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Old 12-03-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,282,716 times
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As a plebe who only has what my family calls a "living room", I am wondering what the real difference between the first three are.

"Family room" and "living room" are synonymous in my book, though it appears from botticelli's post that they are two separate things in many people's minds. For example, I read that one has a TV and one doesn't. From what I have read (off of these forums) as well as my experience, this seems to be a class issue. Go into a working class family's house and the most prominent thing in the main common area is a proudly-displayed 70" LCD TV. Go into an upper-middle-class family's home and you will likely see no TV in the main common area, a separate room containing the TV.

Also, I bought a lot of "home plan" guides at the grocery store as a child, desperately wanting to move out of the humble home I still live in to a McMansionesque house like those featured in the books. "Great rooms" were a part of the diagrams of many houses. What were they, do people still plan houses with "great rooms", or was it just a '90s thing?

(Note: In Latin America, I've had the opportunity to stay at three homes for an extended period of time. Two were owned by middle/upper-class families and one by a working-middle class family. The working class and apparently wealthiest family of the bunch did not have a TV in their living room, the screen being relegated to a tiny media room in the working class family's house and the upstairs hallway in the wealthy-looking home, both with uncomfortable chairs for the viewers)
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:24 PM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,388 posts, read 61,750,545 times
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Great Room is what you have with an "Open Plan".
No walls between the several spaces.

Has open-concept living space gone too far?
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:26 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 37,470,794 times
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I don't see the names as being a class issue at all.

They are names, no more - plus you forgot the den, the office, the rec room, the hearth room, the computer room, the play room... and I am sure many more.
Two or three (or four rooms) with functions and names determined by the family in the house - that's all they are.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:07 PM
 
2,682 posts, read 4,381,267 times
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IMO,

Living Room - the more "formal" room that has the nice furniture where adults chat without a TV
Family Room/ Great Room/ Rec Room... the everyday room, where people watch TV. I think the term Great Room arises from the open concept extra high ceiling element of making the room seem fancier.

These are my interpretations of those words.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,282,716 times
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I didn't say that calling it a family or a living room was necessarily a matter of class. What seems to be is the presence of a TV in the main common area (usually determined by house plan).

I was going to say "den", but I have always imagined it to be more of a hobby room or library.

Interesting that you bring up "rec room". We were always in the process of planning to add a "rec room" when my father was alive, but never did. I always imagined it as a room with a big TV, a pool table, and various games. Mine would have pink, very plush carpeting.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,691,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazerj View Post
IMO,

Living Room - the more "formal" room that has the nice furniture where adults chat without a TV
Family Room/ Great Room/ Rec Room... the everyday room, where people watch TV. I think the term Great Room arises from the open concept extra high ceiling element of making the room seem fancier.

These are my interpretations of those words.
I would agree.

When growing up we had a living room dining room, kitchen, bath, and bedrooms. That was it. The living room was where the TV was and it was a multi use room. Some had a den/TV room and the living room was more formal, less multi purpose. Some had a rec room, with many of them being finished basements.

My last home had it all. Living room, great room, den (office, computer room), bonus room above the garage (we used as storage), 4 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths and only two of us. Then we downsized from 2400 to about 1500 sq ft. We are back to one big room, with cathederal ceilings, serving as the living/great/TV/dining room, etc. We call it the great room for lack of a better name. One of our two spare bedrooms now serves as computer room/office. We often wonder what we did with 2400sq ft..........LOL
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Palm Coast FL
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Here's an interesting explanation of great rooms. Great room - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:08 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
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LOL @ "The New York Times called the great room "the McMansion's signature space."[1]"
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:30 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 91,989,470 times
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A living room is in a house that only has one room designated for gathering and it has walls separating it from other rooms, or it is a more formal room in a house that has more than one gathering area.

A family room is a house that house more than one gathering room, a living room and an additional room on the first floor for gathering. A family room can be open or enclosed by walls. It is usually less formal than living rooms but living rooms can be informal if there is only one gathering room in the house.

A game room is usually in a finished basement of a house that has just a living room, a family room and a living room, or a great room.

A great room is a huge open space that is part of the kitchen and the dinette area. The great room can be in a house that also has a formal living room and dining room or a house can have only a great room and no other gathering room. A great room is more similar to a family room because it is casual.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:32 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 91,989,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazerj View Post
I think the term Great Room arises from the open concept extra high ceiling element of making the room seem fancier.
I don't think great rooms are fancier. They're more casual because they are open to the kitchen.
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