How To Furnish A Great Room

Does your new home or apartment have an open floor plan? Also known as a great room, this open space can be a challenge to furnish and decorate. You want each area of the great room – living room, dining room, and kitchen – to be easily discernable from the other areas of the room. At the same time, you must be aware that each area will be viewable from any angle in the great room and must work both independently and together.

Furnishing a great room might seem like a chore, but when you follow these tips you will be able to design your new home or apartment without making it appear cluttered or forced. Here are some of the best tips and tricks for furnishing and decorating your great room.

Choose an interior design style for the entire great room

It’s great to be eclectic, but if you want to have a mix of styles you should do so throughout the entire great room. Choosing a different interior design style for each area will give you abrupt transitions that look forced together when the great room is viewed as a whole.

If you don’t want to commit to a particular time period, look for transitional pieces rather than mixing from the extremes of other styles. Other more eclectic design styles include Bohemian, shabby chic, and vintage.

Find a common theme

You don’t have to make every room in your great room look the same. (In fact, you should never do this.) At the same time, you do need the entire area to share a baseline common theme. Without this cohesion, the transition between areas will be far too abrupt and off-putting.

Your theme can be a particular color palette, a season, a hobby, or other interest. Don’t be afraid to use bold colors or patterns, but make sure that the overall look of the great room is still cohesive or complimentary.

You do not need to have all of these design elements, but you should use at least one of these themes to merge the rooms together. Even if you don’t use the same colors for each room, you should tie all of the room’s furnishings together with wall art or a mural that brings all of those colors together naturally.

Research online furniture retailers and choose an online furniture store

You could go to your local furniture dealer to get your new great room furniture, but you will probably have a pretty limited selection and the prices will not be the best. You’ll also undoubtedly end up paying for shipping, sometimes a ridiculous amount. Online furniture stores give you a larger selection that you can browse without pressure in the comfort of your own home. These online stores also give you better deals overall.

When you discover affordable furniture at an ecommerce furniture store that you really like, get an idea of the sizes, styles, and types of home furniture that you will have to choose from there. Being armed with one common catalog to look through, you’ll be able to order all of your furniture for the great room from one retailer, one order, and one delivery.

Look for online furniture stores that offer financing, free delivery, and discounts for buying multiple pieces in a collection or brand. Look for furniture sites that also have clearance sections and frequent sale events for even more savings.

It’s your space to use as you wish

There is no reason you can’t adapt your great room to your needs or the needs of the rest of your household. Yes, a great room is traditionally divided between a dining room, kitchen, and living room, but that doesn’t mean you have to use the space in that way.

Get creative and design a layout that works for you and your family. You can then go through online furniture catalogs to get a better idea of the pieces you might want to make it all work the way you wish. Some great ideas for the space in your open floor plan are a home office, an open play area, a corner art studio, or a reading corner.

Determine how much space you need for each “room” of the open space

Before you start hunting for home furniture for your new great room, you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the amount of space you have to dedicate to dining, living, kitchen, or other open areas. Take careful measurements of each “room,” and use those measurements to block out the individual areas on a diagram.

Whether you draw the great room and block out the spaces in pencil or use a computer or mobile app, using such models will allow you to manipulate shapes representing the actual size of the furniture you want to get so that you can make sure you aren’t getting too many furnishings. It is very easy to overestimate the amount of usable space you have in a great room.

When you are measuring the size of your dining area and living room area, don’t forget to leave sufficient walkways. You should have at least 18 inches between all furnishings and appliances in the great room, including in the kitchen. If anyone in your household or frequently visits your home requires mobility aids like canes or wheelchairs, your paths should be 36 inches wide.

Buy from the same furniture brand or collection

The top furniture brands offer complete collections of furniture that include pieces for different rooms in your home. These matched sets are the easiest way to get furniture that will easily distinguish the areas of your home while still pulling the entire great room together into an aesthetic whole.

Although the sets are “matched,” these collections probably won’t look identical from room to room. Instead, furniture brands have learned that people don’t want their furniture to match exactly. To meet the demand of the new trend, manufacturers are developing home furniture collections that are complementary rather than using the same prints or colors.


Tags: brand, collection, furnish, furniture, interior design, room, style, theme

Author: Maja Markovski


A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


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