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Old 06-13-2010, 12:09 AM
24 posts, read 132,825 times
Reputation: 17


I saw many houses in Texas have three living rooms, i.e. formal living, family room, game/recreation room...in addition to a study. I don't get it why we need so many living rooms, especially why the formal living if we already have family room downstairs and game room upstairs. Sometimes I feel the family room is too small while the formal living is a waste of space.

I am wondering how you all use your formal living rooms.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:44 AM
Location: Dallas, TX
308 posts, read 907,342 times
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My parents house have 3. They don't live in Texas though. I think one is a "Family Room" and the other is a "Living Room"
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:25 AM
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,199 posts, read 11,343,400 times
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Growing up in California, we had a living room and a den. Now I think "extra" rooms are called great rooms. I agree with you though. No one really needs "too much" house and from what I've seen, no one usually steps into the formal living room. I guess it's just for show...whatever that means but as you said, "wasted space."
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:00 AM
Location: Cypress, TX
862 posts, read 2,424,431 times
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I use my formal living room as a study. The downstairs family room is more of a formal living room for us, where we can entertain company. The upstairs game room is our home theater, where we watch movies and play video games on the big screen TV with surround sound.

I love having all this space, our last house only had a single living room area and it got pretty cluttered with all the home theater stuff along with all the furniture.
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:10 AM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,549 posts, read 42,708,506 times
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We went from a LR and Family Room to just a Greatroom. Although we never set foot in the LR when we had one, I wish we still had a separate room for the TV.
If I still had kids at home, I can see how a third area, like a loft near the bedrooms, would be good for them to gather to watch TV or be with their friends.
Bottom line is that it depends on where you are in the cycle of life..single, couple, little kids, big kids, no kids.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:11 AM
Location: TX
1,098 posts, read 1,540,125 times
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Our 'game room' upstairs is pretty much the kids' territory.
Our 'family room/great room' downstairs by the kitchen is the main area that gets the most use except for when the kids get banished upstairs.
I use our 'formal living room' as a quite area when the kids are tearing up the upstairs and someone else is watching TV in the great room. Lots of times I'll go there to read.
I use our formal dining room as a study.

Do we 'need' all those rooms? No. It is nice to have the space though and in our home we do use it.
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:30 AM
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Our house was built in the late 1960s, so we have just the formal living, formal dining and a den. We switched the formal living and dining because our formal dining room table can sit 18 and we host holidays. The old formal dining is a little sitting area off the kitchen and people read there. The den is where the TV is.

I know people who have converted the formal dining to either an office or an extra bedroom.
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Old 06-13-2010, 03:29 PM
27,456 posts, read 44,947,050 times
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the function of 3 living areas is two fold--
1-- it is function of time/decade the house was built and
2--it is function of the square footage/design of the house itself

some newer homes--past 5 yrs or so--are turning the formal living room off the entry hall into a "study or office"--vs formal living room that is often not used except as furniture storage/showroom--
problem with that is the room is usually too small to be effective and has glass doors to entry so that a messy office is still on view to anyone coming into the house

if you look at any type of floorplan for these homes--
most second floors have staircase coming up that opens into a larger landing area--and then rooms (bedrooms and baths) open off that with minimum hall space--
most conventional home designs try to have less hall space because most architects/designers/builders view halls as wasted space which cause smaller room dimensions...larger bedrooms are more attractive to home buyers...

the rise of the open kitchen/breakfast/family room has limited privacy/noise control and gives the illusion of more space--even in smaller sq ft homes...

most people do not want more halls and more bedrooms--there is only so much you can do with a house design when a house has 3000 sq ft and no basement...

designing a home involves a great deal of balancing between room size/number and access...
given the size of the lot the house is on and the garage size--
more people want 3 car garages and lots are smaller--moving more living space upstairs and kitchens to interior walls...
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:26 PM
Location: Richardson, TX
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I have three bedrooms, and it is just me, here. It is just what was available at the time when I bought, in the area I wanted to live.
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:03 PM
4,304 posts, read 11,124,327 times
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My house has 3 living rooms and we seldom use the formal living and dining room. Me and the wife use the downstairs den and my son has control of the upstairs loft. The extra room is great for the holidays since I can really entertain alot of people. My wife really wants to the formal living room more of a casual space but for me it goes back to childhood when the formal living area was for show and special guest.
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