Home Builders in Knoxville TN | Saddlebrook Properties
Great Room vs. Family Room – What’s the Difference?

Great Room vs. Family Room – What’s the Difference?

Although the exterior of American homes has changed little over the past few decades, the interiors are continuing to evolve. We’ve gone from structures comprising of one or two rooms to homes based on 5-bedroom house plans, formal reception areas, and basements that have morphed from storage and laundry spaces into games rooms, party rooms, playrooms, dens and home theaters. One of the big changes in the past few years is the shift from the traditional family room to a great room. Some may say we’re going back to olden times, when a great room was a primary feature in large aristocratic homes, but today’s version is somewhat different.

The Open Plan Influence

Open-plan homes like the Aiken have changed the way we think about the spaces where we spend the most time. With energy efficiency and HVAC now an accepted norm in modern homes, it’s no longer necessary to build houses with small, closed up rooms to conserve warmth. Now, we can open the layout up, enjoy lower materials and labor costs as a result, and experience better access to all the home’s feature areas.

Family Room Fever

A family room has always meant a very specific area of the home. It’s a casual space designed for the inhabitants of the house born out of a split-off from the living room, which was typically more formal and kept tidy for guests. The family room, however, was where the kids and pets could play on the floor, scatter their toys around, watch TV and generally spend quality time with their parents as a family. It was often located near the kitchen so Mom could keep an eye on the kids while cooking, and the close proximity and clear sight lines meant homeowners had to think carefully about the colors and finishes used in the kitchen.

Gain a Great Room

In a home with a great room, however, the entire lower floor is often part of a large open-plan area, with the living or family room and dining area all encapsulated in it. It’s effectively the “heart” of the home, and the spatial zones shown on 5-bedroom house plans often get demarcated by the style of furniture, area rugs and wall colors. Some of the features you may find in a great room are:

  • Home office space
  • Library corner  
  • Toy zone
  • Arts and crafts nook  

The living room section is usually less formal when it forms part of a great room, because it’s not possible to separate it completely from the other areas.

Keeping the Kitchen Close

Great rooms often have the kitchen incorporated into the space, too. This makes for easy amalgamation of activities, and a family looking at 5-bedroom house plans likely needs a fair amount of space. And when it comes to decorating, the whole room can usually be viewed at a glance. This makes a neutral background color helpful, and lends itself to using colors and patterns in sections. Accent wall colors can help differentiate the spaces, and well-planned furniture arrangements are essential to define the different zones.

For more information about the Aiken or other new home styles, please contact Saddlebrook Properties at 1-865-966-8700.


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