House Rooms: The Purpose and Importance of the Living Room

June 19, 2019
Singapore Model House Living Room
Living room of Subnet Construction’s Singapore model house

Before 2019 started, Subnet Construction blogged about the living room trends to inspire homeowners to decorate their living rooms with the latest trends. We even came up with our own definition that a living room is considered the heart of the home.

We all know that the heart symbolizes love. Similarly, the living room symbolizes love as well. Being the first room you see when you enter the house, it is usually decorated with the things the family loves the most – paintings, pictures, accessories, ornaments, and to most Filipinos, diplomas. As the receiving room for visitors, it basically sets the mood of the home and reflects the personality of its owners. It is also the space where family members spend time together to relax, share stories, and create memories.

In this blog post, we will introduce you to our new segment called “House Rooms” where we will discuss the purpose and importance of each room in the house, specifically the living room.

The Parlour Room

Historically, the living room was known as the parlour room. It was derived from the Old French “parloir” or “parler”, which means “to speak”. Parlour was originally defined as a place set aside particularly for conversing or debating with people. Today, the living room still serves the same purpose as most families receive their guests in this room and converse with them. Aside from the dining area, most families also gather in the living room to converse or just spend time together. Thus, it is also referred to as the sitting room.

The Family Room

Long time ago in England, the smaller and quieter parlour room wherein homeowners withdraw from a public into a more private setting is termed as the withdrawing room or drawing room. Today, this function of the living room is served by the family room where the setting is more casual and laid-back that’s why it is sometimes called the lounge room. However, in some smaller houses, the living room and the family room still function as one.

Bahrain Model House Living Room
Living room of Subnet Construction’s Bahrain model house

The Art Gallery

In the 16th and 17th century, the parlour room started sharing characteristics with the so-called front room and state room. Therefore, the parlour was often the best decorated room wherein the best collection of furnishings, photographs, and artworks are displayed. Today, the living room has the same function and is essentially called the public face of the family. It is also the reason why most people put so much effort in decorating the living room.

The Entertainment Room

According to history, the first recognizable version of the modern living room emerged in the United States in the 20th century. This was when the idea of putting new technologies in the living room came up. Today, many families specifically Filipinos turn their living room into an entertainment hub. It is the perfect place to have some family bonding time and to host parties for your guests.

Boston Model House Living Room
Living room of Subnet Construction’s Boston model house

The Reception Area

Back in the day, the parlour room was also used as the reception area for family weddings, births, funerals, and other occasions. Today, the living room is still being used just the same. Although most families nowadays opt to rent somewhere to hold these events. In the Philippines nonetheless, especially in remote provinces, families still use the living room to receive guests in celebrating or commemorating these occasions.

The Living Room

Interestingly, the living room was once called the death room. It was after the end of the World War I when a terrible influenza epidemic killed many people. The dead bodies were naturally kept in the front room of the house for mourning before taking it for funeral hence, the term death room. Although the living room is still being used today for funeral wakes by Filipino families, the death room was eventually called the living room as it is considered more of a lively place than a mourning room.

There you go. We hope you enjoyed knowing the history of what we consider the heart of the home. Stay tuned for our next blog posts to see a new feature for our “House Rooms”.

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– Boutique Furniture Direct. “Function and Purpose Of The Living Room”. boutiquefurnituredirect.com.au. https://boutiquefurnituredirect.com.au/blogs/news/function-and-purpose-of-the-living-room (accessed June 17, 2019)
– Fella Design. “A History of the Living Room”. fella.com.my. https://fella.com.my/a-history-of-the-living-room/ (accessed June 17, 2019)








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