Different rooms in a Vic. Home

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Greg
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Different rooms in a Vic. Home

Post by Greg »

What was the difference between a

Drawing Room
Sitting Room
Parlor
Reception Room

Anybody know?

James
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Post by James »

Who says there was any differance? Sounds like the different names for the same thing to me. Like saying sofa or couch.
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Sombreuil_Mongrel
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Post by Sombreuil_Mongrel »

Drawing room- into which the group would withdraw after dinner. Would need to have ample seating for the entire dinner party.
Sitting Room- a day room for reading, more informal entertaining. Smaller, more intimate than drawing room.
Parlor- usually distinguished between front and back parlors- front only used on Sunday for guests, and for funerals. Back parlor Victorian equivalent of family room.
Reception room- semi-public space where formal visitors would be recieved, not part of the family space, usually very fancy, only in high-class residences. Often seen as a relatively small, squarish room off front entrance or side hall when associated with porte-cochere.
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melissap
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Post by melissap »

Our original owner/builer's son.. in his late 80's .. came by twice now. We learned that the one room in the front is what he called a "receiving room" where there was once a fireplace and a table and small couch. He said his mom kept a dish on the table for people to place their calling cards! In any case.. a receiving or reception room doesnt have to be in a super fancy mansion.. we have a HUGE bungalow type house that was built in 1913 on what was once a dairy farm.

our living room directly across from the receiving room is where the family congregated and where their "funerals" were held. Should have seen my kids' faces when the old guy pointed to our plasma TV and said "right there on that side of the room is where my grandpa was laid out". lol!!!! :lol:

calclan
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Post by calclan »

My Grandma always called the livingroom the parlor. It was the "fancy room" The white couches were covered in that plastic Italians are so fond of :wink: .
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Greg
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Post by Greg »

Thanks for the info. Very, vey helpful. My Mom's visiting and we were looking at period pictures of rooms in houses in NY at the turn of the century. The rooms had different names, but all pretty much looked the same.

Those Victorians! A name for everything.

RioG
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Post by RioG »

Ah... in my dreams I own a home that had each and every one of those rooms. :D

bookish
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Post by bookish »

Drawing rooms and parlors served similar functions, only a drawing room tended to be found in a more expensive house. In Britain, however, the American parlor tended to be called a drawing room.
A sitting room was a more casual room, in some houses the back parlor served that function. A reception room was a room in which to greet guests, or hold formal entertainments. If you had no reception room, you'd use the drawing room.
The drawing room was originally the withdrawing room, but I think they dropped the "with" sometime early in the 19th c.
From my readings, I've seen that many of these titles were used interchangeably, and there seem to have been regional differences, at times, in room names.

After all, later these rooms held davenports, chesterfields,l ounges, sofas and couches, not to mention setees.
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lrkrgrrl
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Post by lrkrgrrl »

Ah, but today in England the living room is called the "lounge."

And bookish, you stole my "chesterfield or davenport" joke. no fair. :wink:
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