If you’re in the process of furniture shopping, you may have heard terms like drawing room, family room, living room, sitting room, sitting area, and many others. But what do they mean and how are they different from each other? We heard your questions and we are here to answer them!

One of the main queries we received was centered around the sitting room vs living room debate. Some call it the living room, some call it the front room, or even a communal space. Whichever term you prefer, we took a look at the differences and similarities and laid them out for you.

Sitting Room

A sitting room is typically regarded as a room with lots of seating. Pretty self-explanatory, right? Although it is sometimes used to describe a living room — especially by older generations — they are technically different.

One of the main differences between the two is that the living rooms that we know and love today are typically focused around some sort of technology (e.g., a television) while sitting rooms are comprised mainly of furniture meant for lounging.

The sitting room is probably the most similar to an earlier iteration of the living room, the parlor. Both were used for sitting, lounging, chatting, etc. At the end of the day, sitting rooms are for lounging or chatting while living rooms are for lounging and chatting — but with a television.

Seanna Cushion Back Upholstered Sectional by Coaster to illustrate sitting room vs. living room

Seanna Cushion Back Upholstered Sectional by Coaster

Living Room

You’re probably thinking to yourself, okay, well that’s not much of a difference at all! Well, you’re not wrong. There is very little difference between the two, and as previously stated, some even use the terms interchangeably.

The introduction of the television

In modern times, living rooms are typically centered around some form of television. Although this is a fairly recent phenomenon, it is one of the main distinguishing characteristics of a modern living room.

The television was first introduced to our living spaces during the 1940s and 1950s. This was largely because of the push towards the “modern” living room by corporate America.

The “Living Room of Tomorrow,” sponsored by the Radio Corporation of America, was featured at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. This “Living Room of Tomorrow” was heavily publicized, and as a result, it established the idea that living rooms should be focused on new technologies.

Attica Swivel Barrel Chair by Best Home Furnishings to illustrate sitting room vs. living room

Attica Swivel Barrel Chair by Best Home Furnishings

This push stuck, bringing radio, television, films, and newspapers by an early form of the fax machine, into the heart of the home.

Finally, the living room was established as a place where the all-American family could gather like they once had in the parlors of farmhouses.

Broadway Furniture: Furnishing your living and sitting rooms since 1935

Whether you’re looking for a classy furniture set for your formal living room or a cozy armchair for your sitting room, we have you covered. We have a wide selection of living room furniture and much more for your various needs!

Interested in checking out our store or learning more about sitting rooms vs living rooms? Come visit us! Our experts are more than happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to helping you!

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