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Living Room

Why Is It Called A Living Room? History Of The Living Room


Why Is It Called A Living Room

Almost all American households have living rooms. Today the living room is where the family gathers for various activities such as talking, reading, etc. 

You can also entertain friends and watch your favorite sports teams. If you are a couch potato, then you spend most of your time in the living room

Homeowners consider the living room as the heart of the home. Therefore, they decorate it perfectly with the latest trends. These include things such as flooring, ceiling, sofas, tables, etc. 

The term living room is quite popular in this century, and many do not know its origin. There are several theories about the term “living room.” This article aims to satisfy your curiosity by answering the common question. 

Why Is It Called a Living Room?

The space that is currently known as the living room was the parlor or death room. The term parlor is from the French word “Parle,” which means to speak. It was known as a parlor because it was a place to sit and talk.

During World War I, there were many death cases, and this changed the parlors purpose. In the 19th-century, people did funeral rituals from the parlor or death room. 

The family member paid their last respects to their loved ones from this room. However, after World War I, the conditions drastically improved, decreasing the number of death cases. 

Therefore people did say that the space was no longer a death room. It was livelier and had no mourning; they named it the “living room.”

The Functions Of A Living Room

Interestingly, the living room was once referred to as the death room. It was in the 19th century when the influenza epidemic killed many humans. 

Families usually kept the deceased in the front house room for viewing and mourning, and people started referring to the room as death room. 

Today the living room is among the liveliest rooms in modern homes. It is a place for entertaining visitors, friends, and family. People gather here to read, talk and watch television, etc. 

Decorating The Modern Living Room

The living room is truly the heart of your home; you need to ensure the room looks fantastic and classy. More so, if the room hosts important visitors such as business associates, doctors, lawyers, etc. 

The living room space is usually large and decorating it can be daunting. You need to design and decorate the space in an appealing way to you and your family. Here are the steps to follow when designing your living room

Measure The Living Room Space 

It’s the first and most important thing to do before you decide to decorate your living room. The accurate measurements will ensure you choose the proper window treatment, furnishing, size rug, etc. 

It will also save you money and time; ordering and returning accessories and furniture can be another hassle since they don’t fit. 

Know The Living Room Purpose

It would help if you had clarity on how you want to use your living room. It will help you in the shaping and decorating process. The main functions of the living room are reading, talking, and watching. 

If you intend to use your living room solely for talking, you must arrange the furniture to allow maximum conversation. 

Note that some existing fixtures like shelving and fireplace will indeed affect the furniture arrangement. Your intentions for the living room space should be realistic. 

Do not base your design on the high-end design publications in magazines. The room should reflect your lifestyle and fulfill your needs at the time. 

Suppose you have kids avoid glass tables and many floor lamps since they can be hazardous. In such situations, wood tables are ideal. 

Focus On Aesthetics 

Do you want your living room to have a feminine, romantic, or farmhouse vibe? It is pretty challenging to decide the perfect design direction because of several types of décor styles. 

However, only committing to a particular look is not enough; you need to establish a general scheme. The space should not be a total theme party; it will be easy to narrow down to the selections to determine the overall design direction. 

Again before making this decision, you can turn to some fantastic resources for inspiration. It can be Pinterest, magazines, design books, etc.

Make a Room Board  

You have to consider how your furniture pieces will look like before making any purchase. Do this by gathering the images of all pieces that you want to use in your room. 

Keenly check out the pieces to find out if they interact or blend. Studying them will help you capture some critical mistakes, and you can fix them. 

Do not always pull items with the same leg style or a fabric type that seriously competes with your drapery fabric. It’s therefore advisable that you make simple swaps or changes before placing the final order.

Shop Your Favorite Furniture 

Furniture is quite pricey; the best way to buy furniture is by spreading your purchases. You can start by purchasing large pieces that ground the room, such as area rug, sofa, etc. 

Remember to invest in the best quality furniture you can afford at the time, more so the sofa. People usually spend most of their time in the living room, and it’s always on the couch. Therefore buy the most comfortable and best quality sofa in the market. 

The walls 

The walls are pretty important when it comes to decorating or furnishing the living room. It wouldn’t be fine if you never left them blank; you can add a wall décor etc. 

The walls do play a huge role when it comes to adding character to the room. You can add decorative items, pillows, jewelry, artwork, pillows, etc. 

Another alternative is to place a mirror in a position that allows it to reflect light; it adds to the decoration. 

You can also source for artifacts; they make a room to shine. A piece of antique or vintage will also give your room that classy old look.


The plants will certainly give your room the perfect finishing touch. If you live in a rental where you can invest a lot in decoration or have a tight budget, you can get some plants. 

The greenery is the simplest way to add freshness and life to your room without spending a lot. 

The Living Room Sizes

Tiny Living Room

It’s a room that can take a maximum of two small two-seater sofas. In this layout, the couch can only sit on one side of the room. The room is ideal for two to three people since they can work in a small space.

Small Living Room

The dimension of the small living room is 10 x 13ft. The layout does not allow several sofas, but the space can comfortably accommodate two to four people. 

Medium Living Room

The dimension of this living room is approximately 12 x 18 ft. It is an average living room size and can comfortably host between six to ten people. The room is ideal for 1500-sqft homes. A larger home will certainly need a bigger living room. 

Larger Living Room

The dimension of large living rooms is usually 15 x 20 ft. or 300-sqft. If you live in a house with a living room bigger than 300-sqft, you are fortunate. 

Space is excellent and will give you the freedom to add whatever you want to the room. You can also pull the sofas away from the walls and add more luxurious sofas and other secondary furniture.

House Rooms 

Reception Area

In the days, the parlor room was used as the reception area. It was a place for funerals, births, weddings, and other important occasions. The modern living room still performs these functions; however, most people rent space for events.

People still use the living room to receive visitors/guests in remote regions and cultures and celebrate significant occasions.

Entertainment Room 

History says that the USA citizens made the first recognizable modern living room version, and that was in the early 20th century. During this time, people had the idea of adding the newest technologies to the living room. 

Today many families have entertainment rooms in their homes. It is a perfect place for socializing while playing games and having parties.

The Art Gallery

From 16th to early 19th century, the parlor had the characteristics of the stateroom and front room. Therefore the homeowners decorated the room with the best photographs, furnishings, and artwork. 

Today most living rooms have these things since they are the family’s public face. People put extra effort into decorating the living room.


The term living room is quite popular today; in the mid-19th century, people started using the term. The living room was known as the parlor or death room. The living room is one of the essential rooms in any house. 

It’s the family’s face plus the place to meet visitors, friends, and even family members to converse, watch TV, etc. Therefore, many people focus on decorating and furnishing the living room to make it look classy and comfortable. 

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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