In Medieval times, people lived nearby together and life was centered around the great hall. This room was the main space where all daily activities took place; a multipurpose room. The great hall was usually two stories high and was used for sleeping, dining, recreation, and administration. A large fireplace would be placed along an exterior wall for heating the room and cooking. The hood of the fireplace would have been adorned with carvings or the family’s coat of arms.
Modern great rooms, or living rooms, reflect some of the same qualities as their Medieval counterpart. There are tall, two story ceilings, fireplaces, and statement occasional chairs. In Medieval times chairs were a symbol of power and were reserved for the master of the home.
Even in the richest of homes there might have only been two chairs! While the cost of chairs has gone down, the host and hostess chair keep this custom alive.
-Anna Blackburn, Timeless Interiors