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  • FIRST POST
    • Lolly88
    • By Lolly88 7th Oct 17, 8:23 PM
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    Lolly88
    Family Room vs Living Room
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:23 PM
    Family Room vs Living Room 7th Oct 17 at 8:23 PM
    I've been looking at properties for months now online and keep noticing houses with a dining room, a family room and a living room. The latter two rooms tend to be furnished in the exact same way i.e. sofa's with TV in the centre. I've looked it up on wikipedia and the description of a family room doesn't map onto what I'm seeing in houses. This is a really alien concept to me and I just don't quite understand the function.

    Here's an example:
    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-69170432.html

    In that house if possible, I would be tempted to knock the wall down and just have one big living room.

    Do people with these houses take turns sitting in the different rooms? I could almost understand if there is a big family and they have different viewing preferences etc. However as someone who is going to be buying alone and doesn't own or want to own a TV, I'm wondering about other uses for rooms like that?
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Page 1
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
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    PasturesNew
    • #2
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
    Rooms are rooms until you put your own furniture in them and do in them what you wish. The naming of rooms will depend purely on the local words used by the local estate agents and the current trends in room names.

    They have to call a 3rd living room something.... one is a dining room, two is a living room .... after that the word for the next one will depend on the local market. In some areas it might be called the cinema room, or the hobbies room, or the den, or "3rd bedroom/study/office".

    They're all meaningless. You can sleep in the kitchen if you wish once you own it.

    What you ask yourself is: How would I move in that space, what would I do in each space....and then judge whether it's doable for your needs.

    Some people like to have a living room for "inviting friends into" - and the other one's the "family room" which is an absolute tip with the ironing board still out ... but they can shut the door on that if anybody comes round.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 07-10-2017 at 8:32 PM.
    • njk1012
    • By njk1012 7th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
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    njk1012
    • #3
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
    I think the point of this is for families as you say.
    With children in the house a lot of parents like to keep the kids TV show watching and mess that children generally create separate to a nice, clean and a little bit more grown up space to relax of an evening. Hence the two rooms.
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    • Winter Phoenix
    • By Winter Phoenix 7th Oct 17, 8:31 PM
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    Winter Phoenix
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:31 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:31 PM
    My understanding is that in a family room there are children's toys and play equipment everywhere - and the other reception room is the calm space where adults relax when the children are in bed, and where they can take visitors for a child-free chat.
    e cineribus resurgam
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    • warby68
    • By warby68 7th Oct 17, 8:48 PM
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    warby68
    • #5
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:48 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:48 PM
    Rooms can be anything you want - if someone wants two lounges, why does that confuse you? We are a family of 4 and could easily use a room each if we had the luxury lol. We have a downstairs room, originally the dining room, currently our 'den', formerly our office/study, temporarily a bedroom and soon to be a music/hobbies room.It was also our kitchen for a while while the real one was redone!

    Not sure why you'd want a property with so many rooms as a solo buyer though especially if you can't think of uses yourself. Are you really asking why is good space divided into so many rooms? Its just the long standing nature of UK housing where land is at a premium, relatively small and dense properties, where generally one person is not expected to have (or to afford) too much space.
    • Car1980
    • By Car1980 7th Oct 17, 8:49 PM
    • 215 Posts
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    Car1980
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:49 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:49 PM
    Means nothing. Our third reception room was labelled “TV Room” in its listing.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 7th Oct 17, 9:29 PM
    • 117 Posts
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    HampshireH
    • #7
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:29 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:29 PM
    Nice house! Can only dream of finding the equivalent down here.
    • Lolly88
    • By Lolly88 7th Oct 17, 11:13 PM
    • 206 Posts
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    Lolly88
    • #8
    • 7th Oct 17, 11:13 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Oct 17, 11:13 PM
    Means nothing. Our third reception room was labelled “TV Room” in its listing.
    Originally posted by Car1980
    And how do you use the three reception rooms? I'm not really bothered about the semantics of the name, more curious about how people use these spaces.
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    • oystercatcher
    • By oystercatcher 7th Oct 17, 11:53 PM
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    oystercatcher
    • #9
    • 7th Oct 17, 11:53 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Oct 17, 11:53 PM
    And how do you use the three reception rooms? I'm not really bothered about the semantics of the name, more curious about how people use these spaces.
    Originally posted by Lolly88
    When you have a busy family you might have one room where a child is playing a musical instrument or noisy computer games or having friends around or watching TV. Then in another room another child may be sitting doing homework quietly , whilst in the dining room someone would be laying the table and preparing for the evening meal.

    When you have a family with two adults and three older children they can all be wanting to do different activities and the children will all have different friends who won't necessarily want to interact. It's nice to have the space to spread out and enjoy life without annoying each other.

    Even now with just two adults some days I am busy at my noisy sewing machine while husband is wanting to watch TV and hear it.

    OP sounds like they have never experienced a busy family , strange !
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 8th Oct 17, 12:04 AM
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    00ec25
    a family room is what others have already said, a space where standards may be lower in terms of mess and where the kids rule. The separate "lounge" is then the adult zone where standards are higher (perhaps!)

    in the respect of the house referenced by OP, making one big "lounge" is not what I would do given the unfamily friendly nature of the kitchen & dining room. That is the wall I'd knock down and make it into a "family" kitchen diner. If you want to give posh dinner parties you can always temporarily convert the family lounge into the "proper" dining room and then revert back when the guests have left.
    • Lolly88
    • By Lolly88 8th Oct 17, 12:07 AM
    • 206 Posts
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    Lolly88

    OP sounds like they have never experienced a busy family , strange !
    Originally posted by oystercatcher
    Thanks for replying.

