What’s the point of designing a Great Room if its just average or blah? Exactly. That’s why a great room requires a great room design; nobody wants to hang out in the Blah Room.
The American Great Room: Open Floor Plan Concept at its Finest
A great room is the result of the increasingly common open floor plan trend. Unlike the m.o. of the 40s, 50s and 60s – when most houses were divided into small boxes of completely separate rooms – kitchens, dens, living rooms, dining rooms, etc. – the open floor plan typically skips all that and coverts the main living areas into one large space – complete with an exposed kitchen and a great room.
Now, that isn’t to say that the great room means you can’t have formal living room and family room areas. Quite the opposite, there are ways to incorporate both using area rugs, modest room dividers and/or the way you arrange your furniture. The following are tips on how you can make your home’s great room as great as it can be.
A continuous design. Perhaps the most unique things about a great room is that it includes the kitchen and dining space along with the lounging and entertainment spaces. For this reason, you’ll want to take your kitchen design into consideration so that things flow visually from one area to another. By repeating or echoing accent colors, certain textures or shapes in each space will help to unify them and make them all feel part of a greater whole, which is what they are.
Build interest with color. To keep your great room from being boring, you will want to build interest using color variations. You can do this by selecting complementary shades, by alternating the use of paints and wall paper, by choosing window and patio door treatments with attractive colors and patterns and by keeping an eye out for large works of art that can add variety to large expanses of wall space.
Use various textures via furniture and textiles. Another way to add depth and interest to a large open space is to vary the textures. Consider using wood accents to trim walls, windows and doors. Add a plush, higher-shag area rug or two. Another idea is to pop a section of wall out just a bit, perhaps the section where the fireplace lives or the entertainment center wall. Yes, you’ll lose a little square footage but you can add wood paneling, textured wall panels or an accent color on the popped or recessed surface, adding a completely different dimension to that location, which automatically assists you in creating the illusion of different zones.
Create unique zones. How will your great room be used? Creating unique zones will help the room to make more sense. You can do this using furniture arrangements that prioritize a conversation area or reading nook versus the couches and chairs everyone uses to watch TV. Built-in shelving and desk space can make for a stylish home office.Your dining room area will be obvious but perhaps a play area can be enhanced by colorful area rugs and built-in storage units so games and toys are easy to keep out of sight when entertaining adult guests. Potted plants or temporary screens can be a wonderful addition and provide a flexible means of setting the boundaries for your intentional zones.