What is the Difference Between Living Room and Drawing Room

The main difference between living room and drawing room is that living room is a room for general everyday use, including relaxation and socialization, while drawing room is a room to receive and entertain guests.

The names living room and drawing room are often used interchangeably; however, there is a distinct difference between them. A drawing room is considerably more formal than a living room and is used for receiving and entertaining guests. Not all houses have drawing rooms. In the absence of a drawing room or parlour, living room also serves as a room for entertaining guests.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is a Living Room 
     – Definition, Use
2. What is a Drawing Room
     – Definition, Use
3. What is the Difference Between Living Room and Drawing Room
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Drawing Room, Living RoomDifference Between Living Room and Drawing Room - Comparison Summary

What is a Living Room

Living room is a room in a house for general everyday use. We can use living rooms for relaxation, recreation, and socialization. We can also use the living room to entertain guests, especially if a house doesn’t have a parlour or drawing room. It’s a comfortable space, usually situated in the heart of the house.

Difference Between Living Room and Drawing Room

Living rooms are considerably large and often furnished with sofas, chairs, coffee tables, rugs, bookshelves, lamps, and other furniture. Living rooms in some Western countries also have fireplaces. Besides, they may also house entertainment devices such as television, DVD players, and computers. It’s a comfortable space where family members can get together and spend time. Sometimes, the living room can be also connected to the dining room and kitchen.

What is a Drawing Room

Drawing room is a room in the house where guests are received and entertained. The name “drawing room” originated from the phrase “withdrawing room”, which was used in the 16th-18th century in England. It was the room to which the owners of the house or guests occupying one of the main apartments in the house withdrew for more privacy. Until the mid-twentieth century, at dinner parties, the ladies would withdraw to the drawing-room after dinner, leaving the gentlemen at the table. The gentlemen would follow ladies after a round of brandy or port or sometimes cigars. Today, we usually consider a drawing room as a place to entertain guests and visit with them.

Main Difference - Living Room vs Drawing Room

At present, the name “drawing room” is not widely used. If a house has more than one living room, the more formal room, is usually called the drawing-room. A drawing room is usually closer to the front door and entrance, so guests can directly enter it without passing other rooms. Moreover, drawing rooms are more likely to have more expensive and formal furniture.

Difference Between Living Room and Drawing Room

Definition

Living room is a room in a house for general everyday use while drawing room is a room in the house where guests are received and entertained.

Function

Living rooms have multiple functions, including relaxation, recreation and socialization, while drawing rooms are mainly for socialization.

Furniture

Furthermore, living rooms are usually furnished with comfortable sofas, recliners, chairs, entertainment units, bookshelves, etc. and include fireplaces, and décor elements like family pictures, artwork etc. while drawing rooms are more formal space and mainly contain functional furniture like sofa, chairs and coffee table.

Level of Formality

Drawing rooms are more formal than living rooms.

Location

While living room is usually at the center of the house, the drawing room is closer to the front door.

Usage

Most houses have a living room, but not all houses have drawing rooms. In most medium and small houses, the living room also serves as a drawing-room.

Conclusion

The main difference between living room and drawing room is that the living room is a room for general everyday use, including relaxation and socialization, while the drawing room is a room to receive and entertain guests. Most houses have a living room, but not all houses have drawing rooms. In most medium-sized or small houses, the living room also serves as a drawing-room.

 Reference:

1. Simmons, Kate. “What Is a Drawing Room?” Decoist, 9 Sept. 2016, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Photo of Living Room” (CC0) via Pexels
2. “BC Drawing Room Good Picture” By 40Dover – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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