The hall's roof had a squared opening in the middle to let the smoke out and gather the rainwater, in a basin in the middle of the floor. Around the hall there were the bedrooms, and on the front wall there was the entrance to a large living and dining room. Then you entered a garden surrounded by a colonnade, rich in statues, fountains and flowerbeds. Various rooms, among which the dining room led to the peristilio. The kitchen, storeroom, the portico, the back exit and rooms rented as shops completed the house.
The poor people of Rome lived in shabby, dirty houses. Those who had little money could live in the insula, buildings of two or more stories, overcrowded, without any light and comfort. In those houses life was often hard, they lacked water that thus had to be carried in from an outdoor fountain; nearly all of them were without a bathroom; furthermore they were made of wood and therefore constantly at risk of fire.