We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is an Anteroom?

Mary McMahon
Updated: May 16, 2024

An anteroom is an outer room which connects with the interior of a structure. The defining feature of an anteroom is that it has at least one door which connects with the outside, and another door which leads into a room which is not in contact with the outside. In many cases, anterooms connect to several interior rooms, but they are not classified as hallways, because they are functional rooms, rather than elongated passages.

You may also hear an anteroom referred to as an antechamber, a waiting room, or a vestibule. The anteroom has a venerable history in architecture, with such rooms being common in Ancient Greece and Rome, India, and China, especially in temples. In temples, the anteroom held petitioners while they waited for audiences with priests or religious icons, and often space was provided to make offerings to the temple, for those who felt so inclined. In private homes, anterooms isolated the dwellers from the noise and odors of the street, and provided a space for visitors to wait while residents prepared themselves.

Because anterooms span the distance between inside and outside, they often have a very transitional feel. In a no-shoes household, for example, people may be encouraged to take their shoes off in the anteroom, and there may be a space to hang up coats and store bags. In cold climates, an anteroom can be quite useful, as it insulates the warm inner rooms of a house from the cold outside.

Waiting rooms in doctors offices and government buildings are often classified as anterooms, even if they don't connect to the outside, because of their function as transitional holding areas. Mudrooms and covered porches in private residences could also be considered anterooms, as they bridge the gap between the inner and outer world.

Anterooms also create a barrier between the inner sanctum and the outside world. As a general rule, if you are asked to wait in an anteroom, it is considered impolite to peer into the rooms which may be connected with the anteroom. In the case of a medical practice or government building, roaming visitors could breach privacy or security, which could be a problem. In a private home, people may not be fully prepared for guests, so waiting in the anteroom allows people to decide which room or rooms they want their guests to see.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.