Living Room vs Sitting Room what’s the difference


What do you call the communal space in your house? Is it a living room, sitting room, front room, lounge or even something else that is entirely different?

Usually, the living room is the most popular name or a term representing this space that many people use which is closely followed by the lounge.

However, that only adds fuel to the fire and does nothing to resolve the ongoing debate as to what that communal space should be called. So what is it? What should you call it?

In this article, that is exactly what we will be discussing in order to teach you the differences between living room vs sitting room as well as origins and history of each.

But before we do that, here are some fun facts which may interest you:

Fun Fact #1:

Previously, the communal space was famously called the drawing room or parlor.

Until the mid-1600s, it was referred to as the hall whilst since the 1930s’, the main communal space of a home was known as the lounge or living room.

Fun Fact #2:

According to John Lewis’ customer research which is based on geographical location, The North East, Yorkshire, as well as Scotland, call this space a living room whilst the people from the South West are more likely to refer to it as the sitting room. All the while in Wales, More than one person in three people usually call it the lounge.

Fun Fact #3:

if you own a home, you are more likely to start referring to your living room as the lounge, whereas someone who is renting a home is much more likely to call it the way it is supposed to — the living room.

The Top Results Of The Research Were As Followed:

39 percent of people refer it as a living room, 30 percent as the lounge, 16 percent as a sitting room, 5 percent as the front room, 4 percent as the family room, 1 percent as the TV room, another 1 percent as the drawing room and something else — 4 percent.

Moreover, how we refer to this family space depends on age as well; if you are younger, you will be more likely to call it the living room like two-thirds of millennials.

While if you are older, you are more likely to call it a sitting room. And if you are middle-aged or 35-54 years, you are more likely to call it a lounge.

So what about you? How do you refer to that family space as?

History Time — Origins Of The Two Popular Terms

When it comes to the historical origins of a term of living room, its roots can be traced back to the early 1900s during the flu epidemic.


However, the difference is that back then, what we now call a living room was known as a parlor and it functioned as the first room which your visitors would see. In other words, it was the room adorned with luxurious furniture as well as a variety of valuable items.

During the flu pandemic when a lot of people lost their lives, parlors acquired a new role or function; they ended up as the room for laying the deceased. Soon after which, what was once known as the parlor, changed its name into the Dead Room. And obviously, no person wanted the dead room in their own house.

Eventually, when the epidemic finally ended and people stopped dying, the Dead Room lost its former acquired function. After which Ladies Home Journal came up with a clever suggestion; to turn the Dead Rooms into the Living Rooms intended for the living. And so the term stuck.

As for the sitting room itself, in the past, it was typically filled with plumped up seating. In other words, it was perfectly designed for comfort. So that when the guests arrived at their destination point from long distances by a buggy or a carriage and were all worn out after finally reaching the place they were supposed to, a sitting room functioned as a nice, relaxing corner where they could catch their breath, chat as well as relax.

The Difference Between The Living Room And The Sitting Room

Generally, a Sitting Room is close to the front entrance, dedicated for the especially honorable guests such as officials or the people who don’t belong to your personal circle.

As for the Living Room, it is dedicated to an informal area for the private use of the owner and typically, is closer to the kitchen at the back of a house or to informal private usage.

The living room may also consist of a sitting area, but it includes other furniture accent as well and can even function as an entertainment center.

It is usually considered as a place for the family gathering for fun activities such as watching TV, playing games, kids bringing their kids over, etc. So the room is typically set up with the television and entertainment system and is much less formal than sitting room.

Often, people also confuse the terms of the living room and lounge, using them interchangeably. However, the truth is that unlike the living room, a lounge is a little more formal, consisting of couches, beautiful tables, comfortable and expensive chairs, art, bookshelves and what not. So in other words, it is a room intended for receiving company, listening to music and so on.

And that confusion is often the reason as to why some people may label the lounge as the gathering room or a living room.

Final Thoughts

As can be seen, there are quite a lot of differences between the sitting room and the living room and whatever you refer each as fully depends on a variety of factors like your age group, location or whether you are a homeowner.

And all you have to do now is to keep those differences in mind so that next time when you are to mention one of those rooms, you will be ensured to get the names right.

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