Houses have so many different types of rooms that it can be hard to keep track of all of them. There are also many places that make use of room types that you might not be familiar with. Today I am going to list various types of rooms and describe what they’re used for. It’ll give you a greater understanding of what types of rooms you can have in a house.
If you’re looking to build your own house sometime soon, then you might want to pay special attention to this article. It could give you some solid ideas of your own when you’re drafting your plans.
List of 30 Types of Rooms You Might Find in a House
To make this list as digestible as possible, let’s start with the rooms you come across first as you enter a house.
1. Entrance Hall or Foyer
Some people don’t even count entrance halls among the most important rooms in a house. But how can they not be? They’re the first rooms you enter as you walk into any home! And since the foyer sits right between the outside world and your inner sanctum, you should pay special attention to what you keep in it.
In smaller apartments, a foyer is just a short hallway where you take off your shoes and coat. The room usually has a shelf or table for your keys and an umbrella stand. Most homes have some kind of a mirror in the foyer as well so that people can check their appearance on their way out of the house. If there’s any room on the walls left after installing the mirror, the homeowners might hang up some family photos or artwork.
Anecdotally, large homes seem to have more sparsely decorated entrance halls. They generally have adjoining closets and shoe organizers that make the room appear pretty bare. Still, even in that case, the room might have a table topped with flower arrangements or other decorative elements as well.
The kitchen is either the first room you enter coming in from the foyer, or it sits way in the back of the house, facing the yard — if one exists. The latter setup allows the family to exit the kitchen and have their meals on the back porch. However, the first scenario is more likely in studio apartments.
Kitchens are generally packaged into one of six possible layouts. You have a sink or two built into the counters and a dishwasher and oven concealed below. Alternatively, they can be placed on top of cabinets if you’re unwilling or unable to bend to load the appliance.
The rest of the cabinets and hanging elements are used to store various dishware. If the room is large enough, it may even accommodate an island, which can increase both storage and chopping space. Moreover, this element can serve as an informal eating area.
3. Keeping Room
If you have no idea what a keeping room is, you’re not alone. But chances are, you already have one — or at least an area of the kitchen that acts as one.
The kitchen has always been a popular hangout spot, presumably because it’s the warmest room in the house. But if your kitchen is a bit too crowded for your taste, you might consider redirecting some of that foot traffic to a nearby keeping room.
Traditionally, keeping rooms are areas that can be entered through the kitchen, though the two have mostly fused into one room by now. The room itself would be organized around a hearth or fireplace. It’s where families could sit and talk or prepare ingredients for their meals.
So now you know why modern kitchens have sitting areas even when the house has a dining room. It’s because the function of the keeping room has been absorbed into the kitchen. But as we have established, you could always separate the two spaces again.
If you’ve collected more than your fair share of dishware, spices, and cleaning supplies over the years, you’ll probably want to put them all away. Fortunately, that’s exactly what the pantry is for.
These rooms tend to contain a little bit of everything, arranged on shelves and in various containers. But mostly, they’re meant to keep everything that couldn’t fit in the kitchen. It’s where you’ll put all your spices, overly large oven dishes, pickled items, and preserves.
If your pantry is large enough, you may be able to get away with keeping a freezer in there too. Sadly, that’s not always the case. In smaller homes, a pantry can even be reduced to a cupboard in the kitchen. You’ll just have to make do with what you get!
5. Dining Room
Next up, we have dining rooms, which are formal eating areas. They often contain a longer table and more chairs than you might find in a kitchen. What’s more, those tables and chairs are often the most expensive set in the house. Some families even go so far as to get them custom-made!
After all, the dining room effectively functions as a showcase of the family’s elegance, class, and wealth. Suffice it to say that if there’s a chandelier in the house, it’ll probably be above the dining room table. Even the tableware and liquor cabinets in the dining room are often made of glass. They’re basically display cases as well as storage units.
6. Living Room
Not all homes have a formal dining room — but most of them have a living room. These rooms often absorb the function of several others, including the dining room. Generally, though, people use their living rooms to relax and entertain guests.
In a living room, you’ll find a comfortable sofa and some chairs, as well as a coffee table. Most people also have some kinds of shelves or cabinets in there, where they keep books, photos, and other items they want guests to see.
