U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-08-2017, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,002 posts, read 1,256,327 times
Reputation: 3664

Advertisements

I've been looking online at a condominium to buy. I also looked at photos and floorplans of houses in 1%-er neighborhoods just to see what they look like inside. The floorplans had spaces marked "living room", "family room", "rec room", and "great room". In bigger houses especially, there would be all four of these rooms, although usually, at least one room would be on a different floor. (I'm not factoring in regionalisms, like the term "front room".)

Are there any distinguishing characteristics between these rooms? Especially something that its proper term may not indicate. Like ceiling height, size/number of windows, presence of a fireplace, cable/satellite hook-ups, etc. Or are those just spaces in a house, and their names are a little more than real estate marketing terms? Or even regionalisms I'm not aware of.

The one "public" room of a home that's comparable to the above four, but clearly meant for a distinct purpose, is the dining room. So at least there is no ambiguity there. Although in smaller residences, the dining room is a section of either the living room or the kitchen.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-08-2017, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,718 posts, read 59,579,994 times
Reputation: 26823
They are spelled differently.

They are all just rooms. Usually rectangular. The difference is really in how you use them, and sometimes in location.

For us, we use Front parlor, back parlor, dining room, library and game room. Rec (recreation) roomnever made sense to me. Are you going to play soccer or frisbee in there?

We use the old fashioned terms because our house is old, and because it is easier to me to remember which is which. Front parlor is the room guests see. It is kept nice and clean for entertaining. The back parlor is the room in "the back" although ours is on the same plane as the front parlor). It is a messy room where your family does their day to day live and leaves magazines, dog toys and dirty socks laying around. Only the most intimate family friends are invited into the back parlor and it has a door to shut off the view from the entry (front parlor has no door).


OUR kids have different names for the rooms. The front parlor is the "Indian room" because former owners used that room to trade with native Americans in the early 1800s. The back parlor is the fireplace room. Both have fireplaces, but we rarely use the one int he front parlor. Library is the bird room (because our birds live in there, or the Computer room

If my kids become developers maybe there will be houses offered with an "indian room" or a bird room. You can cll them whatever you want.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2017, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
11,877 posts, read 45,676,236 times
Reputation: 12996
I guess it's possible to say it's both-

As a builder, I'd say there are distinct differences- use and location.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2017, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
14,505 posts, read 11,481,746 times
Reputation: 21000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
They are spelled differently.

They are all just rooms. Usually rectangular. The difference is really in how you use them, and sometimes in location.

For us, we use Front parlor, back parlor, dining room, library and game room. Rec (recreation) roomnever made sense to me. Are you going to play soccer or frisbee in there?

We use the old fashioned terms because our house is old, and because it is easier to me to remember which is which. Front parlor is the room guests see. It is kept nice and clean for entertaining. The back parlor is the room in "the back" although ours is on the same plane as the front parlor). It is a messy room where your family does their day to day live and leaves magazines, dog toys and dirty socks laying around. Only the most intimate family friends are invited into the back parlor and it has a door to shut off the view from the entry (front parlor has no door).


OUR kids have different names for the rooms. The front parlor is the "Indian room" because former owners used that room to trade with native Americans in the early 1800s. The back parlor is the fireplace room. Both have fireplaces, but we rarely use the one int he front parlor. Library is the bird room (because our birds live in there, or the Computer room

If my kids become developers maybe there will be houses offered with an "indian room" or a bird room. You can cll them whatever you want.
I have a cant swing a cat room, a kitchen a bedroom and a bathroom.. ....Parlours, games room. tv room, library, dining room are dreams from High Society the movie...I never know if people on here are for real or what..... all their eggs have two yolks it seems.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2017, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Denver area
21,137 posts, read 22,107,592 times
Reputation: 35503
In my experience:

Living room = more formal space meant for conversation. No TV.

Family room = casual space for family gatherings - comfy seating. This is where the TV is.

Great room = similar to a family room but larger and incorporates elements of a living room and dining room. Usually open to the kitchen - mostly found in homes without a formal living room/dining room.

Den = study with seating area.

Rec room = finished basement with ping-pong, foosball or pool table. Maybe a bar.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2017, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,002 posts, read 1,256,327 times
Reputation: 3664
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
In my experience:
Living room = more formal space meant for conversation. No TV.
Family room = casual space for family gatherings - comfy seating. This is where the TV is.
Great room = similar to a family room but larger and incorporates elements of a living room and dining room. Usually open to the kitchen - mostly found in homes without a formal living room/dining room.
Den = study with seating area.
Rec room = finished basement with ping-pong, foosball or pool table. Maybe a bar.
I think these are good distinctions. I understood these words a bit differently, based on the impressions I got from looking and the floorplans and photos, as well as visiting friends who had larger houses.

Living room - A modern take on a parlor room or a reception room. Used for entertaining guests.
Family room - Same as living room, but used only for entertaining family and close friends.
Great room - Never saw this term used in speech or writing, except in real estate.
Den - Pretty much a bedroom without a door. Usually has a sofa, but may have a bed in it.
Rec room - The kids' and teens' equivalent of a man cave. Messes are tolerated there.

Would you (anyone) say my interpretations are accurate?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2017, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,421,819 times
Reputation: 31588
bedroom, shop & garage, I have no idea what Mrs G calls those other rooms I pass thru on the way to the bathroom or the basement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2017, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,229 posts, read 23,749,578 times
Reputation: 19847
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
in my experience:

Living room = more formal space meant for conversation. No tv.

Family room = casual space for family gatherings - comfy seating. This is where the tv is.

Great room = similar to a family room but larger and incorporates elements of a living room and dining room. Usually open to the kitchen - mostly found in homes without a formal living room/dining room.

Den = study with seating area.

Rec room = finished basement with ping-pong, foosball or pool table. Maybe a bar.


described perfectly !!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2017, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Finally the house is done and we are in Port St. Lucie!
3,488 posts, read 1,790,588 times
Reputation: 9683
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
I think these are good distinctions. I understood these words a bit differently, based on the impressions I got from looking and the floorplans and photos, as well as visiting friends who had larger houses.

Living room - A modern take on a parlor room or a reception room. Used for entertaining guests.
Family room - Same as living room, but used only for entertaining family and close friends.
Great room - Never saw this term used in speech or writing, except in real estate.
Den - Pretty much a bedroom without a door. Usually has a sofa, but may have a bed in it.
Rec room - The kids' and teens' equivalent of a man cave. Messes are tolerated there.

Would you (anyone) say my interpretations are accurate?
Den is definitely not a bedroom. You could possibly use it as an overflow if you have a bunch of overnight guests. A den is usually used as an office or library type room. Think books and/or computers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2017, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Kansas City North
3,625 posts, read 6,759,161 times
Reputation: 4630
Great room. In the 80s someone decided nobody wanted a "only used for guests" living room any more. So they invented the Great Room. Usually located nearer the kitchen. Originally always with an energy wasting cathedral ceiling with faux wood beams and massive floor to ceiling brick fireplace. If you have a great room you probably don't have a "formal" living room or a "family room" on the 1st floor.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top