In most homes, the great room becomes the gathering place for family and friends. The place everyone sits down to relax by the fire, read a book, watch TV or simply enjoy each other’s company after a busy day. Since this truly is the “heart of the home” that will be used so frequently for many different purposes, it’s important that you carefully design this room to have adequate space that will fit your needs, and an atmosphere that pleases your personal style.
The first decision to make is the size of your great room. Consider these questions when determining how large you want this space to be. How many people would you like to sit in the room on a daily basis, and how many when you have gatherings with guests? Do you prefer sectionals, sofas, chairs or a mixture? Are there existing furniture pieces you would like to include such as end tables, coffee tables, ottomans or hutches?
A smaller, cozier living room is great for a small family that can utilize the space with a couch and a couple of chairs. If you entertain large groups of people, it will be beneficial to have a great room that will seat 10-12 people at a time. If you don’t entertain very frequently or don’t like the idea of a larger great room, you can also opt for an open concept floor plan with the kitchen and dining connected to the great room to help comfortably seat your guests in nearby rooms and still allow for easy socializing.
What style should you go with when designing your great room? The options are limitless! First off, this room should flow with the rest of your home. The great room is always a focal point of any home and really sets the tone for the surrounding rooms. Think about what kind of guests will be spending time here. Will it be mostly adults, or kids or both? Do you have pets? A beautiful contemporary white couch might not work well with children and pets. Make sure to include furniture that is both beautiful and functional for your family. And don’t forget to include your own personal flare and style when designing your great room. A big leather sectional with log walls and ceiling beams will create a rustic and warm atmosphere; whereas a linen sofa with shiplap, timbers or stone will create a more contemporary-rustic look. Paint colors and stain will also affect the overall feel of the room. Darker colors will create a rich and bold space, whereas lighter colors will provide more of a soft and airy feel. You can add an area rug, large rough-sawn window trim, massive beams on the ceiling, a one-of-a-kind mantel on the fireplace, or a statement chandelier to help create the style you are seeking. Whether you want a rustic lodge look or a more modern space, the entire room can be designed to achieve the look you are envisioning.
Ceiling height is also a factor when designing this living space. Do you have an amazing view to showcase? A two story cathedral ceiling with an expansive window wall is very popular in great rooms today. This look will make your space feel grand and open, and bring the outdoors in. If you would like a cozier feel, a lower ceiling with a large window or patio door open to an outdoor living space is a great way to achieve that. You can do so many different things with a ceiling to make this space unique and a true conversation piece.
Don’t forget storage! Aside from TV equipment and electronics, people often like to store other items in the great room as well. Things like blankets, family games and DVD’s all need a place to keep you organized. To conveniently store these items, many people opt for cabinets on one or both sides of the fireplace which adds both function and a design accent or focal point.
Such an important room takes thoughtful planning and design to truly accommodate your family’s everyday needs. Our design team is here to help bring your visions to life!