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The New Great Room – How we Live Now

post by Village Antiques

Do you ever look around your family/great room and notice that even though everyone is physically there, they are all in a world of their own? Perhaps watching TV, on their iPad, texting on the iPhone, or reading, among many other activities. I often find my family in the same room but perusing their own interests. In talking to my friends, and even in design projects, this has become a big new

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topic of great interest.

In the past, families often converged in the great room for a common activity such as watching TV together, or entertaining. Nowadays, the family still converges in the same room but usually everyone focuses on doing different things.

So when designing a great room, I often consider these issues and ask myself and my clients: Do you want a room that promotes togetherness and talking, or a room that allows each person to focus on their own creative pursuits? Often it’s a little of both, but more frequently leaning towards the latter!

So my suggestion on how to embrace this new movement is to start looking at your great room and seeing how you can create pockets of intimacy allowing people to have alone time, but also keep a cohesive flow in your room. How do you that? Here are a few ideas:

Offer seating intended for one person

Instead of larger seating pieces like sectional sofas, use sofas paired with comfortable side chairs and ottomans. This allows people to be seated with a group but not necessarily only for conversation.

via Pinterest


Create several seating areas

My second suggestion is to create different seating arrangements within a room. What do you think about this room? I love the double sofas, but back to back. This really creates separate “zones” or areas for people to comfortably enjoy the same room together.

via Pinterest


Even sofas facing each other can create a zone if they are spaced far apart. In my own home I have two sofas facing each other but they are very far apart so I have two distinct seating areas like the seating arrangement below – except my colors are actually a deeper blue… imagine that – I went dark!


via Pinterest

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Offer “Flexible Furniture”

When doing these sorts of rooms, I like to include smaller tea tables, pull-up ottomans and stools that people can use as a part of the seating area or separately.

As well, I love to include a little open and airy desk or secretary-type piece in lieu of a console, to allow people to read or use a laptop in the same room.

As always, the first step (no matter what kind of project) is to measure your room, get an idea of your dimensions. Then get creative; think outside of the traditional idea of sofa + love seat or sectional and consider how you can offer a variety of cozy seating.

Be sure to share your thoughts on this new movement of how we use our family spaces and the New Great Room ….love it, or wish it was like the ‘old days’?

Leave a comment and let us know… and be sure to share this article if you loved it!

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