The BBC series If Walls Could Talk is a history of the various rooms of the house, but there is plenty in the programmes to interest the linguist. The series is repeated every few months and Episode 1, which looks at the living room, is available again for those based in the UK for a couple more days on iPlayer here.
From the programme I learnt that the word drawing-room is an abbreviation of the earlier withdrawing-room, because it was a private room to withdraw to; the ladies often withdrew here after a meal leaving the men to smoke and drink port. When I was a child I remember elderly relatives and neighbours keeping their 'parlour' in pristine condition until Sunday, or until important visitors called, but that is an old-fashioned word these days. Parlour has been in English since the 11th or 12th century and comes originally from the Old French version of the modern parler, to speak. A parlour was, thus, originally a room for talking, as the OED says, particularly a room in a monastery or convent in which monks and nuns could converse with visitors from the outside world, and with each other.
Another interesting word story told in the programme was that for sofa. Although the late 18th-century sofas in Kedleston Hall looked very grand and formal, in fact, the architect historian told us, the sofa was actually a very informal item of furniture -- two people sitting on the same seat was quite shocking! The word sofa comes ultimately from the Arabic, and the early meaning, according to the OED, related to a feature of rooms in Eastern countries, namely a raised platform on which were strewn cushions and carpets for people to sit on.
The programme wasn't only about big houses. Lucy visited some old back-to-backs in the Midlands and here the expression 'kippers and curtains' cropped up. This referred to people who wanted the neighbours to think they were better off than they were, so they bought expensive curtains which everyone could see, but behind the curtains, out of sight of everyone, they could only afford to eat kippers or cheap fish.