Floor Plan Tips for Great Rooms

Experts offer 5 tips for designing the perfect great room for your log home.

Floorplan Perfection - Great Room
This open, shared space is what lures many people to the log home lifestyle in the first place. Images of family time spent around a game board or sharing a bottle of wine in front of a cozy fire are a draw to be sure, but smart planning goes a long way to long-term satisfaction with your great room.

We asked five design experts—log home general contractor and author Robbin Obomsawin, rustic-design author Ralph Kylloe, architects Edward Carr and Dennis Lippert and floorplan columnist Katherine Salant—for tips that will maximize space and function in the great room.

Here's what they had to say.

1. Trophy great rooms with huge ceilings are out, according to Ralph. "Human beings are social creatures, so keep ceilings low to foster intimacy and create warmth," he says.

With his architect's eye, Edward suggests making the great room's width and length nearly the same, then treating the space as quadrants with differing functions: cooking, eating, view seating and fireplace seating/game space.
great room design tips
3. "Be sure an adjoining deck or porch doesn't obstruct your view," warns Dennis. "Consider eliminating view-blocking balusters and opt for clear, tempered glass instead."

For most families, the great room's true focal point is not the fireplace but the television, so Katherine believes you should begin this room's layout with TV placement. Plan how to avoid glare on the screen without having to close curtains and block the outside view.

"Decide what furniture you'll use before choosing the layout of your great room," advises Robbin. "Avoid having poor traffic flow just because you needed three more inches to fit your sofa against a wall." She says window size and placement also are fundamental considerations. exclusive web content
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