The Key Elements of Designing a Great Room

Decoration and Design
Architecture
By Alex Mikayelyan October 12, 2021

Our homes aren’t just a simple roof over our heads. Sure, literally speaking that is what they are, but let’s take a trip down Sentimental Lane and think about what your house means to you on an emotional level. It is where we spend valuable time with our family, loved ones, or on our own. Some rooms are ideal for such occasions such as the living room, lounge, hearth room, outdoor patio, and even the kitchen in some cases.

One particular room that offers tons of space for relaxation and all kinds of fun activities is the great room. As the name implies, the great room is pretty great… at providing plenty of living space for larger households and big social gatherings. But great rooms are not simply large living rooms. There are fundamental elements that make modern great rooms work which you can implement to create one in your own home.

What is a Great Room?

What Are Great Rooms and Where Can You Find Them?

What Are Great Rooms and Where Can You Find Them?

The great room is the living room, dining room, hearth room, and in some cases even a kitchen all combined into one single great room. Great rooms are very large, sometimes twice the size of an average living room. They are typically situated on the first floor of a building and have a lot of access to exterior walls, allowing them to get plenty of sunlight.

As a result of their large size, great rooms are mostly found in bigger houses and mansions, although there are plenty of average-sized houses that also have them. So, even if you don’t live in a huge mansion you still have the chance to create your own great room that is fully functioning and aesthetically pleasing.

Benefits of a Great Room

Reasons to Consider Having a Great Room Are Many

Reasons to Consider Having a Great Room Are Many

Great rooms come with several benefits that no other room has. Many of these benefits stem from the sheer size of great rooms and all that open space they offer.

More Space

More Space, Fewer Problems With Great Rooms

More Space, Fewer Problems With Great Rooms

Whether it is through limited floor space or not enough seating, living rooms, lounges, and dining rooms may not be enough to accommodate a large household or a big number of guests. Great rooms don’t have this problem. There is always enough seating for a large household and you will not have to worry about squeezing a bunch of guests and family members into a tiny space. 

Quality Family Time

Great Rooms Offer More Quality Family Time for Your Household

Great Rooms Offer More Quality Family Time for Your Household

As fun as family time can be, sometimes you want to have a little bit of space to yourself. On the other hand, spending the whole day in separate rooms isn’t the definition of quality family time. A great room is a wonderful workaround as it is big enough to allow for some privacy but still offers room for interaction. For example, one person can be reading a book on the couch, the other could be working at the dining table, and another could be cooking, all the while being in the vicinity of one another. 

Extra Room for Stylization

How Great Rooms Open up Room for More Interior Design Features

How Great Rooms Open up Room for More Interior Design Features

There is no shortage of chic and cozy great room decorating ideas. Even a standard living room offers plenty of space for you to experiment with interior designs and decor. But due to their smaller size, they can be somewhat limiting. Great rooms, on the other hand, give you plenty of space to realize all your interior design goals and dreams.

If you wish to design a modern farmhouse great room, you can try more minimalistic design features. This works wonderfully in great rooms, as the sheer amount of empty surface area that the walls provide can really nail that minimalistic design element. If you are looking for something more eclectic and visually challenging, you can try a Boho design as well. Use various kinds of natural materials and decor to spruce up the visuals in your great room, since you have plenty of room to experiment with all kinds of ideas and visuals. Farmhouse great rooms are also popular with homeowners looking for something more rustic and cozy. A living edge dining table, combined with natural wood floors, a brick fireplace, and some fluffy rugs are all effective ways of bringing the farmhouse design aesthetic into your great room. You have plenty of personalization options and you should take advantage of all the space that your great room offers to realize your design goals.

Design Elements

Take Different Design Elements Into Consideration When Working on Your Great Room

Take Different Design Elements Into Consideration When Working on Your Great Room

While great rooms have a unique appearance and function, there are design elements that you will commonly find among them. Taking these into consideration will help you create a great room that meets all your stylistic and functional criteria. 

Transitions

Room Transition Is a Crucial Component of Great Rooms

Room Transition Is a Crucial Component of Great Rooms

Due to their sheer size, great rooms also connect various rooms of the house. Naturally, room transition is a crucial component of great rooms. If all these transitions look similar they can create too much uniformity and make the space look plain. You can create some variety by designing each transition to be unique. For example, using distinct lighting fixtures is a great way to indicate the different rooms and hallways that you’re going into. 

Dedicated Space

Divide Your Great Room for Difference Purposes

Divide Your Great Room for Difference Purposes

Dividing the great room into several areas and spaces is a key element of great room design. The point of a great room is that you can combine various rooms and functions into one giant space. You can turn one of the room’s corners into a mini library where someone can read their favorite book; another area of the great room can be dedicated to more family-oriented activities such as watching movies or playing board games. A small lounge area can be dedicated to tea or coffee breaks or a dinner table can sit in the corner for big occasions and feasts. And, of course, a big fireplace that can act as the room’s focal point for the whole household and guests to curl up around.

3. Focal Point

Focal Points Are of Prime Importance When It Comes to Great Rooms

Focal Points Are of Prime Importance When It Comes to Great Rooms

Speaking of focal points: as with any other room out there, great rooms need a focal point to bring the whole space together. This can be a large great room fireplace, bookcase, even artwork such as a painting or sculpture. The focal point determines where the focus of the room is and plays a huge role in setting the mood in your great room.

If you make the focal point a fireplace then the great room takes on a more family room or lounge role. Placing a large TV set with surround sound speakers can put greater focus on entertainment. This kind of focus on a particular element is a great way to emphasize what general role the focal point of the great room can take. 

4. Bright Lighting

Lighting Is of Utmost Importance When It Comes to Great Rooms

Lighting Is of Utmost Importance When It Comes to Great Rooms

Great rooms can be twice the size of an average living room. As with any larger room, getting the lighting just right is very important, especially when you consider the wide assortment of activities and family events that can take place there. Many great rooms go with a classical chandelier to light up the space as they are not only effective at illuminating large areas, but they are also large fixtures themselves. Their sheer size complements that of the great room itself, making the chandelier a perfect fit for such a vast space. For more moody lighting you can also install some recessed fixtures into the walls which can light up a particular area of the great room if the rest of the room is not being used.

5. High Ceiling

High Ceilings Are Among the Signature Features of Great Rooms

High Ceilings Are Among the Signature Features of Great Rooms

More space does not only refer to the horizontal dimension. Verticality is also a very important aspect of great rooms. With something like a two-story great room, you have just as much vertical space as you have horizontal. Homeowners use this verticality when decorating a great room to increase storage space through taller cabinets, bookcases, and shelving. A higher and more vertical space also allows you to use bigger pieces of decor, such as tall paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of artwork or decor that will spruce up your great room’s interior.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan