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A new report on house trends speculates that the living room could become obsolete by 2015.

Check out this story from our friends at Charles & Hudson:
house trends

The National Association of Home Builders recently released a special report that details several home features that will likely become the norm by 2015.

A Few Surprises
One of the more unexpected summaries in the report? A theory that living rooms will vanish, or be incorporated into other rooms. Of course, applying this report to a home depends heavily on the definition of a living room. We grew up with living rooms as formal spaces that were usually reserved for company--they didn't have televisions, and typically had nicer furnishings and decor.

house trendsWill the living room be a thing of the past? Photo: Getty.

"An overwhelming majority of respondents do not expect the living room to stay in its current room," according to the NAHB report. "Instead, more than half (52 percent) expect the living room to merge with other spaces in the home, while 30 percent expect it to vanish to save on square footage."

Great Room Grows Bigger
The report predicts that an all-encompassing Great Room will likely replace the living room. Experts predict this will be a more open space that will encompass a kitchen, family and living rooms with few barriers to accessing each area.

Would You Miss Your Living Room?
Are you attached to the concept of a living room and refuse to give it up, even to save on square footage? Or do you feel this trend is part of the natural evolution of home design based on our economy, lifestyles and other defining factors?

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

And check out these other great stories from Charles & Hudson
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  • teeny

    I never had a living room growing up, but I wanted one because every time we had an unexpected visitor we had to scramble around like crazy people to straighten up our family room.
    I actually have a living room now, but it rarely gets used, so I can see how people would view it as wasting square footage.
    I guess people aren't visiting each other like they once did.

  • SinglehandedClumsiness

    Whenever I go into my living room I constantly trip on the rug in there. The last time I tripped, I gashed my chin wide open and bled on the sofa even though I didn't mean to. All the neighbors noticed and immediately jumped to conclusions that violence takes place in my home, even though I'm the only one who lives there. So it's quite refreshing and encouraging to learn that the living room ain't what it used to be. Maybe I can put that rug someplace else now!

  • cindycin99

    This place is Http:// stuck in the 60's!

  • Mike Bader

    Time for the living room to go and have an upscale family room attached to the kitchen.

    Our living room, like Marie Barone's living room, had plastic slip covers on all the chairs & sofas. The room was never used unless company from out of town arrived and they would be entertained there, sans slip covers. Those slip covers dominated my bedroom while guests were visiting. Seems like the guests had to be out of towners though. If the company was a neighbor or someone local, they were entertained in the family room.

    We were never allowed to go in the living room unless it was Christmas or another important holiday. We were always kicked out.

    Lastly, there was no TV in the living room and it was the only room with a fireplace. Since every other room in the house had a TV in it (including my mother's bathroom) having one in the living room was a waste since you couldn't sit in there anyways. Having 6 TV's in a house in the 1960's was unheard of. You were lucky to have 1 color and 1 black and white back then.

  • WF

    I eliminated my living room when I bought my last house( this house). My company never wanted to go in it. They like the family room and kitchen. So I just decided I don't need a living room. But I do need a large space for entertain my guests----to eat and to visit. I decided I needed a lot of chairs, so everyone would have a place to sit when they come.

  • kak

    We live in a very big house that has a formal living room. Some years ago, we turned the attached garage into a family room which flows into the kitchen. Now, our kitchen/family room has become the hub of family and entertaining. the original living room now sits empty and collecting dust.

  • kittylit

    I love my living room and enjoy having people gathered there. The family room houses the TV and computers so when we want to enjoy friends and conversation the living room is the place to go. It's filled with books and things I love to look at and since we don't use it every day it's special. Wouldn't give it up!

  • KH

    I'd never give up a living room. I can't stand great rooms and open living plans. I like rooms to be separated from each other. I want walls!

  • kittylit

    I love my living room and enjoy having people gathered there. The
    family room houses the TV and computers so when we want to enjoy
    friends and conversation the living room is the place to go. It's
    filled with books and things I love to look at and since we don't use
    it every day it's special. Wouldn't give it up!

  • HeartoftheDragon

    I have never been a big fan of the 'great room.' I do like the idea of a family room open to the kitchen, but there should also be a separate space to get away from the 'family.' I like to cook but I don't like having the scent of my cooking EVERYWHERE in the house. I'll keep my living room, thank you very much.

