In modern homes and apartments, the living room has replaced the old-fashioned front parlour.In the 19th century, the front parlour was the room in the house used for formal social events, including where the recently deceased were laid out before their funeral.
A typical western living room will be furnished with a sofa, chairs, occasional tables, a television or stereo equipment, and bookshelves, as well as other pieces of furniture. Traditionally, a sitting room in the United Kingdom would have a fireplace. In Japan, people traditionally sat on tatami instead of chairs, but Western-style decor is also common these days.
In the United States, sometimes the living room is reserved for more formal and quiet entertaining while a separate recreation room or family room is used for more casual activities and drinking. In recent years, the term