Talk:Family room

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A family room is a hoax? It's a clear term. A google search for "family+room" turns up over 6,650,000 results. 17:26, 12 February 2006 (UTC) Matt

I don't think this is a hoax...I mean, WE have a family room


I support the merge. Having all the info in one place makes less duplication of effort and is easier on readers. The differences are subtle, and best covered in an article that talks about both. NickelShoe 20:51, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Um ... let me think: I (along with many people I know) have both a living room and a family room in their homes. They are two very different rooms, last time I checked. I would respectfully (or not so respectfully) suggest that any urge to merge (yes it rhymes) is more a product of two under-developed articles rather than the two terms being synonymous or even relatively similar.

I'll start off with one observation over there on the other page: the definition of "living room", at least from my socioeconomic and geographic perspective, comes across as suggesting a much more informal room than it actually is. To me, living rooms are sit-down versions of the foyer (and this is how I observe them in others houses) being used for more comfortable reception, party overflow, the presentation of accquired art, even a musical instrument such as a piano. I've never seen a 'living room' with a television in it. That's what (in my area / my socioecnomic class / my background, so caveat emptor) we call a "family room"

But don't you think that having both in one article would be able to better articulate the differences without having to devote parts of each article to the distinction.
The distinction between a bathroom and bedroom, for instance, is straightforward. I don't see your explanation as showing the distinction as being unsubtle.
My living room has a TV, as does every living room I've ever seen. I can't think of anyone I know who has a family room. If the differences are different in different places/classes, I think that's a bad way to divide the articles. NickelShoe (Talk) 03:05, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Hate to break it to you, but the distinction is there, and the two terms are not interchangable, shouldn't be merged Judgesurreal777 16:41, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Um, thanks for the evidence and stuff...Merging doesn't mean the terms are interchangeable. We can merge information on songs into an album, that doesn't mean the song is interchangeable with the album. It's just a way of treating a lot of information in one spot.
And if you have some verifiable evidence that they're not overlapping, you should probably make the articles stop saying they are. NickelShoe (Talk) 20:51, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion; there are no distinction between living and family room; since the family who lives in the house; spend their time in the living room before they go to bed in the bedroom, or study in the study room.

There are houses with only living rooms, but no houses with only family rooms. That's the difference. If there is one room, it's called the living room, not the family room. If there are two rooms, the living room will be nearest the front door, and the family room will be less formal. When guests come, the adults talk in the living room and the children watch TV or play games in the family room. I don't care whether the article is merged or not. Sluggoster (talk) 00:25, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

I think I've got a reasonably good definition (and rationale for this article) -- basically, in many recently-built (1980s-present) American/Canadian homes of capable size, there will exist both rooms. The term "family room" has often become the preferred term in rooms which have only ONE "living-room-type-room"; in rooms that have two "living rooms", as stated in the article, the "family room" tends to be the "main" room, the more commonly used, and the arguably less-formal. The "living room" (quite often adjacent to the formal "dining room") tends to be far less-used, EXCEPT for more formal entertaining. The standard "Living-room-opens-onto-dining-room" setup (with the dining room accessible by the kitchen) basicaly allows for the "more formal" entertaining of guests (through dining and retiring to the "living room"), whereas the family room is the "big room" where most "less-formal" social functions take place.

Whew, that was sorta more complex than I intended, but does this seem at all rational? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

no merge[edit]

These are two different rooms and are intended for different things. The living room is a formal room more for entertaining guest or family business maters. The family room is the main common area for the family to gather.

I agree. Many houses have both a living room and a family room. The family room is used for day-to-day lounging and activities (watching tv, reading the paper, playing boardgames, etc.). Living rooms are more formal, for entertaining guests and special occasions.

I am on here because my wife and I have had a couple discussions because of confusion relating to the 2 rooms we have in the house (family room and living room). ONe day I told her the newspaper was on the living room table and she went to what I call the family room to search and told me it was not there. Of course I meant the other room. We both grew up with just one room for the purposes or distinctions mentioned for the two rooms. Where we are at odds is that she has always called the room with the TV in it a "living room" and does not want to change that. When I grew up (age 11-17) our house had a "living room" which we normally did not use except for seeing non-family or friends and it was rarely ever used (in fact there was plastic on the furniture). The TV was in the "dining room." To get to our current confusion I believe there should be a distinction when one exists. I call our room by the front door the "living room" and we rarely use it. We use the "family room" that is located off of the kitchen. The way I view it is if one is in a position where there are 2 separate rooms in the home; one is used for one thing and the other room is used primarily for something else. It is probably accepted that when you buy or build a house one room is referred to as the "living room" and the other is referred to as the "family room" to maintain the distinction. I asked my wife what does she call the the room I refer to as the "living room" and she did not have an answer (front living room maybe). It is not like the bathroom where someone may label them differently but using bathroom in the labeling (main, master, basement, off the kitchen, 1st floor, etc). Off the subject but bathroom versus restroom?

What has also influenced me to draw a distinction between the two is becoming an Army officer. As an officer one sometimes held formal gatherings at one's residence which was conducted in the "living room" and the "family room" was the informal room in the house. The way I see it is if you have 2 (maybe more) rooms in the house then there may as well be a distinction that is universally accepted. If someone has just one room one may as well call it the family room because that is probably what it is primarily used for. No merge. By the way my wife and I have still not come to an agreement for seven years now.


In the U.S., a living room is where people entertain guests. It is better decorated and has better furniture and normally there is no TV in that room. A Family room is where the familty spends most of their time. I think the British usage may be different. In Britain there is a concept of Drawing Room which is equivalent to the U.S. living room. I have a suspicsion that a British Living Room is the equivalent of a US family room.Skapur 05:16, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I've seen that getting these merged is perhaps a lost cause, but let me point out again that a merge doesn't mean that the terms are equivalent. Merging is for the benefit of readers--so you can explain the subtle differences in one spot, instead of hoping the reader can figure it out. And as a lifetime resident of the US, I can tell you that the distinctions you draw simply do not hold up...the terms are perhaps sometimes--perhaps usually--used that way, but not where I live, which is definitely in the US. What we really lack here are sources. NickelShoe (Talk) 16:02, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
These are completely different concepts. What you are proposing would be the same as merging Parlor and would lead to the same kind of ambiguity. Perhaps some kind of list of typical residential rooms and their functions would be useful so that subtle differences between Parlor, Living Room, Family Room, and any others could be explained in detail there. Just a thought. My experience is the same as Skapur's, that the Living room is for guests and socializing while the Family room is for private time and television. -- M0llusk 05:55, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


don't ya think that saying the family room is "usually adjacent to the kitchen" is kind of generalizing a little bit? with no proof or anything? Brdforallseasons 19:54, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Not really. Most of the "family rooms and home floorplans I have seen in the average home that has the 2 separate rooms show the family room near the kitchen (mine included).


Den (arcitecture) redirects here, but there is absolutely no mention of it in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:01, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I was wondering this as well, particularly since what we called the "den" was more of a "study" (and in fact, the article on "study" mentions that such a room is also called a "den". (talk) 20:44, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The first definition listed in the MSN Encarta dictionary ( defines "den" as "room for relaxing: a room in a house where family members and guests relax" Captain Quirk (talk) 20:02, 20 August 2010 (UTC)