Spectacular views, towering ceilings and majestic fireplaces are the classic hallmarks of a great room. Decorating an open area with so many predominant natural features must be approached with the goal of enhancing the existing splendor.
"’Rustic elegance’ is the phrase we often use to describe the interior decor of the great room. Our clients are looking to add character and charm through the addition of furnishings in distressed finishes mixed with soft chenilles, particularly deep reds and warm sage hues," says Deena Brendon, owner of Piney Creek Interiors in Whitefish, Montana. Brendan mentions that leather furniture accented with fringe and imprinted with designs and tooling techniques is also higher on her list of favorites.
As you assemble your decorating ideas, remember that the great room often symbolizes the overall theme of the home. For example, adding extraordinarily colorful Kilim rugs on both floors and walls immediately sets a Southwestern flair which can then be completed with accents, such as woven pillows set against Native American wool blankets. These decorative elements can be easily carried throughout bedrooms, lofts, and baths.
Begin decorating with a multi-tiered approach starting with the most predominant furnishings, including sofas, large chairs, decorative rustic lighting and tables. The rest of your furnishings will be much easier to place. Do you prefer dark or light woods? Rustic leather or elegant velvets? Does the room require lighter tones due to dark walls and floors? Will you add antiques or existing furniture from another home?
The substantial size of these rooms can make them appear very formal. Creating several intimate "cozy" areas within this overall space can dramatically change its appeal. A fireside gathering area, a niche with a luxurious chair for reading, or a sitting area near the kitchen for conversations are ways to encourage warmth.
If you don’t have an exact vision in mind how to make it all come together, then get inspired by collecting pictures of your favorite looks, furnishings and decor ideas. Where and how do you find just the right furnishings?
- Resource guides — all home-related magazines have them. These guides are designed to give you all the information needed to find a product you like.
- Magazine advertising sections are filled with vendors that make everything from light fixtures to hand-carved sculptures.
- The Internet enables you to go shopping nationally at your fingertips.
- Log-home shows have a wealth of information. The best part is that you can physically see and touch the products.
- Interior decorators have access to furniture lines and products that often can’t be found in the retail marketplace.
Once you’ve successfully completed the layout of your major furnishings, it’s time for the finishing touches. Artwork, side tables, window treatments, pillows and specialty pieces are essential elements for expressing your own style.
These details are interchangeable, enabling you to refresh your decor from time to time with little or no expense.
The key to successful decoration is finding ways to express personal connection with your home.