Thursday, September 16, 2010

Definition: Great room

Many of us have a general idea of what a Great room is, and even what a Great room isn't in our homes. Loosely defined, the Great room is a room that usually is multi purpose, combining atleast two specific rooms into one open space. It may or may not contain high vaulted ceilings. This is in part because not all homeowners loved the high ceilings due to the added expense of heating and cooling a large room with a high ceiling. Construction companies soon offered both vaulted and standard ceilings in their home designs.
The great room was part of a construction design to modernize the living spaces in homes to accomodate casual living with multiple functions. As more and more families sought out open spaces, the Great room did away with the formal living room, and/or the formal dining room in many cases to combine a large open space ideal for large families, and casual entertaining possibilities. In some cases the great room replaced the Den in the home. People were migrating away from dark, heavily wooded rooms that were usually on the back of the home, instead opting for Great rooms and bright, sun filled Sun rooms, also known as Florida rooms.

Things to consider- If you are building a new home and are interested in having a Great room there are a few design factors to take into account. Great rooms are wonderful ways to open up the space in a home. However depending on what type of a layout you opt for, a Great room can be inconvenient. How so? Well if the Great room is a combination of living space and your kitchen,there will be extra effort involved with keeping your kitchen presentable. That doesn't present a problem to everyone, but if it does there are ways to work around this. Consider an alternate design combining perhaps a dining area with the living area keeping the kitchen out of the instant path of vision. Many newer home constructions today are eliminating formal dining rooms that are seperate from the living spaces. In most cases it will come down to what the home buyer and builder can work with.

Following trends-
Its not always a "win" when home owners follow currently trending cycles in home design, but the Great room has in fact been around a long time, and will not likely fade from the current trends any time soon. There are some home features still on the table as to whether they will fade out or stay.  The Foyer, Theater/media rooms,dens come to mind. That doesn't mean these aren't desirable in the eyes of the home buyer, it really is a question of what they are willing to pay to have them. The den is also being phased out as people are opting for seperate home offices. The latest craze in all things electronic is where we have seen such a huge interest generated in media/theatre rooms. While they are wildly popular, it is yet to be determined whether they will become a part of the standard home builder package in the future. The Foyer, although still being built in many new homes today, many home buyers simply see it as a waste of space in the home. Its still visually speaking  a nice touch, but again, not the most functional use of space in homes today.

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