5 steps to even better great room designsWith so many generations of Americans avid Do It Yourself (DIY) enthusiasts, members of each generation often have different names for things. Take the great room; it is also called the den, the family room, and the TV room. Whatever you call it, the great room is the Grand Central terminal of your home.

If you are getting ready to redo your family room, there are many simple ways to freshen it up that are economical and give you a room that looks as if it were the cover story for a decorating magazine.

Following are a few tips to help you get going.

Redecorate with Furniture that Moves

Movable furniture such as coffee tables and end tables with casters are easy to move when you need more space. Playing games such as Twister, Charades or Pictionary is more fun if there is room to play without fear of crashing into furniture.

Create Small Areas within the Great Room

Great Rooms are places for the family to gather by itself or with friends. Since it is inevitable that some people will cluster, but still be in the same place as others, it makes sense to create spaces in your great room. Try using two chairs with a table between them as a place for more intimate conversations. The couch and a couple of nearby chairs make for a “conversation pit” area for a family get together, and the gossip that always occurs about those not in attendance, a comfortable place.

The trick is, people like being in the same place as everyone else, but need a quick getaway to another part of the room for doing homework, crafts, or watching TV. To make your great room, er…

…great, create small areas that blend together so that they are inclusive or intimate.

Patterns are the Rage

If you are one of those folks who believes that patterns have to match, you need understanding that is simply not true. You can and should use a variety of patterns that may not match, but they do complement each other. Another great reason to use patterns in the great room, is that they do not show a stains or drips as clearly as a plain seat or sofa cushion. So, a geometric rug with a pattern of circles on some of the upholstery is an excellent way to liven up your great room.

Stay Organized

Make it easy for kids to put their stuff away after they have played with them. One idea is to use wicker or canvas containers on open shelving for storage of each family member’s great room stuff. It makes it easy for the kids to clean up and saves parents from battling with their children over clean up. In addition, baskets are useful to hold magazines and family games.

Don’t Hide the TV

Televisions are no longer bulky, ugly appliances. They do not need you to hide them, if fact, they display them proudly on the wall and positioned so that everyone or nearly everyone can see it. Today’s TV is more than just a broadcast or even cable receiving console or gaming device. Many people use TV for playing music with music videos, as monitors for their computers, or as screens for playing interactive games. So, why hide the entertainment center of the great room? After all, it is the place the family goes for enjoying the entertainment together.

Often, homeowners get frustrated when trying to combine the dining room section of the great room and the gathering part of the great room together. The secret to making your great room look larger and the dining area and the social area to integrate well is to use the same paint throughout both areas. Next, have the pattern and colors of the dining room chairs compliment the living area upholstery. This has the two areas flow into each other when you look at it and creates a space that is unique since you designed it and put it together.

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