The Evolution of the Living Rooms

Over the years how we use living rooms in our homes has changed and evolved since the 1950s.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

evolution of a living room

Who knew how the living room in homes had such an interesting history? The folks at Rent Café Self Storage did some research about the evolution of the living room since the 1950s and have some key findings.

The modern living room, particularly in single-family homes, is the result of people’s shifting preferences towards having dedicated spaces for various activities. While in the 50s, most homes had a central living room, more and more families felt a need for "an alternative gathering space, commonly called a 'family room' or a 'den' (or even a 'rumpus room')," according to Kristina Wilson, a professor of Art History at Clark University who contributed to our research.

Following a trend that started in the 50s, TVs became key elements that gave way to new design schemes and the creation of furniture pieces adapted to fit the increasing proliferation of TV sets in people's homes.

Coffee tables go way back before the 50s, but the modern coffee table as we know it proved its worth partly thanks to - again - television. "Items needing to be readily at hand had to be kept on a low surface so as not to obstruct the view", as Francis Chantree, who authored the story, put it.

The dining area also saw a lot of changes through the decades. In the '50s, separate areas were still used for dining - and also often a serving hatch, through which food could be passed from the kitchen, something which later became highly unfashionable. But soon after, designers started minimizing, reducing or eliminating the dining room altogether. By the 60s, the seeds of the 'open-space' floor-plan idea started growing, with Frank Lloyd Wright being one of its early advocates. Joining walls were knocked through and dining sets suddenly found themselves in living rooms, an interior layout that never went out of fashion.

By the 90s, living rooms in homes favoring the open-plan ethic had become larger, 'all-purpose' places, being the one area in the house that could accommodate all the family's activities - something which has survived in many homes to this day.

Here are some popular decorating projects for a living room:

Install a Coffer Ceiling

Install Carpet Tiles

Install a Roman Shade

Install Wainscoting

Install a Wood Window Cornice

Install Panel Track Window Shades

Reupholster a Chair Seat

Follow this link to RENT Café Self Storage for more information about self storage and living rooms.