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There is often confusion between the differences between living rooms, great rooms, and family rooms.
What exactly is a Great Room?
Quite simply, a great room can be identified by several features, one of which is location.
A living room, in the absence of a parlor or sitting room, is typically located near the front entrance. A family room tends to be nearer to the kitchen. A Great Room, in comparison, is centrally located; a kind of crossroads for the home.
Great rooms also frequently feature high ceilings. In a multi-story home, the great room will be overlooked by an upstairs hallway or a balcony. As a combination of the functions of a living room and a family room, a great room will usually feature both a fireplace and a television, and will be open to or have an adjoining kitchen and dining area.
We hope you’ll enjoy this collection of spacious great rooms, and that you’ll be inspired to bring the style back into vogue!
Great rooms came into vogue in the 1990s, when formal living rooms were considered “dead.” The initial idea was to combine the functions of living rooms, family rooms, and even studies into one “great” room, inspired by Medieval Great Halls.
These rooms were popular in all new construction throughout the 90’s and most of the 2000’s. In 2007, they fell out of fashion in favor of more rooms, rather than larger rooms.
Even though great rooms have fallen out of fashion, they remain a great way to make an impression upon your guests–if you have the room to spare.
They make excellent entertainment areas, since they’re so close to the kitchen and dining rooms. So if you’re a frequent entertainer, you may enjoy the cavernous, stately great room where your guests will never feel cramped or crowded.
These large living areas are designed in many styles; in fact any interior design style can be applied.
That said, some styles are more commonly used for great rooms than others. For instance, Victorian design doesn’t too often include a great room; however, the chalet style is often a great room living area design.
Pros and Cons
Like all things in design and home improvement, there are pretty much pros and cons to every decision and design element.
Terrific gathering space: These large spaces are great for families that like being around one-another as well as for parties and get-togethers.
Expansive, open feel: This is my favorite benefit of great rooms. I love the feeling of being in large, open spaces.
Plenty of light: All windows in the space illuminate the space.
Many furniture arrangement options: Because it’s open concept, you don’t have walls or steps blocking the way you’d like to arrange furniture and other elements of the room. You have a great deal of flexibility. Moreover, large spaces that great rooms provide make it possible to buy large furniture. I’m a huge fan of huge furniture. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a huge fan of great rooms and open concept living.
Lacks privacy: Sometimes you don’t want to be around everyone else. When a home is one large great room (other than bathrooms and bedrooms), it’s difficult to get your own space.
Noisy: Sound travels throughout the entire space. If someone is watching TV and you wish to read or be in a quiet area, you’re out of luck.