The Differences between a Living Room and Great Room


Formal living room in a single family home for sale in allen county in

If you’re looking at a listing of a home for sale in Allen County, IN, you might see the words “great room” and “living room” listed in the description. But what exactly is the difference between these two rooms? Is “great room” an outdated term? Does it just mean that you’re looking at a home with another living room? Keep reading to find out what the differences are between these two types of rooms so that you can better understand what you’re looking at when browsing home listings.


First, let’s talk about size. A living room is generally somewhat smaller, while the great room, as the name implies, is greater in size. The larger space is intended for more consistent use as well as more varied use. It’s the primary gathering space on a day-to-day basis for your family.


As already mentioned, the great room’s primary use is for the residents to live in and use however they see fit. This is generally the room where you’ll relax and watch TV together at the end of the day or where your kids will gather and play. It’s a more casual space and one that you’ll be using every day.

The living room, on the other hand, is a space designed for hosting. As such, it’s intended as a bit more of a formal gathering space. This is where you receive guests who you aren’t extremely close to, or where you’ll primarily gather when having a party at your house. In many homes, the living room is kept cleaner and tidier than the great room, since it’s meant to be ready to receive guests at any time. Some homeowners choose to keep kids and pets out of the living room for this reason.


The great room in a home is typically integrated into the overall flow of the home’s layout. It will often be open to the kitchen and dining areas or other primary living spaces for the family. The people you accept into your great room are the people that you allow to see all aspects of your day-to-day life—the good, the bad, and the ugly. They’ll see your kids’ toys on the floor, the dishes in your kitchen sink, and your work papers strewn across the dining table.

But, as it’s intended for more formal gatherings, the living room tends to be somewhat separated from the rest of the home. You might refer to it as the “front room” in a home’s design because it’s typically located closest to the doorway, slightly separated from the rest of the home layout. This allows you to receive guests directly into your living room. And, since it’s a bit more separate from the other rooms in the home, it conveniently keeps your more formal guests from seeing any messes you have yet to clean up.

Changing Terms

Most homeowners don’t feel the need for a more formal living room in their homes, which is why many buyers have a hard time sorting out the differences between a living room and a great room. In fact, many people now refer to the great room as the “family room,” which more clearly denotes its purpose—the room for the family and close friends—while referring to the living room as a sitting room or a front room, as already mentioned.

Whatever you choose to call it, you will now know the differences between a great room and a living room when you see them listed on a single-family home for sale in Allen County, IN. If you need assistance finding the perfect home for your family, contact Lancia Homes today!