I just wanted to share a picture of our "Away Room" as it looked last year when we had just moved into a house that had been carved up by rennovation, plaster and plywood and electric wires everywhere. We had two rooms carpeted before we moved in and dubbed this one "the sanity room." Nothing was allowed to be stored there, no boxes, just books and furniture for resting on. It still looks pretty much the same - the bookshelves and chair are in the same place, but we moved the couch.
The term "away room" was coined by Susan Susanka and her team when they were designing the "Not So Big House." It refers to a room attached to the main living area where you can go to be "away" -- to have a private conversation, watch a movie, listen to music, play video games, etc. She came up with the idea because with the trend for open floor plans, the only place to have a private conversation was a bedroom!
So when we rennovated the first floor of our farmhouse which was a warren of tiny rooms, we left this room intact as an "away room." We watch movies and listen to music in ours, and yes, have the occasional private conversation. And it's still an isle of sanity (usually).