Five “Great Room” Tips to Make it Great
Recently I have had several clients come asking me to help them transform their Great Rooms into a more personal and put together space. They all shared the common ground of how they were immediately drawn to purchase their homes based on the exhilarating feeling that these soaring ceiling and generous square footage spaces gave them. I agree that these open, airy cathedral -type awe inspiring-rooms can be the deal maker of a new home. Yet when having to inhabit and decorate them, we can end up having a space that feels impersonal. Great Rooms that are larger and more open than your typical living room can be daunting to design and decorate. Let me share five Great Room tips that will unleash their greatness.
1. Create A Focal Point. Consider having a floating furniture plan where it is positioned away from the walls and centered around a focal point. A fireplace is a natural focal point but in most living spaces the TV is the true center of attention, to keep them from competing, pair them up. Don’t have a fireplace? A beautiful view or a stunning piece of art can also serve as a room’s focal point.
2. Furniture Layout. Great Rooms are living rooms meant to gather people. Since great rooms are more spacious, break the furniture layout and consider having two or more conversational group environments for a more comfortable and intimate feel. Remember that you can have accent chairs and ottomans that can be pulled into the different groups as needed.
3. Lighting. As you enter a great room with high ceilings your eyes and your body feel immediately pulled upwards. As you sit in the living room you want to feel more intimate for a conversation to take place. A way to lower the scale and feel more grounded is to use an over-sized light fixture/chandelier to anchor the space and create a second visual ceiling. Add lighting layers so a relaxed comfortable mood is created. Table lamps that beam their light down onto the seating area will send the welcoming message to sit and enjoy.
4. Area Rugs/Artwork. Have you ever heard how in a great room with high ceilings and grand space the noise seems to reverberate? That’s why mass in cathedral’s makes you feel elated. But when it’s your kids crying or the TV blasting, we need to get rugs pronto. Why? Because rugs absorb sound! Yes, you’ll need the big 8’ x 10’ or bigger rugs as they are in a Great Room. Remember that you can always group multiples of the same rug together for a custom look without the custom price. Same goes for your walls. Place artwork -go over-sized- as it will make your room feel more personal and additionally help mitigate sound.
5. Molding/Decorative Trim. Great Rooms have walls for days. An excellent way to add visual interest and to lower the height and make the space more intimate is by adding decorative molding. And, did I mention it also adds architectural character?! Don’t by shy, explore the variety of profiles out there. It’s time to make a statement.
I hope all these pointers help all those Great Room lovers and owners that adore their space, but feel stuck on the next step to take in order for their rooms to feel Grand yet personal and inviting.