Five Brilliant Ways to Design Your Great Room

The term “great room” gets thrown around very often as an interchangeable word with “family room.” However, there are several key differences. A great room is typically in the front of your home and adjacent to the kitchen. It traditionally will have your family room and living room as one with a little higher of a ceiling. These large rooms are great for giving a more mid-century modern floorplan with an open layout. However, some people seem to get profoundly baffled on how to design and decorate these rooms. For instance, boundaries and walls are great for establishing space, yet in a space so grand, it can become challenging. Have no fear, though, because we are going to show you five of the key tricks used for decorating these spaces. Let’s get started!


Your room should be decorated to scale. Putting too much furniture or little furniture can make the room look chaotic or just plain empty. To avoid this, you need to consider what are the appropriate distances. Keep walkways open, avoid clutter, and create the illusion of space through balance and proportion.

Visual Boundaries

Your room is going to be lacking boundaries; however, you can still create sections in the room. If you want half the great room to be the living room while the other half be a dining room, you can create these boundaries with your furniture. Sectionals are also great tools for creating visual boundaries and pathways. You can even use area rugs or décor to help direct eyes to different areas and distinguish both areas individually.

Size Matters

Pay attention to the size of your furniture. High rise ceilings need taller furniture. Too short of furniture can make the room feel off and awkward. You can use your windows or other architectural lines to help gauges heights that you will want to reach.

Importance of Color

Color is a vital tool used in interior design. Color can have a significant impact on how the room looks and feels. Make sure you incorporate a fair share of color into your space. You can add color through throw pillows, wall art, area rugs, and décor pieces to help spruce up the atmosphere.

Do Not Trace the Borders

A common mistake is putting furniture on each wall. You have the freedom to create boundaries. Do not just trace your room. Use coaches and chairs to help create walkways and “rooms” within your room. This step will make your space feel larger and more open than tracing the walls with your furniture.  

Decorating a great room can feel like a daunting task at first. However, with these five tricks and a little patience, you can design your dream oasis. For more insight on designing your home, make sure to subscribe!

Lighting Connects Great Room Spaces

When you’re working with a great room, you want to balance the need to separate the functional areas with choices that integrate the spaces. Consistency in design helps make that integration possible.

In this great room, from the La Quinta model at the Oasis at Freeman Farms community, one unifying feature comes from the lighting. Let’s consider the light fixtures in this space.

First, take a look at the chandelier over the dining table. It has an appealing warm finish, with bell-shaped glass shades in an amber tone. Now notice the ceiling fan. The metal finish and the amber tone match the dining chandelier, although the type of fixture is completely different.

The pendants over the kitchen island have a more streamlined shape. This works well as they are in line-of-sight from the kitchen to the rest of the room. However, the glass mirrors the same amber tone that’s been part of the other light fixtures.

Finally, take a look at the sconces above the fireplace. The finish, the shape of the glass shades, and the color of the glass are the same as the chandelier.

Design consistencies such as these make a space feel connected throughout. Other elements such as the similar tiles on the kitchen island and the fireplace surround, the same flooring, and the paint choice integrates every aspect of this space.

A great-room design depends on choosing lighting, flooring, tile and colors that work for every functional area. In this room, everything flows together to create a warm and inviting space.

Making a Great Room, Great

If you enjoy having the whole family together, want plenty of space for parties and gatherings, and want to be able to cook dinner or fix a snack without being cut off from everyone else in your home, a great-room design is perfect for you. But it’s very easy to end up with a disconnected look if you don’t plan your overall space design.

In spite of the roomy space, this room feels integrated and comfortable.  It provides a generous kitchen, an island that allows people to pull up and eat or talk, an expansive fireplace area, and a flat-screen television for entertainment. What elements help this room pull it altogether?

Color: The soft beige and brown throughout, help the entire room feel coordinated. There is a rich rust color on the kitchen wall to the left that is echoed in the niche holding the television. The granite, tile and carpeting all have shades that link together. The dark wood tones of the cabinets show up in the darker elements in the family-room area such as the mirror and table toward the back. Color is one of the strongest tools for integrating spaces.

Flooring: The kitchen floor tiles appear again as part of the fireplace surround, which makes the room feel even more cohesive. The carpeting provides a subtle separation between functional areas with no distracting breaks in the sight lines.

Lighting: The entire room is well-lit with ceiling spots – one of the best tools for providing useful and interesting lighting throughout a great room. The kitchen pendant lights and the fireplace sconces are from the same design group, further helping each room to feel connected with the other.

The architectural features and overall style of this great room helps create a space that really works. Make sure you think about integration when you plan your great room design.