  • trish

    In my home we don't have a "LR" it's more like a great room, then I ahve my open kitchen (I hate it because there aren't enough cabinets--because of the open concept, and I'd LOVE to have a real dinning room, this eating area isn't working for me when I have family dinner or company. I'm all for the large great room but I do not like the kitchen and dinning area being attached to it also. And as for the bed rooms, I HATE, really hate small bedrooms, and that seems to be in almost every house, that nursery is a joke, kids grow, and I was the one stuck with the nursery as a teen, my brother's got the largest room because there were 3 of them and one of me. To this day I will not buy a house with a nursery (that is another word for office not a bedroom). I like decent size bedrooms, no smaller that 10x12 for the kids rooms and 14x17 for the master, and lots of closets and large ones at that. I wish the designers would listen to us, no one likes a small bedroom and no storage. This to me are necessities not luxeries.

  • Bunny

    I guess we are lucky: we have both a HUGE great room attached to our huge kitchen and a living room attached to our dining room.

    Our "public" rooms are huge and spacious. On the other hand, we have verrrrry small bedrooms and bathrooms...... I guess that one has trade-offs....... Personally, while I would like a larger master bedroom and bathroom, I do enjoy our "public rooms" when we have company as there is plenty of space for people to spread out......

  • Diz

    We love our living room! Why would you even buy a house that has "two" living rooms, unless you have "too" much money, or like to live above your means? I used to read meters, and went into all these new homes with two living rooms, AND a finished basement. I don't care what you call the other room, family room, great room, whatever, it's still another living room. And one of them never gets used. What a waiste of space and money!

  • Joe Papierz Jr

    Living Rooms. It seems most of the comments either love them as friendly comfortable places to meet friends or hate them considering them to be wasted space. Well....... It's just another case of "Diferent Strokes for Different Folks".

  • Lora

    I do not like the kitchen to be seen from the front door or the living area. The kitchen is a work area of the home. Many years ago it used to be outside the main house entirely. I like the idea of a kitchen/family room combination but I don't want to take sales people, church visitors, childrens teachers, professional people etc. into the heart of my home. If feels like an invasion. I like a small sitting area for just such occasions. I also like to have dinners without having to overlook the area where the food was prepared. No matter how nice, a kitchen is still a utilitarian work station.

  • Jim

    ?????? The Great Room, don't a lot of places already have this? I have seen a lot of homes with a livingroom/kitchen together, as for a family room or den if you will, I never grew up with a den in our home.
    This is not a new idea, where did the, or where does, the NAHB get it's info?

  • rw

    never giving up my living room. We have a large kitchen familyroom combo 20X23 livingroom dining room combo 25X18. 4 bedrooms. yeah the 3 bedrooms are small 11X12 adn they share a bathroom. Master Suite is huge. bedroom part is 20X18 and master bath is 9X10 and master closet is 8X15. also have a screened in sunroom and 3 car garage. I guess i am never moving again if they make houses with no living rooms. Where would we put all our stuff?

  • grampz


  • wf

    I agree with you. I do have my kitchen away from the living room and dining room. Personally, I don't like to see where the food is prepared when I'm in the living room/ family room area or dining room. I did eliminate the living room because most of my guests feel more comfortable NOT in a formal living room. I loooove a formal living room to take my guests, but I guess I don't have that kind of guests---as a rule. If I have some kind of formal meeting or get-together where we need a living room, my "family"/ dining room serves that purpose very well. When I had a living room, no one ever wanted to go there to visit. That's why I felt it was wasted space and furniture.

  • Jeannie

    There is nothing worse than trying to watch a good TV program while someone is banging around in the kitchen. I hate great rooms. And a piano needs it's own room. Living rooms will not go obsolete for long. I would build my own house to make sure I had a big Living Room. Both of my daughters have cubbyhole Living Rooms and their TV is in the great room. I can't watch TV in their houses. And I don't want my kitchen mess visible to unexpected visitors. I want my kitchen separate from TV and drop in visitors. The new trend won't last long.

  • 28 Comments / 2 Pages

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