What Is a Family Room?

Nicole Long

A family room offers a comfortable location for friends and family to gather. Typically, a family room includes seating and entertainment options. In some houses, this room is a more casual version of a living room.

A family room contains entertainment options.
A family room contains entertainment options.

The traditional family room represents a gathering spot for families and their guests. Often used for casual events, such as family nights or casual lunches, the family room is typically warm and inviting. Family members also use this room during downtime on a regular basis for games, activities, and other entertainment purposes.

Family rooms may feature blankets and throws.
Family rooms may feature blankets and throws.

Seating in this area is often comfortable and plentiful. Couches, sofas, and recliners often highlight the seating area. Throw pillows offer an added touch of comfort for movie nights and other periods of relaxation. Ottomans may be placed appropriately to provide a place for family members and guests to put up their feet. Tables can also be found placed strategically around the room for placement of drinks, snacks, lighting, and decorative touches.

A fireplace may be part of a family room.
A fireplace may be part of a family room.

Entertainment is often one of the main themes found in many family rooms. Televisions, radios, and other entertainment devices are usually found throughout the room. Other entertainment devices include equipment to view movies, such as DVD players and surround sound speaker systems. Board games and gaming systems can also be found throughout the room for easy access to family fun and games.

Entertainment centers are popular pieces of furniture for a family room.
Entertainment centers are popular pieces of furniture for a family room.

The popular living area of the house also features other common items. This includes blankets and throws for chilly days. Other features of a family room may include items that reflect the personality of the family, such as family photographs, vacation mementos, and other decorative accents. Some families may choose to incorporate an office area into the corner of the room to allow children a place to finish homework and adults to work on projects while supervising young children.

Family rooms might be set up so everyone can enjoy playing video games together.
Family rooms might be set up so everyone can enjoy playing video games together.

Often though of as an informal living room, this area often adjoins other common rooms of the house. The kitchen and dining room are usually nearby. This allows for easy entertaining and also provides a way for all members of the family to connect while being in different rooms of the home. Some homes also have doors that lead to outdoor entertaining areas, such as patios and decks.

Other areas of the house may function similarly. The living room, however, is typically decorated and designed for more formal entertainment. Recreation rooms also may provide an added space for fun and games, specifically pool tables and arcade games.

Board games are often played in a family room.
Board games are often played in a family room.

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