The living room has slipped through the floorboards in some versions of the Canadian dream home. Preferring to entertain themselves and their guests in a multi-functional family room, many prospective homeowners have crossed the living room off their wish lists. Still, some can’t sacrifice the living room’s elegant appeal and other functions.

Many home builders are now constructing houses with optional space rooms. Homeowners can use these rooms for almost anything. Some use them as studies while others turn them into spare bedrooms. And some still use them as living rooms.

Generally, living rooms are smaller. In 1978, the average living room in an upscale home was 20 ft. by 14 ft. Today, a living room in a comparable home measures 15 ft. by 13 ft. But the typical great room, that used to be more like an entertainment room, now spans 20 ft. by 15 ft.

Can you live without a living room? How do you decide whether to include the old standard in your new house? Before you decide, carefully consider the living room’s positives and negatives.

Advantages of the Living Room

  • Living rooms add an air of sophistication and civility to your home
  • They provide a quiet retreat, away from the noisy television set and other distractions
  • Living rooms provide space to display your finest pieces of furniture
  • The living room is a Canadian tradition
  • Living rooms provide the appropriate setting to host your business associates and other visitors

Disadvantages of the Living Room

  • Some consider living rooms too stuffy and unapproachable. Today, many Canadians live more informally and live more casually so living rooms don’t fit their lifestyles.
  • Many people don’t appreciate the museum-like quality of the living room. If you don’t want to use the living room as a retreat or a place to display fine furnishings, you may prefer that the space be used for other purposes.
  • An entertainment room or great room can serve the same basic functions for personal activities or entertaining guests.

Article courtesy of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association. For more helpful consumer articles or to locate professional builders and tradespeople, visit the GVHBA… or the National Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) site.