Chamber or Bedroom?

krycek1984August 30, 2010

Question for ya'all.

I've been looking at old house plans and I'm a little confused and curious. On a lot of the older Victorian plans (pre-1905), the upstairs rooms are "chambers" and "bedrooms". What was the difference between a chamber and a bedroom? Were they the same thing or had slightly different uses?

I am confused by it!

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macv

It's just an old word for a bedroom. It was replaced by "bedroom" when washing stands and chamber pots were replaced with separate bathrooms.

from Middle English chaumbre; from Old French chambre; from Late Latin camera, chamber; from Greek kamar.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 7:48AM
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Moccasin

Krycek, were the terms used together on the same house plans? Or were they always in separate houses?

Based on what Macv said, that the "chamber" was used prior to indoor plumbing took away the wash stand and the chamber pot,
could it be implied that

1. A CHAMBER still had a wash stand and chamber pot serving it?

2. The BEDROOM meant there was indoor plumbing and no need to look for a chamber pot under the bed or elsewhere?

Very interesting question.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 4:31PM
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calliope

The Victorians were very pretentious. There were lots of French words in their vocabulary and chambre is simply a french word for room, still in use btw.

Chamber smacks of intimacy and privacy compared to bedroom....and people took to their chambers to get away from it all for a read or a nap. Most of my Victorian and Edwardian age homes had very large bedrooms, and we put a table and chairs in them to take our morning tea or coffee, a desk, book cases. They were for more than just sleeping.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 7:03PM
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krycek1984

That sounds like a very reasonable and correct explanation, calliope! How nice it would have been to have a room to retreat to like that. It's just my partner and I so we do have a "chamber" type of room upstairs we can retreat to. It's very nice indeed.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 9:35PM
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