If a household only has one TV, it’ll most likely be in the living room. However, if a house is large enough, you might find more than one type of living room in it. All of these living rooms have slightly different purposes, so let’s talk about two of those variations — the parlor and the family room.
7. Formal Parlor or Reception Room
Most people will have you believe that a parlor is essentially the same thing as a living room, but that’s not exactly true. In this case, the word parlor represents a public reception room. Naturally, depending on how large of a house we’re talking about, one room may play both parts.
If there’s more than one type of living room in a house, the parlor will be the one closest to the front door. After all, public reception rooms are used only to entertain company.
That may sound archaic, but some cultures practice setting aside a part of the house for this purpose even now. The family won’t use the area in day-to-day life but will carefully clean and maintain the furnishings in case guests drop by unexpectedly.
In countries where the reputation of a family means a lot, these rooms are stuffed with the family’s most prized possessions. Those generally include prestigious musical instruments like pianos, antique pieces of furniture, old paintings, and sometimes trophies.
8. Family Room or Den
The family room or, simply, the den, is a more informal version of the living room that’s only found in large homes. This room, which is generally smaller than the main living room, can be on the second floor or even in the basement. If the living room or parlor has matching furniture, the den will have mismatched chairs, beanbags, and an assortment of knickknacks collected by various family members.
Like the main living room, the family room can absorb some of the other rooms on this list. Mainly, it can easily become a gaming room, a home theater, a music room, and anything else the family wants it to be. Ultimately, the den has much more character than the other common areas in the house, which are mostly performative.
The sunroom gets the most light out of any room in the house. It often has wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor windows, French doors, and even skylights, if possible. The room is filled with comfortable sofas and chairs, which makes it pretty similar to the living room.
But while the sunroom is ideal for drinking your morning coffee or having breakfast, it’s not the most comfortable room in the house. Just think about it: what happens when you combine an abundance of sunlight with glass walls? It’s pretty much a greenhouse — and that’s exactly why sunrooms can easily double as conservatories!
10. Home Office
Next up, there’s the home office. Even before so many people started freelancing, it was customary to have a room in the house dedicated to keeping estate ledgers and accounts. Nowadays, these rooms aren’t as universal as they once were, so only people who work from home have them.
As far as the decor is concerned, most home offices are fairly conservative. If the walls and furnishings aren’t brown or navy, they’re probably white. Moreover, most people don’t like their office to be too cluttered. Aside from the desk and chair, you might put in a rug and some plants and call it a day.
Any other contents of this room would depend on the vocation of the person whose office it is. A programmer’s station might be overflowing with cords and external hard drives. Conversely, an architect might put in a large work desk with scales, meters, and an assortment of pencils, as well as other accompanying accessories of the trade.
If you’ve amassed an impressive book collection, it deserves to be neatly organized! Believe it or not, it doesn’t take much to build a library room or nook. You’ll just need some bookshelves, a ladder or step stool to help you reach the high shelves, and a sitting area.
Of course, if you’re going to be reading in the library, you’ll want to keep it well lit too. To ensure that, pick a room that gets plenty of natural light coming in through the windows. Alternatively, you can get standing lights or table lamps — but you probably shouldn’t rely on ceiling fixtures.
However, a library is an area that could easily belong to one of the other rooms I’ve mentioned. You could even reduce it to a bookshelf or two in the living room, office, or even the bedroom. So if you’re wondering where to put all your books, or whether you should get more to fill out a whole room, don’t worry. You can just fill out a shelf and call it your very own mini reading nook.
The bathroom is a room that contains a shower and/or a bathtub as well as a toilet and a sink. Some bathrooms even have a bidet, although a number of modern toilets have that option built-in. In addition to the basic amenities, bathrooms have shelves or cabinets filled with various cosmetic products and medicines.
It’s customary to have a mirror above the sink, which serves the dual function of concealing the medicine cabinet doors. Additionally, the main bathroom should have a bathroom mat, towels, and everything else one might need to perform personal hygiene rituals.
13. Powder Room or Half-Bath
Of course, the main bathroom isn’t the only place people can go to relieve themselves in a large home. Many homes also have an additional powder room people can use when the main bathroom is occupied.
A half-bath is significantly smaller than the main bathroom, containing only a toilet and a sink. Some powder rooms don’t even have a mirror above the sink! If you want to actually powder your nose, you may have better luck finding a mirror in the main bathroom. Alternatively, you could try looking for one in the foyer.
