The Main Differences Between A Living Room And A Family Room

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Both the living room and the family room are two important areas in a house. Sometimes people get confused and, as a result, the terms become interchangeable. However, the fact is that the living room is far from being the same thing as the family room and there are some remarkable differences between the two.

Design and décor ideas And Tips

Whether you’re opting for a classic living room or for a family room the design in both cases should be we welcoming and as comfortable as possible. A nice example is this space designed by Dwell Interiors which features a light and neutral color palette, a wooden floor and a beautiful stone fireplace. It has a modern feel with a rustic vibe.

Currently a lot of homes have an open concept social area which typically includes the kitchen and living room. That already sets a casual atmosphere and allows both these spaces to look and feel bigger and more airy than they would have as individual separate rooms. This is an example by Le Belle Maison Interiors of how such a setup could look like when paired with a traditional design.

A fireplace is a great addition to a living room or a family room and there are lots of nice ways to integrate one into such a space. This one has a wood surround that really suits the style of the room. Also, there’s no TV in here. Check out studio SIR Development for more info.

In comparison, this family room has a wall-mounted TV but no fireplace. The media wall is thus one of the possible focal points but can also go unnoticed if the space is used for other activities that don’t involve it. This lovely design was done by studio Leslie Cotter Interiors.

This family room designed by Element Home Builders has a beach-style décor which helps to make it look and feel bright and airy even though it’s not particularly large. It is however a part of an open floor plan area and the sofa table acts as a divider. The fireplace is one of the focal points along with the TV mounted just above it. This combo allows for more flexibility and versatility.

A similar fireplace and TV combo can also be seen in this elegant living room by studio Royal Oaks Design. As you can see, this room also has large windows and a really nice view of the trees and the greenery outside. As such, it’s a relaxing space with lots of natural light and a very cozy place to be in.

This wonderfully spacious living room is perfectly suited for casual and friendly meetings and entertaining guests in general. It has a big L-shaped sectional and more seating in the form of stools and armchairs. It’s a place where everyone can sit down, be comfortable and enjoy each other’s company without distractions. This is part of a home designed by Charles Todd Helton Architect.

Although there is no fireplace in this living room, the TV wall does have a beautiful stone texture on it and that contributes to creating a warm and cozy ambiance. Furthermore, the bay windows allow a sitting nook to be added here, a place where the view can be admired from. Check out chas architects for more inspiration and inspiring projects.

A high ceiling is usually desirable, especially for a living room. It helps to bring in more light and to create an airy and spacious interior. Adapting the design to take advantage of this architectural feature can be challenging. Including a fireplace and putting an emphasis on that particular wall is often a good strategy, as shown here by RKD Architects.

Other interesting architectural features that can make a living room or family stand out include arched windows and doorways. You can see them in this elegant space designed by Orren Pickell Building Group. Together with the traditional fireplace, they add a refined touch to the design and they help the room itself make a statement.

If you choose to not have a TV in the room, there are other ways to add interest to the room. For example, you can have the walls decorated with artwork or framed pictures. Also, some of the furniture pieces can serve as focal points, like this sculptural coffee table included in this charming family room by studio Coats Homes.

If at all possible, allowing the living room to have a connection to the outdoors is always beneficial. This beautiful interior designed by studio Christian Dean Architecture feels very fresh, airy and open that’s partially thanks to the big windows and the glass door that connect it to the garden.

The location.

One of the differences between these rooms is in the portion of the house where they’re located. The living room is the most spacious room of the house and is usually at the heart of the house, occupying the front portion. It’s also known as a front room. Sometimes it’s connected to the dining room.

Generally, the family room is adjacent to the kitchen and, in some cases, it becomes a part of the kitchen itself. Also, family rooms often feature a door that leads directly into the garden or courtyard, terrace, etc.


The living room is the space where we entertain guests and welcome friends and relatives. It’s a comfortable but also somewhat formal area.

A family room is more informal and often serves as a multipurpose space. People often use it as a home office whenever they need to take care of some work-related issues.


In terms of design, it’s well-known that living rooms almost always include an entertainment center, TV, sometimes even a computer. But they also have plenty of storage and a more or less classical layout.

On the other hand, family rooms have to be flexible and versatile. They’re spaces where family members and guests gather to chat, listen to music, play games and enjoy all sorts of other activities. Because of their informal look, they often seem more comfortable. Couches and recliners are must-have items.

Living room décor usually focuses more on design and style and less on function. As for the accent details, they are often decorated with artwork and other less-personalized elements.

In a family room, it’s customary to see framed family portraits, heirlooms and photos.

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