Great Room Design Considerations

We think the great room is a natural fit for the log home, and our readers seem to agree. Consistently, “great room” is one of the leading search terms on our site. This comes as no surprise, since the average great room today occupies one-fifth of the total floor plan of a home. With such a great amount of space in one room, proper planning is essential for the great room to function properly. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when planning a great room.



Create Functional Zones

Since great rooms average around 500 square feet, they are large enough that you will probably want to create distinct zones within the room. While the room will not be partitioned by walls, you can arrange furniture and rugs to create distinct spaces within the room. For example, by centering a dining set on a rug and a sofa and chairs on another rug, you will create the feel of separate dining and entertaining spaces while maintaining the airiness of a great room.


The fireplace and pool table pictured here are in different functional zones.

Consider Traffic Flow

Since the great room is tasked with taking on the roles of many other rooms like living rooms, dining rooms, and even studies, traffic flow is a top concern. The great room will usually abut the kitchen and may even be the primary means of reaching the kitchen from the rest of the home. When planning the room and furniture layout, try to keep traffic from interrupting activities. If you followed the previous advice on creating different zones, then routing traffic between zones is better than having traffic flow through a zone.



The placement of furniture in this great room promotes good traffic flow.

Manage the Room’s Scale

The great room can feel overwhelmingly large, especially if it also has a cathedral ceiling. This can make it necessary to scale other items in the room to match. If a fireplace is in the middle of a cathedral wall, then it will need to be built on a grand scale to feel appropriate for the room. On the other hand, if the fireplace is in a corner it can be built on a smaller scale while still feeling at place in the room.


Since the wood stove is in a corner, it does not need to be massive to fit the room.

Use a Feature Wall

Since the room will have a great deal of wall space, creating a feature wall that holds more visual interest can help define the room. In a classic English home, the fireplace would be the focus of the feature wall. If you have a great view, then a bank of windows on that wall would be a great choice. The feature wall should reflect your style and make your time in the room all the more appealing.


The fireplace can be a great focus for a feature wall.

Given the large role the great room plays in the modern log home, its design considerations cannot be summed up in one blog post. If you’re looking to build your own log home complete with the perfect great room, please contact our designers to get started today.