14. Laundry Room
People usually put their washers and dryers wherever it’s convenient, depending on the house plan. Therefore, the laundry room is one of those areas that doesn’t have a set placement in all homes. It can be in the bathroom or the basement, or in a totally separate room in the house. However, in that case, you’d need to make sure the room is well insulated.
To begin with, you should lay down tile flooring to prevent potential water damage. But because tiles make sounds more resonant, you might need to soundproof the room as well. You can address the vibrations coming from the machines by simply sliding rubber pads under the metal feet.
In addition to the washing and drying machines, most laundry rooms also have an assortment of detergents. If the room is large enough, it may even have a drying rack or two for clothes that can’t go in the dryer.
15. Storage Rooms: Broom or Linen Closets
Many large homes have extraneous rooms that are used to collect various items. If that kind of room was planned in your own home, it is probably used to store cleaning supplies or pressed linen. In that case, you’d probably call it a broom or linen closet.
However, even if such a room wasn’t purposely included in the house design, it might still come about naturally. That tends to happen when a child moves away to college. Their room eventually becomes an all-purpose storage room.
If you have a room that’s just collecting dust, among other things, why not spruce it up a bit? Get all the unnecessary stuff out of there and bring in some shelves and containers. Alternatively, if you don’t really need any extra storage space, just turn it into a hobby room.
16. Master Bedroom
The master bedroom is arguably the most important room in any home. After all, that’s where the homeowners will be spending their nights. It needs to be soothing but also stylish. Still, the room itself shouldn’t be all that different from the other bedrooms.
While the master bedroom is certainly the biggest in a home, its exact size will, of course, depend on the overall size of the house or apartment. It should at least be able to fit a queen-size bed and a wardrobe, to begin with.
Of course, some people manage to fit quite a few other things into the master suite. End tables are a must, and so are lamps, alarm clocks, and maybe even some books. You could also have a vanity table right off the bed so that you can just roll out and get ready fast before heading off to work.
If your house is generally huge, the master bedroom might have a private bathroom too. Better still, it might have a walk-in closet!
17. Walk-in Closet
Why would you suffer through the painstaking process of digging through your shirts before work when you could have them all neatly arranged in a walk-in closet? A standing closet gives you a much more limited space to work with — though, with some organizing tools, even that wouldn’t be impossible. Still, a walk-in closet would certainly allow you to see more of your clothing options at a single glance.
At least that’s the idea. Even when a walk-in closet isn’t that big, it can still count as a room, similar to the storage room type we’ve already discussed. Smaller walk-in closets often have only one hanging rod in the middle with shelves on the sides. Usually, there are containers of seasonal clothes and shoes lining the floor and the top shelf.
However, in bigger walk-in closets, you’re able to see your clothes on display, separated by type of article. Who knows, you may even get to keep each of your shoes on a separate shelf! And while we’re fantasizing about huge walk-in closets, let’s add a drawer unit for your watches, belts, and jewelry.
18. Kids’ Bedroom
The kids’ bedroom is smaller than the master bedroom — unless you decide to keep your whole brood in one room. That would earn them the right to get the biggest room in the house. Generally, though, kids’ bedrooms are pretty small, which leads to huge debates as to where the beds should be placed. But remember — beds aren’t the only things kids need.
Unlike adults, who don’t have time to laze around in their rooms, kids do everything in theirs. They need to be able to do their homework — so add desks and chairs to your shopping cart — and entertain themselves, too.
Nowadays, that’s sorted by letting the kids have a computer or gaming console in their room. However, if you’re the kind of parent who doesn’t like their kids to enjoy unsupervised entertainment, you could always opt for a good, old-fashioned bookshelf instead. But of course, all that should be sorted after you get the beds and wardrobes in.
If you’re about to welcome a baby into the family, you’ll need to set up a nursery, not a kids’ room. Therefore, the furnishings are going to be slightly different. You’ll need to get a crib, a chest of drawers for the baby’s stuff, and a changing station.
If you want to spruce it up even more, you can put in a rocking chair and some whimsical decorative elements and lighting. After all, you can’t solely rely on the light coming in from the windows. Most parents do end up providing some kind of a night-light for their kids. And even if your baby doesn’t need it, the soft light would let you stay half-asleep while you’re tending to your child.
If you’re worried about the air quality in the room, you could also get an air purifier, dehumidifier, space heater, or all of the above. For practical purposes, you’ll probably want to make sure you have somewhere to keep a baby monitor as well. If you don’t have one yet, just position the crib in a way that would let you look in on your munchkin from the doorstep of the nursery.
20. Guest Room
If any bedrooms remain unoccupied after each family member has staked their claim on one, they’re usually transformed into guest rooms.
The furnishings in guest rooms are generally sparse — they contain a bed or futon and some basic amenities. While the family’s rooms are full of character, the guest rooms are often left purposely blank. Alternatively, they may have some bland and inoffensive decorative elements.
In between overnight guests, these rooms are often left empty, to the point that the family doesn’t even enter unless it is to clean. That ensures that the room remains fresh and pristine for the next visitor.
However, in smaller homes, the guest room is pretty much any room that will suit the purpose. It can be the living room or even one of the kids’ rooms.
As you might have noticed, we’re no longer talking about rooms every house has to have in one way or another. But as unnecessary as the following rooms are, they’re still rather fun additions you could make to your home — if you have space for them.
Since we were just talking about kids’ bedrooms and nurseries, let’s start with the playroom. If you’re the kind of parent that doesn’t want their kids to have too many toys in their room, you might want to convert a spare room into a playroom.
Just put all those LEGO bricks, Barbies, and musical instruments you’ve bought over the years in one place. Never again will you have to collect toys from all corners of the house at the end of each day. From now on, they’ll all just be in the playroom — it’s the ideal solution!
If you have a spare TV, you could set up a little movie theater for the kids, too. Just be sure to prepare a list of movies and shows they’re allowed to watch. Otherwise, they’ll spend all their time watching animated shows on cable — and trust me, you don’t want that.
22. Game Room
Now, a game room is basically like an aged-up version of the playroom. It’s a great idea for families with teenagers or roommate households. The best thing about a game room is that it can be whatever you want it to be.
If you love video games, you can make the gaming console of your choice the centerpiece of your game room. To begin with, connect your TV to a PlayStation or an Xbox and get a sofa or a bunch of beanbags. Then, throw in some snack tables, and your game room is good to go.
Alternatively, if you prefer more old-fashioned games, you could buy or restore a vintage pinball machine and other arcade games. Or, if you’re an alternative type of gamer, you could make this room all about tabletop games. Display your favorite card and board games on individual shelves, set up a table and some chairs, and your entertainment oasis is complete.
23. Music Room
Not all homes are required to have a music room. But if your family happens to be musically inclined, why shouldn’t you set one up?
Of course, the moment you get one of your kids a guitar, the others will want drum sets or bass guitars. Soon enough, the cacophony of musical instruments will become unbearable. You’ll, of course, need to contain the noise somehow. So before you move the instruments into the room, take a moment to soundproof it.
But even when you’ve done that, you’ll still need to make the music room look presentable. Fortunately, you’ll have several storage options for each kind of instrument. For example, you can either hang guitars up on walls or string them up on a standing rack.
You might also want to consider bringing in some recording studio equipment. A microphone and a laptop might do the trick for amateurs. Professional musicians, however, might need more gear.
24. Home Theater Room
Home theaters have taken the world by storm in recent years. These rooms can provide you with a movie-watching experience that’s even better than what you might get from your local movie theater. You just need some comfortable sofas and armchairs, a couple of snack tables, and a TV. Better still, point a projector at a blank part of the wall or a screen.
Remember to darken your windows with thick curtains that will also block some of the outside noise from coming in. You could also lay down a carpet and put acoustic foam on the ceiling. Lastly, weatherstrip the door to prevent sound from leaking out of the room. Once everything is set, you’ll just have to get your snacks and enjoy your movie marathon.
Of course, if you don’t want to get refreshments from the kitchen, you can keep a microwave and shelves of microwave popcorn in the home theater room as well. Or, if you can spare the cash, get a popcorn machine!
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While you’re at it, a mini fridge would be another fantastic addition to any home theater. Just imagine having all the snacks and beverages you need at your fingertips.
25. Home Gym
If you’re a fitness fanatic, you probably spend every waking moment waiting to get back to the gym. With a designated room for working out just a few steps away, though, you won’t need to rush out of the house whenever you feel like sweating up a storm. But what can you put into a tiny home gym?
