For generations, modern homes have included such rooms as sitting rooms, parlors, dens, and living rooms. These are spaces in which to entertain guests, relax and unwind, or spend time with the family. We tend to view these terms as synonymous, but there are some differences. The main differences lie in where in the house the room is located and what type of furniture is used in the room. Let’s explore these different rooms and what types of furniture they may include.
A living room is usually quite large and generally found at the front of the house and is mainly used for entertaining guests and quiet personal time. A living room usually includes an area with seating and incorporates furnishings that focus more on style and design rather than function. Wing back chairs and sofas are common fixtures living rooms. Here family heirlooms, pianos, occasional tables, and fine art are all common fixtures.
The sitting room is a smaller room and is generally not near the front door. Sitting rooms are very similar to living rooms, but can also be found in public places such as hotels. In large homes, a sitting room may be just off the bedroom such as in the case of the Lincoln Sitting Room in the White House. The purpose of the room is providing a place to sit and relax or talk. Furniture may include sofa and chair sets, side tables, and coffee tables.
The den is a room that is more secluded in the house and may be a bit bigger than a living room to accommodate larger, more comfortable furniture. This room is where the family gets together to relax, watch TV, play games, and rest. Comfortable chairs and couches allow the family to partake in these activities. This would be a great place for a sectional sofa, an entertainment center, or a fireplace. This can also be called a family room.
This term is a bit old fashioned and first appeared in the English language in the early 13th century. The room is situated very near the front door to serve as a reception room for guests. The furniture here will be formal and may include several tables and seating for guests where they can engage in activities such as eating, drinking, and talking. Decorative elements like art, figurines, statues, and flowers are also common additions.