Evolution of the Family Room


It’s hard to imagine a time when American homes didn’t have a family room or the living room. The room has all sorts of furniture that have been swapped out along with the overall style, decor, and purpose of the room. If you have broken furniture that’s ruining the look of your family room, you can search for “furniture repair near me” and get it fixed by professionals. For now, let’s check out the evolution of the family room.

The Evolution

  1. The 1930s – During the 1930s, the TV wasn’t a household thing. Instead, the focal point of the family room was the radio. Radios were the primary source of news, entertainment, sports, and everything else that connected you to the broader world. During this period, no one needed a good view of the focal point, they just needed to listen.

That’s why the main furniture during this period was coffee tables and armchairs. Couches were a rare sight. Moreover, President Franklin started his “fireside chats” during this time to address the nation about current affairs like World War II and the Great Depression. The family room was the site where the family hung out, communicated, or just relaxed by sitting down in a comfortable position and listening to the radio. That’s why during those times the family room was also called “parlor room” and “sitting room”. The family room during his time had a strong formal setting.

  1. The 1950s – In the 1950s, the living room was more about comfort and less about formalities. The 50s were also a time when most American households had TVs and TV dinners became a thing. More time was spent in the living room compared to other rooms in the house. Unlike the modern flat-screen LEDs with standalone soundbars and Dolby Atmos systems, TVs during that time were large boxes with a small screen and inbuilt speakers. That means sitting close to the TV offered a better view and better sound.

That’s why the family room became cozier with the armchairs close to the TV. Moreover, couches still weren’t a thing. So, parents would sit in armchairs while kids would sit on the floor. Couches weren’t very common during this time. This setup was very important since sitting just a foot away from the cozy position delivered a bad view. Moreover, there were no remotes, and channels or volumes had to be changed physically.

  1. The 1960s – The 1960s made people more experimental. It was the rise of the giant sectional couch that is still popular to this day. The colors were rich and vibrant. Wood-paneled walls also became very popular. Apart from colorful couches, animal skin rugs also rose in popularity and didn’t see a dip in sales till the late 70s.
  1. The 1970s – During the 1970s the traditional family room or living room had siblings. Parents spent more time in the family room while teenagers made a recreational room out of the basement or attic. The recreational rooms were even less formal. There was also a major change to room decor. With the hippie movement, colorful patterns and psychedelic posters were all the rage.

Apart from that, shag carpet was also a 70s signature decor. This kind of rug had a thick shaggy appearance. It has been in existence for thousands of years. However, it hit peak popularity in North America during the 70s. Floral wallpapers were also very popular during this time.

  1. The 1980s – During the 1980s, the video game revolution was just around the corner. That’s why TVs weren’t just for watching movies, news, or shows. They allowed fun interactive entertainment for kids. The video game industry boomed during this period and the NES became the most popular console of its time. However, modern flat screens were still far away. Even small TVs occupied a large space along with the giant TV cabinets. While the floral wallpapers were fading away in popularity, floral couches were gaining traction.
  1. The 1990s – The 1990s were a time of technological revolution and adventurous decor. TVs were finally thin enough to be fixed to the wall and home theater systems were here to stay. The family room also saw a great splash of colors. It wasn’t uncommon to find bright red, yellow, and blue color blocks on the same rug and couch. Video games technology was also significantly improved and kids along with a few adults were spending more time playing video games on the TV instead of watching shows.
  1. The 2000s – The 2000s combined practicality with entertainment and that’s why giant media systems became very common. It held the TV, DVD player, DVDs, maybe a few art pieces and other such things. Moreover, with the passing of the decade, open-concept living rooms were becoming very popular.

That means as few walls as possible with smoother transitions between the family room, dining room, and kitchen. That means one person could be cooking in the kitchen, someone could be sitting on the couch, and another could be having their lunch while everyone watched the TV.

  1. Modern times – The open concept dominates almost all homes now and the family room in the true sense of those words doesn’t exist anymore. With entertainment and recreation possible on portable devices, there was no need for everyone to gather in the living room. The decor style of the living room also favored a more Scandinavian and minimal style.

TVs have also become unbelievably thin and there is no need for large media systems when everything is on the cloud. TVs have become so thin, flat, and advanced that in this decade they can be found hiding in plain sight among art pieces on the wall.


The family room has evolved throughout time. It has been influenced by culture, technology, and many more factors. Either way, it has always been an iconic room that usually has the best furniture in your home. If you need to get the living room furniture fixed, you can hire professionals for the task by searching for “furniture repair near me”.

Comments are closed.