In homes that lack a parlour or drawing room, the living room may also function as a reception room.
A typical Western living room may contain furnishings such as a sofa, chairs, occasional tables, coffee tables, bookshelves, electric lamps, rugs, or other furniture. Traditionally, a sitting room in the United Kingdom and New Zealand has a fireplace, dating from when this was necessary for heating. In a Japanese sitting room, called a washitsu, the floor is covered with tatami, sectioned mats, on which people can sit comfortably.
In larger homes in the United States and Canada, the living room may be reserved for more formal and quiet entertaining, while a separate room such as a den, family room, or recreation room is used for leisure and informal entertainment (e.g., a home cinema may be located there). A great room combines the functions of one or more of these rooms.