Every house has a focal point, just like every room has one. In open floor spaces, a house’s main focal point is the great room—or the common room where everyone can gather to lounge by the couch, create delicious meals in the kitchen, and dine together at the dining table. The whole point of the great room is to combine these common spaces into one massive, sprawling area, with an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. So if close family ties and receiving guests are important to you, an open floor space should be one of the first features you look for when buying a home.
Once you’ve finally settled on a gorgeous house with a great room, here are some tips for designing the space in a way that is both comfortable and visually pleasing.
Choose a common thread for every area
Because great rooms are made of two to three common spaces, they must have at least one thing similar going for them, even if you decide to mix and match certain styles from different periods. One of the biggest interior design trends of the past few years has been combining mid-century modern with the farmhouse aesthetic. While they may be completely different styles, they can come together harmoniously if you add a common thread in your space. It’s all about creating rhythm through patterns of repetition that echo throughout the room. Some examples include:
- Choose the same shapes or colors, but at various intervals. You can get a rhythm going by using one color for the pillows, then picking up that color for a painting, and then allowing that same shade to echo in a rug. The classic 60-30-10 color rule for design might be useful in this regard.
- Aside from the same colors and shapes, you can also opt to use the same textures for different areas of the home. You can incorporate furniture pieces made of natural materials like wood, and then use weaved baskets for storage in your open shelves.
Be strategic with the seating
Because the whole point of having a great room is to have multiple people spend quality time together in a comfortable and warm environment, your seating has to have that capacity. Here are some tips for choosing furniture pieces for every area in the room, and how you can lay them out so that multiple people can enjoy their stay:
- For the living room, opt for the two-chairs, two-sofas layout. While this layout is not the end-all and be-all and there are plenty of considerations before you invest in furniture, this is one of the more tried-and-tested living room layouts that can make a living room feel complete but still spacious. Choose one heavy-weight base, which is a big sectional, couch, or sofa; then a lighter-weight base, which might look like a chair with legs; and one solid piece, like an upholstered statement chair. The whole point is to ensure that there are enough seats for a big family or multiple guests; but if your space is limited, you can opt for a modular living room design, which can allow you to add and remove chairs or furniture as needed.
- Other types of furniture you can explore include benches with storage underneath, and matching stools and ottomans.
While deciding on a layout for your great room, make sure that it is still walkable despite the many available seats and chairs.
Fill up empty spaces
Because great rooms can be massive, it might be awkward to leave negative spaces or big chunks of areas a bit bare. Maximize your square footage by adding these design elements:
- Area rugs can help make the distinction between the spaces. Moreover, perfectly-sized area rugs can make the individual sections in the great room feel more “complete” and less bare.
- If you want to break the space up a little without the use of room dividers or bookshelves, you can create the illusion of separate spaces through the use of a sectional.
- If there are areas in your great room that still feel a bit bare, consider adding a console table with a mirror to give people a place to freshen up and check if they have food in their teeth. Picture frames and books are also an excellent alternative.
A well-designed great room can help foster close family ties and relationships. Invest in the hardest working room in your house and watch as your connections continue to bloom and grow during these difficult times. Your family deserves a place to rest and enjoy each other’s company.