Well, you’d be surprised. To begin with, make sure you have a yoga mat — or line the whole floor with interlocking gym mats! If you don’t have much space to work out, you could still do yoga, skip rope, or lift weights. On the other hand, if your home gym is spacious, you could put in a boxing bag or exercise machines like treadmills or stationary bikes.
Aside from the gym equipment, you might want to get an AC or a fan for the room as well — or at least a functioning window. What’s more, if you often find yourself sipping on protein shakes or even just water while working out, you could get another mini fridge for your home gym too.
The garage can be a structure that’s completely separate from the house, or it can be connected by an interior door. The main garage door opens up toward the driveway, though. In most cases, the family has at least two parking spots — the one in the garage and the one on the short stretch of asphalt leading up to it.
Sometimes, the garage can take on other functions in addition to its main purpose. For example, it can be used for storing various tools that are necessary for the upkeep of the home. However, if there’s a separate shed in the garden, the garage can just be a room for storing vehicles and automotive accessories.
The basement is an underground room that tends to be the most underdeveloped space in a house. Some people don’t even finish applying the drywall before they move in. Then the basement just stays at the same level of development until the family, years later, finally decides to do something about it.
Still, even an unfinished basement can be useful. After all, this is where most people keep their water heaters, breaker panels, freezers, and furnaces.
Of course, if you can figure out a way to get rid of the spiders and properly insulate the place, a basement could easily become an extra room or several. If you don’t have space for one of the previous rooms on this list in the house, you could always put it in the basement.
28. Wine Cellar
There are at least two ways to transform a regular basement into something more. If you make the conditions just right, it could become a wine cellar!
The ideal temperature for storing most wines is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. It can be a bit higher, as long as there are no drastic shifts. The humidity should be pretty high, though, to prevent corks from drying out.
Fostering these conditions may make your cellar prone to mold and mildew growth. However, as long as the seals on the bottles hold up, that shouldn’t alter the taste of your wine.
29. Root Cellar
The other option you’ve got is to treat your basement, or at least part of it, like a root cellar. If you only want to use a part of the basement like this, go for the foundation wall in the northeast corner of the room. That spot should remain pretty cold throughout the year.
Just like with the wine cellar, you need to get the conditions just right. Ideally, the temperature of the place would be between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You also need the humidity level to be in the 85–95 percent range.
If your basement naturally exhibits those conditions, you should be able to store carrots, potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables in there. Additionally, you could always use your cool cellar to store pickled vegetables and jams. Make sure that there’s plenty of airflow, though, to avoid mold and mildew growth.
30. Attic or Loft
We’ve seen several versions of the rooms that could exist below your house, so let’s end the list on a high note. The attic, otherwise known as the loft or garret, is the topmost room of a building. It’s usually located right underneath the roof, which is why it has slanted ceilings. And like the basement, it can be unfinished and used for storage or finished to provide the house with more living space.
How Small Houses Integrate These Rooms
It’s important to note that not all homeowners want to have all these types of rooms in their homes. You’ll have to think about which ones you want and which ones you don’t. But what happens if you want a home gym, for example, but simply can’t find the room for one?
Well, if your house is particularly small, several important functions can be combined in a single room. For example, a kitchen can also be a dining room, and it can even be connected to the living room, forming one huge open-concept space. Similarly, a pantry could easily be reduced to the cabinets and shelves that already exist in the kitchen.
As we have established, the living room can take on many other functions as well. It can be the home theater and a library, an office, and even a guest room, should the need arise. By the same token, the basement is another infinitely adaptable space. It can be your laundry room, a music room, and a home gym all in one.
Basically, you can have everything you need in your home. You just have to understand the limitations of the space you’re working with.
Which Rooms Are the Most Essential?
The goal of the list above was to present the many different kinds of rooms a home could possibly have. Naturally, not all of them are necessary for the smooth running of a household.
Anyone who’s ever lived in a studio apartment can tell you that all you really need is a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom. After all, those rooms are often combined into one in those tiny units. The bathroom is usually the only walled-off area in the apartment!
Still, even though most of the rooms on this list aren’t strictly necessary, isn’t it nice to know what your options are? Now, whether you end up in a mansion or a shoebox apartment, at least you’ll know exactly how you want to furnish it!