Build your perfect 'Great Room' as a destination for visitors

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized


Published on November 23, 2010 with No Comments

By Dan Steiner

At Steiner Homes, we enjoy designing Great Rooms that people love and making them inviting for gathering with family and friends. My wife and I are very relational, so we try to set up our Great Room so that it is a place where we can gather, talk and laugh. Here are some items that we focus on when building a “great” room:
•Our couches and chairs are pulled out from the walls and they face each other. The center focus is our fireplace, which is always decorated for the season. The seating is intentionally close and facing each other. We found that one or two floor outlets are practical for putting lamps alongside couches and chairs. You will enjoy warm lighting without someone tripping over cords behind the seating. We put a coffee table with unique builder magazines on top for great conversation starters.
•Tall windows with transoms over the top make the room warm and bright. We put lighting on the exterior of the house outside the great room so that in the evenings you can watch the snow, wind, and rain. I find it very relaxing to watch snow fall against the trees. As a builder, I try to encourage people to have the Great Room, Kitchen, and Master Bedroom facing south, whenever possible. This gives great light, warmth, and sunsets to your main living areas. Large windows make all the difference.
•Fireplaces with a raised hearth are both favored and inspiring. A raised hearth is perfect because it provides seating and a great spot to warm-up, with a nice fire going.
We install fireplaces where you can burn real wood or ceramic logs, depending on your preference. A nice deep mantle gives you a place for candles, seasonal garland, and flower vases. We will display a fancy mirror above the mantle, so that the light from the candles or lighted garland shines off of the mirror. Make sure to put an electrical outlet above the mantle, so that you can plug-in a small lamp or your garland. We delight in the smell of a real fire and Yankee candles burning.
•If possible, a cathedral or vaulted ceiling in the Great Room can present an “open concept feel.”
Warm paint colors that aren’t too bright seem to make the room more inviting. We also try to connect the Great Room to the Kitchen/Breakfast Nook by columns and arches or by placing a half-wall between the rooms.
A half-wall is gratifying in that furniture can be set, but you still feel a part of what’s happening in the Kitchen.
Some people don’t want to eat in the Great Room, but my wife and I want people to have a snack or a glass of wine, without us being upset about it. There are two ways to deal with this. First, is to have wood flooring with a large rug in the middle. This adds a small amount of noise, but feels rich and warm. Second, is to install a type of carpet that is easily cleaned. We installed a short tight woven commercial carpet that is very easily cleaned, even with a wine spill. We love our carpet and it feels and looks comfortable.
•Quite often, we build bookshelves alongside the fireplace.
This provides a great area to decorate and to have interesting books close at hand.
Built-in shelves can be fairly inexpensive to build, but are a terrific feature to the Great Room. We build the majority of our fireplaces either with stone, tile, or brick surrounds, and/or a limestone cap on the hearth. Side columns and a well-built mantle seem to anchor the fireplace as a focal point. Occasionally, we take the stone all the way to the ceiling, and that provides a stunning effect.
•Some people prefer a television in their Great Room.
We try to decide on a location before we build, so that we can get an outlet and cable into the wall, for a wall-mount flat screen.
We have found that a television over the fireplace works well, if you lower the hearth, then it is not too high. We will put a 2-inch conduit pipe through the fireplace wall to run your cables. That way, if there are any changes in cable technology, that won’t force you to tear your drywall apart.
We have pictures on our website, so that you can see many of these ideas. All of our homes have some level of customization, so that you can design the Great Room that you love. Our website features over forty floor plans with pricing, along with our Standard Features. We work very hard at promptly designing the house of your dreams, with your input in mind. Our customers have been very pleased with our pricing and staying within their budget. Please visit our website at to learn more about our company. It has always been the dream of my wife and me to build unique, cool homes that people love to live in.

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