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How to Create an Inviting Great Room

May 22, 2020
Blue velvet accent chairs in Pathways great room.

A modern great room can bring together friends and family in a variety of ways. Combining the roles of more traditional, compartmentalized spaces such as the family room, living room, or study, the great room has become an all-encompassing place to seek refuge and comfort with family and pets. When designing this particular room, it is important to focus on how the room will be used for you and your needs.

Before you can begin the fun task of choosing your décor pieces and accessories, you must first identify the goal of your great room. Will it live better as a formal setting or more casual atmosphere? What will be the main focal point for the room – the television for lounging or the fireplace for relaxing? What type of seating best fits your goal – a comfy sofa for two or three people or stylish accent chairs? How do you want to zone the space – where does the reading nook, bar area, or game table go?

Sheila Moffat, the Director of Toronto’s Inspiration Studio, has her top five tips on how to make your great room a cozy, inviting space that your guests and family can all enjoy.  

Incorporate soft surfaces

Your home should be the place you feel most comfortable and relaxed, but you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. It’s more about softening the look by integrating plush fabrics into your design with your furniture, pillows, and area rugs. A stylish velvet couch is the perfect solution to create a high-style, welcoming look that is surprisingly durable and easy to clean. 


Use natural materials

Accessories in your great room are the perfect way to bring in a touch of the outdoors. Focus on materials such as seagrass, wood, rattan, and jute. Think baskets to house throw blankets, a statement making coffee table, braided mirrors, or hanging wall décor. Nature-inspired trends are an easy way to add some style and warmth to your great room and bring the outdoors inside.

Keep paint in a medium tone

Choose a colour the fits your goal for how the space will feel and live. Looking for a sophisticated, moody, romantic feeling? Go for Benjamin Moore’s Excalibur Gray. Want a deeper, subdued vibe? Benjamin Moore’s Wolf Gray fits best. There are plenty of modern paint colours to set the tone of your space and help your room live how you envision.


Layered lighting.

Getting the lighting right in your home is an important aspect in making it both a comfortable and functional space. Different styles of lighting accomplish different goals and layering your lighting is the perfect way to create a cohesive and functional lightscape. Focus on three types of lighting – ambient (such as recessed lighting), task lighting (a stylish table or floor lamp), and accent lighting (a beautiful statement pendant). Combining all these layers allows you to customize and change the feel of your great room.

Area rugs to pull everything together 

Area rugs are a simple but stylish way to define space within your larger great room. Consider both the feel you want and purpose of the area you are defining, then select a rug that meets those needs. An area rug can ground the space and set the tone for the room so get creative - there are many textures, colours and patterns to choose from!

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