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Living Room vs Sitting Room

A Consensus on the Difference Between a Living Room and Sitting Room

If you are summing up your wish list for a realtor who is trying to find your dream home, you may be confused on terminology. Then again, you may not believe you are confused but the realtor’s definition of a room and your definition is entirely different. We are going to attempt to sort out these differences. However, remember than different areas of the country adn world call rooms by different monikers. You must take into account these regionalisms.

Do you want a Living Room? What is the difference between a living room and sitting room? In today’s home building a Living Room is a place where you receive and entertain guests. It is not a room you live in. This history of the origin of the term dates back to the time of the flu epidemic in the early 1900’s. Our current living rooms were called parlors back then. It was the first room visitors would see; therefore, it was the room that the lady of the house kept her best furniture, display items and what-not’s.

Enter the flu pandemic. So many people died in such a short period of time, parlors were set up where the dead could lay in state. Unfortunately, the parlor also became known as the Dead Room. Who wants a dead room in their home? Legend has it that when the epidemic was over and people were no longer dying en’ mass, individuals did not have much use for Dead Rooms in the front of their homes. So Ladies Home Journal made the suggestion that the dead rooms should be turned into Living Rooms for the living. The name stuck.

In today’s modern age a Living Room can be either formal or informal. It all depends on the amount of space you have in your home and the number of rooms that are available to use. If you have a smaller home with no family room, your Living Room is a catch-all. It is for entertaining your family as well as guests. Read about how much furniture you need in a living room.

Opulent Living Room

Opulent Living Room

There is an old-fashioned difference between a living room and sitting room. A sitting room was filled with over-sized, plumped up seating. It was designed for comfort. When a woman had guests they were not able to jump into the SUV and drive 15 minutes to get to her home. The guests usually traveled good distances either by carriage or buggy. Either way they were bounced around and thrown from side to side and were worn out by the time they got to their destination. A sitting room was a quiet respite where guests could talk, relax and become grounded again.

In a modern home with a sitting room you could expect to see a television in an enclosed armoire or at least a system where you could play music of your choice. In the absence of a family room or game room, family members and/or guests could play board games or cards. A sitting room will not be at the front of the home as a display room. Its sole purpose is for comfort and will be more towards the back of the home.

There are other interchangeable terms that can be confusing but not as much as the difference between a living room and sitting room. Do you want a great room or a living room? What about a family room or den – study, library or in-home office? The all-time best is do you want a bedroom or rest room? If you rest and sleep in your bedroom, what is the rest room for?