Great Room Layouts

Great Rooms and How to Make Them Work

Great Rooms are “great” because they join all the main rooms – kitchen, living room, dining room and foyer into one.

Great Rooms are not so great because they join all the mains room- kitchen, living room, dining room and foyer into one.

You see, the problem with Great Rooms are they are this great passive volume of area that works as gathering places for the whole family, but with only four walls it makes furniture layout a brain teaser. Let go of the idea that everything must be against a wall and create a Great Room that is great {Tony the Tiger GREAT!!}.

The Four Steps to Great Room Layouts

Here is a four step process to layout your great room (or any room for that matter)

  1. Great Room Layouts Tip #1 – Find the focal point. The focal point can be a fireplace, the entertainment area, artwork, a window, or whatever you want, but it should be something that is the first thing your eye goes to. In most Great Rooms it is a fireplace, but if you don’t have a fireplace or any other natural focal point, create one with an entertainment center or some large artwork. Keep in mind the Great Room is really four rooms in one and you may need more than one focal point.  In the sketch, the fireplace/television is the focal point.
  2. Great Room Layouts Tip #2 – Create “zones” around the focal point. Once you find your focal point(s), pretend there are walls where you are  placing furniture. In the sketch a seating area is created around the fireplace/television focal point. This is perfect for TV viewing and conversation.  Notice how it is across from the fireplace and follows an imaginary symmetrical axis.
  3. Great Room Layouts Tip #3 – Organize the flow. Notice how the natural flow of traffic works in your room. Where are the doors and openings? Make sure there is plenty of space to walk around to get from one zone to the other.  It is important to make sure the path of travel flows well.  What problem do you notice with option 1 and option 2? Yeah, the path of travel is interrupted by the sofa by the sliding door and the sectional completely cuts off the kitchen and dining room. What is the point of having a Great Room if you cut off the openness, right? Although Option 3 is better, it is not the best solution.
  4. Great-Room Layouts Tip#4 – Symmetrical or Asymmetrical? Most rooms function and feel better if you create symmetry. All these sketches creates a harmonious room where there is plenty of comfortable seating for TV viewing and conversation.  But the last one is the winner because it has the best flow. You can see more ideas for your Great Room Layout in my eBook “Your Room in the Nude.”



This sketch was for a client who was having trouble figuring out how to layout her Great Room. We meet with her for a Remodel Clarity Session and these were the sketches she received at the end of the session. She now has a clear vision of how to layout the room. We discussed what furniture she should keep, what she should replace, and what she needs to add.

If you are looking for some help designing your Great Room, schedule a Remodel Clarity Session and get clear on what you need to do next.


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