family has a safe environment.

Key Differences

  1. The living room is present at the heart of the house, in the center region of the house, whereas the family room is present next to the kitchen and sometimes back of the house.
  2. The purpose of the living room is to socialize and entertain guests. On the other hand, the purpose of the family room is the relaxation and recreation of family members.
  3. The living room is considered a formal room. Conversely family room is a casual space.
  4. The furnishing of a living room is more formal with occasional tables, sofas, chairs, electric lamps, wingback chairs while furnishing of the family room is more comfortable with sofas, recliners, couches, bookshelves and Entertainment elements.
  5. The décor of the living room focus more on design with antiques, artwork, heirlooms, and less personalized items. On the flip side, family room décor consists of functional items, family photographs, knick-knacks, and warm colors.
  6. Other names of the living room are sitting room, lounge room, front room whereas family room is also known as a rumpus room, playroom, game room, and den.

Conclusion

These terms are interchangeably used despite their differences. But the living room is the most capacious, present at the heart of the house and serve as formal space whereas the family room is present adjacent to the kitchen serves as the family space for relaxation and recreation of family members.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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