18 Great Rooms That Make a Strong Case for Open Floor Plans

How to decorate the hardest working room in the house.

great room ideas
Studio Life/Style

The great room is easily the hardest working room in the house, as its entire purpose to serve multiple key functions all in one shared space. The goal is to make everyday living just a little easier, and to make a communal space a little more enticing. As a result, they can present some extra design challenges. With more moving parts and pieces to the puzzle, great rooms are that much harder to decorate. Layout, color schemes, and scale... So if you're looking for some inspiration, keep reading for eighteen great rooms design ideas and decorating tips.

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Alexander Design
Pack It All In

In this beach house, designer Alexander Design made the family room feel upscale and sophisticated yet down to earth, livable, and coastal. This great room truly has it all, from a dining area to a formal hang out spot and even a pool table.

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SIMON UPTON
Give Each Zone Distinctive Qualities

Functioning as both the formal dining and living room, it's the ultimate entertaining space. The massive blue carpet helps unify the space since it stretches from the eating zone to the living area. The darker dinning chairs and light sofa and coffee table, on the other hand, help to distinguish them from one another.

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Leanne Ford Interiors
Spread Things Out

Leanne Ford Interiors creates separate "rooms" defined by furniture groupings to make the great room feel both cohesive and functional. Each space stands its own while also working together for a harmonious whole. The kitchen blends in and disappears into the background while the dining nook and living rooms contrast in both color and design.

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Anson Smart
Use the Same Colors In Different Materials

Designed by Arent & Pyke, the icy gray marble material in the kitchen jumps into the living room in the form of a velvet texture-rich area rug in a similar gray hue. Then the light blush sofa beyond the kitchen is reflected in the rosy sheer curtains in the dining room. The caramel leather dining chairs add some contrast without clashing with the aforementioned cohesion.

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Studio Life/Style
Make It Family-Friendly

For a space that is both cozy and timeless yet fun and contemporary, take note from this Studio Life/Style-designed great room. This layout is also perfect for a family since the adults can be in the kitchen while still being close to the kids.

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2LG Studios
Float Your Furinture

This may sound obvious, but in a great room, it's usually best to float your furniture. Resist the urge to push all of your furniture up against the walls—if you create space behind the furniture, it makes the room look wider than it is and helps separate the different areas based on function. In this living room designed by 2LG Studio, the the floating sofa separates the lounge area from the kitchen and dining space.

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Simon Watson
Evaluate Scale

You don't need a massive space to have a great room. Indeed, sometimes you have to combine your dining and living spaces in apartments. To make it work, opt for a smaller bistro table and use a banquet on the other side of the kitchen island to work on a a sette for hanging out as well as a dining seat.

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Dustin Askland
Create Micro Levels

In an open floor plan space, make the sitting area feel like its own separate hangout zone by turning it into a sunken family room, i.e. a conversation pit. Designed by Elizabeth Roberts, this space feels like a private haven fit for big viewing parties thanks to the full carpeting and depressed flooring. The custom upholstering also speaks the warm tones of the nearby kitchen (like that gorgeous bench), as do the exposed beams, ensuring that it doesn't feel totally unconnected.

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Anson Smart
Use a Bright Rug

Draw the eye to the spaces you want to use for entertaining instead of the working space in the kitchen. In this great room designed by Arent & Pyke, an eye-catching orange rug gets the job done.

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FRANCESCO LAGNESE
Use Consistent Colors

Color climbs all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. And the color scheme is strict throughout.

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Lisa Romerein
Take It Outside

If you have the space for an outdoor area or want to revamp the pool house, use the same principles you'd use inside and take them outdoors. It'll be the perfect place for summer entertaining.

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Lauren Bamford
Separate With a Sofa

In a great room, layout is everything. The clean lines throughout this living room designed by Robson Rak make it hard not to feel relaxed just by looking at it. Even the detail and symmetry of the vertical window pane tracing down to the cushions of the sofa is soothing. Then the green nesting tables bring in some contrast with their rounded shape and varying heights. The white painted shiplap walls make the space feel more livable and approachable.

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Leanne Ford Interiors
Conceal the Kitchen

A tight, neutral color scheme will ensure easy flow. If the open kitchen stands in full view of the entry and the main living areas like it does in this space designed by Leanne Ford, choose materials that won't distract and opt for integrated appliances and features.

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Hecker Gethrie
Stick to the Classics

Here's proof that minimalism doesn't equate to stark modern interiors. Elegant, simple, and right smack dab in the middle of modern and traditional, this great room designed by Hecker Guthrie is a jack of all trades. The classic layout promotes conversation and comfort white the island extension helps transition us from the kitchen to the living space.

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Sara Tramp
Don't Be Too Matchy-Matchy

Emily Henderson matched the throw pillows with the green cabinets in the kitchen, but that's about the only color consistency between the two "rooms." It's a great way to make sure they don't feel completely separate or incompatible but also not looking too matchy-matchy.

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Studio Ashby
Let Art Anchor the Space

Get inspired by a statement-making piece of artwork. In this great room designed by Studio Ashby, the gorgeous abstract painting infuses the entire space with color. The rest of the neutrals throughout the room complement the painting without competing with it.

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open floor plan ideas
Alexander Design
Share the Light

One the greatest things about a great room is that it allows for shared light, especially in a wide-open loft space like this one designed by Alexander Design. Here's proof that minimalism doesn't equate to stark modern interiors. The gorgeous windows let the light pour in, adding warmth to the industrial environment.

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Tom Ferguson
Go All Out

If you're s maximalist at heart, you don't have to play it safe in the great room with neutrals. In this one designed by Arent & Pyke, the dapper Houndstooth sofa works well with the black media credenza in the distance as well as the pendants above the dining room, while the pistachio statement wall complements the color-blocked rug.

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