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Does the rise of the family room mean the demise of the living room?

At the heart of our modern home is a multifunctional family room. Since the late 1700s well-to-do homeowners have taken pride in the luxury that is the ‘living room’; a place where heads of the home could retire and relax or entertain their friends on high days and holidays. By the 20th century a separate room, apart from the kitchen, became an expectation rather than a luxurious feature in almost every home.

opus family room

Open plan living space

Spin the clock forward to the 21st century, and more and more homeowners are falling in love with their kitchen spaces. They want to make them bigger, brighter and most of all, large enough to include comfortable sitting areas. These ‘family rooms’ are now one of the most sought-after features in the modern home and even older, more established homes are being renovated to include a kitchen/living/dining space.

open plan family room

Contemporary open plan lounge

Bespoke multi-functional furniture can transform family rooms with sleek cupboards and shelving, integrated office spaces that can be hidden away when they’re not being used, and home cinema systems that bring everyone together into one utilitarian space. A well-considered design makes efficient use of unused nooks and quirky corners, turning family rooms into places that aren’t just comfortable but stylishly practical and well-loved.

open plan family room

Contemporary open plan lounge

Today, it’s the family room that gets the most use. The place where we cook, eat, meet and relax; it’s where we gravitate to at the end of a busy day. But in homes with a larger footprint, where does that leave our separate, more formal living rooms? It makes sense, if you have space, to define every unused room and give it a purpose for living. Bigger homes can transform neglected drawing rooms by adding patio doors or bi-folds that can open up a whole exterior wall and bring the outdoors in. Unused garages can be converted into studies, games rooms or spare bedrooms. To make sure smaller sitting rooms are put to good use, many families are considering cinema rooms with bespoke furniture that will give everyone a multiplex experience – minus the overpriced popcorn!

Our homes are now places that can be enjoyed more than ever before. The secret lies in defining every room’s use and making creative and practical use of every square foot of space your home affords.

View more living room furniture here.