Home Series: The Greatness of Great Rooms

Take a minute to think about your idea of a fabulous room. For many, the concept of a grand room hearkens back to the romanticized ideal of great halls and chambers in medieval castles or majestic homes. Are you visualizing a large room, bustling with activity?  If so, then you will likely think it’s great that since the 1990s, these grand rooms have become very popular, solving the problem of the “dead” living room and the split between the living and family rooms.

The greatness of a room of course largely depends on whether or not the lifestyle that you lead requires one.  Do you entertain a lot and find that everyone always ends up jammed into one room, typically the kitchen? Is space at a premium in your home? Or maybe your home is made up of small segregated rooms. Combining functions of various rooms into one larger space can be a practical solution to allowing you to live more comfortably, especially for those with families.

As featured in the photos, the clients’ existing galley kitchen and dining room spaces (designated by the original ceiling beams) were expanded from their original proportions by adding onto the existing footprint. This allowed for cooking, dining and family living to coexist while at the same time maintaining the architectural integrity of the home.

The former living room that had very narrow proportions was repurposed and became the library-conservatory area. This space affords them a quieter, cozier zone to contrast the large great room, with a wall of bookshelves installed on the wall opposite the fireplace to improve the narrow rectangular proportions. Reading chairs and a spot for the children to practice their musical instruments were all this room was ever meant to accommodate.

The key is in the planning.  You need to assess how you live, the events you host, your needs for space, not to mention how your home’s footprint is laid out. Perhaps you can achieve greatness by repurposing your rooms within your home’s footprint. For example, turn an unused formal living and dining room space into the living/family room and turn the family room off the kitchen into the dining area. This allows for maximum space for cooking, dining and living while avoiding duplication of spaces that often go unused.  Ultimately, the goal of a great room is to increase your quality of life rather than just quantity of space. Plan for your home’s greatness today!