The Origin of the Family Room

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By: Nazli Mohideen

Coming off the heels of World War II was the introduction of the family room. 

Following the war, there was an increase in marriages and births, eventually leading to what historians call a “baby boom.”

Women, who usually stayed at home, were in favor of having a space that distinguished itself as a relaxing space from other areas of the home where work was done. Men who were coming back from serving in the war were looking forward to having a peaceful part of the house to spend time with family. 

Other advancements at the time also contributed to the popularity of family rooms such as televisions and magazines. Despite someone’s social status, these new media forms were making their way into American homes. Sliding doors, another well-loved concept from the 1900s, made it possible so that indoor family rooms could be connected to additional outdoor space as well. 

A family room is an informal space for entertainment and relaxation, as opposed to a more formal and less-used living room. Nowadays, family rooms are typically located towards the back of a house and are filled with comfortable seating, minimal decoration and plenty of open space for children to play.

While family rooms can be used for a variety of reasons, it is common for families to gather and watch a movie or children to play video games here. 

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