    People have different life experiences and personal situations, I don't see what's strange about that.
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    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 8th Oct 17, 12:16 AM
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    kerri gt
    The spaces are what you make them, but as posters have said a lot of families like somewhere to shut the kids stuff away and have a grown up space. If you didn't like the space between the two rooms in your example you could always add some kind of doors which could be opened / closed if you wished. It's not really so different from using a third bedroom as a study. Even with just two of us we'd love an extra room downstairs so OH could have a 'man cave'
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    • Lolly88
    • By Lolly88 8th Oct 17, 12:17 AM
    • 206 Posts
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    Lolly88
    a family room is what others have already said, a space where standards may be lower in terms of mess and where the kids rule. The separate "lounge" is then the adult zone where standards are higher (perhaps!)

    in the respect of the house referenced by OP, making one big "lounge" is not what I would do given the unfamily friendly nature of the kitchen & dining room. That is the wall I'd knock down and make it into a "family" kitchen diner. If you want to give posh dinner parties you can always temporarily convert the family lounge into the "proper" dining room and then revert back when the guests have left.
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    Thanks. Just to clarify that's not my house! It's just a random house I found on right move as an example of what I was describing.

    I'm obviously getting the fact that those who have families have multiple uses for multiple reception rooms. But if people don't have families what do they do with the reception rooms?

    I'm getting the sense that people are/will think I'm stupid or weird for asking these questions but I've just never come across these room set ups before until looking online at houses across the country in the past year or so.
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    • Cerelia
    • By Cerelia 8th Oct 17, 12:35 AM
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    Cerelia
    For a couple with no extended family at home there are still plenty of uses for additional reception rooms - off the top of my head such a room could be used as a media room, study, home gym, man cave, library, reading room, to house a snooker table or even to have a home bar. I've been looking at houses online for almost two years now while searching for the perfect house and it's given me a lot of ideas for how to use rooms over that time. It would be a boring world if everyone was the same.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Oct 17, 12:45 AM
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    PasturesNew
    But if people don't have families what do they do with the reception rooms?
    Originally posted by Lolly88
    It's just space ... that can be kept separate.

    A single person living alone with 3 rooms downstairs might decide to use one to start their own business, or as their "gym room", or a crafts/hobbies room.

    People want/need different spaces for different things.

    It's all just space.... and you either have a plan for more rooms/space, or not. I've no use for a dining room, or a 2nd living room ... but I am just having a utility room built as I'd like space for keeping cleaning things and possibly doing crafts/hobbies.

    If I had 3 separate rooms downstairs I'd be stumped what I could personally use them for, but I'd not be stumped by the concept of three rooms existing.
    • Lolly88
    • By Lolly88 8th Oct 17, 1:12 AM
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    Lolly88

    If I had 3 separate rooms downstairs I'd be stumped what I could personally use them for, but I'd not be stumped by the concept of three rooms existing.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    That's the exact same point i've made in this thread. I never said I was stumped by them existing. I clearly indicated that I was confused by how they had been laid out. I then asked for examples of how other people used such a space. Some people have kindly provided some helpful examples of how to use that space...I've just not generally seen that in houses online, it's nearly always two living rooms with sofa and TV and not much evidence from the images of how they are used differently.
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    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th Oct 17, 1:13 AM
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    hazyjo
    Only 2 of us but was gutted to lose out on a house with a lounge-diner and separate living room. We rarely sit together during the day - 'im indoors watches sport and I watch a load of crap on the other telly! Plus he'd hate to have to be in the same room when my friends come round.

    House we are moving to only has a lounge-diner but we'll be separating it as soon as humanly possible once we've moved in!

    Three rooms (well, one lounge-diner or kitchen-diner, plus another reception room sounds like heaven to me!
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    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 8th Oct 17, 1:45 AM
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    • Frogletina
    • By Frogletina 8th Oct 17, 2:27 AM
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    Frogletina
    I have an apartment which was advertised as having 3 bedrooms, and an open plan kitchen, living and dining room.

    One of the bedrooms I turned into what I called a study, which at one time also had a sofa bed and was used as an occasional bedroom when I had two house guests - that is not likely to happen again.

    I've now emptied it for decorating, and re carpeting, and no longer have the sofa bed, and I'm interested in what to use the room for to make it a useful space, rather than just storing things there. The sofa bed made it feel very cramped. I keep walking into the empty space now but cannot decide how I want it to be. It has a built in wardrobe (not used for clothes now)

    I've thought of using it as a reading room, dressing room, exercise room. It is small with sloping walls as my apartment is in the roof space of the building.

    Interesting to read what other people use extra rooms for.
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    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 8th Oct 17, 7:28 AM
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    getmore4less
    Lifestyle will drive the direction for use.

    Families/multi occupation have been covered.

    I like to have an computer/office/study/storage space, currently one of the bedrooms but could be downstairs if we had the room.

    I have a friend that has a hobby that needs a lot of space their house was not big enough so is in the roof above a double garage.

    I have seen some that are very keen on books create a library/reading room

    Cinema/computer games room is another option if into that

    Spare rooms upstairs can be easier as you can use one as a dressing room to free up space in the bedrooms.


    If you are looking for somewhere maybe you need to think about what spaces you want/need first then map that onto the places you are looking at.
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