Do You Know What’s the Difference Between a Living Room and a Drawing Room?

There’s a lot in a name. If someone calls a bunch of white tiger lilies in a marble vase by another name, it won’t change them but mean how ignorant the person is about these majestic flowers. That would be bad and may even hurt you. Often we use ‘living room’ for a drawing-room, and […]

There’s a lot in a name. If someone calls a bunch of white tiger lilies in a marble vase by another name, it won’t change them but mean how ignorant the person is about these majestic flowers. That would be bad and may even hurt you.

Often we use ‘living room’ for a drawing-room, and confuse ‘family room’ and ‘living room’ to be the same concepts. They aren’t the same; the living room, drawing room and family room are three different spaces.

We will try to dispel the confusion with this article. Here we’ll learn about the difference between a living and drawing rooms.

Renewing our understanding of a drawing room

You don’t hear the term ‘drawing room’ much these days, but you’ll be surprised to know that there was a time when this word was all the rage.

Back then, in the 16th and 27th centuries, the term drawing room denoted a room (a short form of ‘with-drawing room’) was where families would greet and spend time with guests. But why was it called a ‘withdrawing room’? According to research, women used to withdraw here after dinner, which was considered a male area of the house. Think opulent manors, castles and palaces of the bygone era.

As we said, this room was used to welcome guests. Because of this function, the drawing-room also came to be called a “parlor” or a front room.

Typically, this room was near the home’s entrance, a position that made it ideal for receiving guests. A formal design graced this room, depending on how rich the owner was. The drawing-rooms were generously spacious and served as a sitting room.  The area displayed their luxury collections and elaborated lifestyle with ample floor space. Think ornate French front door, sparkling chandeliers, exclusive and rare art pieces, and provincial-style sofas.

Let’s now talk about…

What a Living Room is

Joan DeJean, an author and Trustee Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, once wrote in the New York Times that from its very inception ‘living room’ was a space for welcoming guests. It was a 17th century practice. However, gradually the area was used for casual gatherings. However, contemporary homes lack elaborate space, so they have one common area for guests and family leisure time. The same room is used to welcome guests, and spend time with loved ones, kids, and even pets. While more spacious homes with more than one common area still maintain the formal setup of living rooms.

Today, we head over to the living room when we look for entertainment or to relax. However, this was not always the case. Going to the living room to relax was something that wasn’t there during the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Industrial Revolution changed all that. New machines made men’s work easier and faster, leaving them with a lot of free time to relax. And relax they did, in the living room! That being said, this trend started in the working class and gradually crept up to the homes of affluent people. When one desired to relax a bit, they would retire to the living room instead of heading over to the bedroom.

Things changed even more from 1939’s New York World Fair, where it was predicted that living rooms of the future would have the latest technology for the whole family to enjoy. These were lofty dreams for sure, but these were not long in coming. Radio sets were there already, around which families would gather for news and entertainment. Very soon, televisions changed the scene further! Entire families would gather around popular TV shows like The Brady Bunch and The Dick Van Dyke Show in their living rooms.

With the advent of open-concept floor plans, the living room became a multi-purpose room: resting, watching TV shows, working and reading, spending time with one’s family, and sometimes for entertainment as well.

The difference between living rooms and drawing rooms? Living rooms can be any room in a house located anywhere in your home, but mostly near kitchens.  Sometimes, primrily if open-concept floor plans are implemented, a living room even serves as a dining room! So, it’s primarily used as a family’s personal space  On the other hand, drawing rooms are comparatively more formal. It’s still used for welcoming guests unless the house has little space to dedicate a separate room for guests. Drawing rooms are usually located just after the entrance.

Here’s how to Decorate your Living Rooms and Drawing Rooms

Whether you have a drawing room or living room, or both, if you have enough space, it is essential to know how to decorate them. You sure don’t want these spaces to look dull and worn out. For drawing rooms, if you wish to have an area for entertaining your guests, the first thing to do is make sure they are relaxed. Make sure you have comfortable sofas or an elaborate couch; ensure ample space for your guests to sit and move around. Try complementing it with a well-equipped bar cart if you have a bar! Upgrade the area with chosen art pieces, and exotic and exclusive showpieces reflecting your taste and persona.

Since living rooms are more commonly used as personal space for the family, you may add luxurious and deep seats where you can curl up with a pizza for a fabulous weekend movie. It would be a perfect set-up for private entertainment. You can also have a home theater, surround sound, an envious area rug so soft that your feet sink into it, soft lights, and other pampering elements.

Do you now know what’s the difference between a living room and a drawing room?

By now, you do.

It all depends on your desires to design your home, how you wish to use the floor area, and the room’s location.

For instance, a room at the back of your home will not be suitable for a drawing room. You will need a front room for it. Plan these requirements when you are building for the first time or renovating your house. Hire the best interior designer because he can best assist you in carving out your living room and drawing room and do justice to its décor.

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