Room for discussion
Most reasonable-sized homes have a room dedicated to leisure and entertainment (of residents and guests). Usually it contains some comfortable furniture and some kind of entertainment unit (television, stereo system, games console). There are a few different names for this room, and I have a theory that what people call it has been influenced by the type of society that they come from. At the very casual end, there is the ‘lounge’ or ‘lounge room’, which is quite a common term in Australia and New Zealand. In the middle is the popular ‘living room’, which is prevalent in North America, and nearer the more formal end of the scale is the English ‘sitting room’.
Funnily enough, these three names for the same room seem to fit with common stereotypes about people from these different parts of the world. If anyone were to pick the most casual of the three regions, it would probably be ‘Down Under’. I know that to me, it sounds like it’d be more fun to hang out in a lounge than a sitting room, even if the two were completely identical.
Here are some other terms for similar rooms, which might give a hint as to what they are used for, and what the atmosphere might be like. Some definitely sound more casual or cosy than others.