New plans & help with great room layout.

mebke33May 14, 2012

We are finalizing our plans for a 5 bedroom,3.5 bathroom home and need some help. We are finding it difficult to come up with a good layout for furnishings in the great room. We hate to put the TV above the fireplace but it seems it may be the best option. Any input would be appreciated. I'll also post the entire plans and any insight about them would be helpful. This is our first build.



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I'd recommend mounting the television *in your current home* at the same height it would be in your new home. Live with it for a few weeks and see if it works for you.

In our current home, we have our television at the correct viewing height (eye level when seated) so I am spoiled. I have watched movies / sporting events at friends' homes where the television is mounted above the fireplace and found it to be extremely uncomfortable to crane my neck backward. The only way to find out if this is an acceptable height for you is to try it out.

(For our build, we've decided to remove the fireplace from our floorplan and instead to build a beautiful built-in to house the television. We never light the fireplace in our current house, and we realized that while we like the look of a fireplace, having one wasn't worth it if it would make using our home uncomfortable.)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 1:01PM
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It's difficult to read your wide is the great room? Any chance you could put the TV on the long wall and have the seating float in the middle? This way you could see the fireplace on one wall, TV on the other...and enjoy both from the seating and the kitchen :)

Nice screened porch, too!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Great room is 16x22. We have considered an entertainment center on the long wall left of the fireplace. We were concerned that having 2 focal points in the room may flow well. I like the idea of eliminating the fireplace and putting in a nice built-in.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:53PM
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I'm guessing the fireplace would be gas, since there's no chimney shown on the back elevation. If you replace the great room fireplace with TV/media center...could you put the fireplace below, in the rec room? You could still have the windows on each side, but it would be a great focal point, in that space...very cozy, too.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:01PM
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That was my thought as well. Still have a fireplace in the basement and have the nice built-in as the focal point upstairs.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:10PM
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I think that would look really nice! Are you going to keep the fireplace on the screened porch, upstairs? That's such a lovely feature...can you use it year round?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Our den is exactly that size. We have a fireplace on the long wall (with french doors/windows on either side) and an entertainment center on the back wall (which would be between your two windows. It works great. The walkway is through the middle of the room, with the couch opposite the fireplace against the wall, a club chair facing the entertainment center, and a pair of leather wingchairs flanking the fireplace with an ottoman in front of the fireplace between the chairs. There is also a bench with a back on the back wall for extra seating.

The bigger concern, I think, is that you need 4' behind stools so if you put stools at your peninsula, you only have 12' in width to work with.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:18AM
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Here is an overhead view of our den showing furniture placement.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:20AM
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There are other issues besides just the family room. You have a lot of public spaces right against private spaces with no buffering for sound or privacy. The kitchen is extremely awkward and won't work well as laid out. The great room will be very dark, which would be ideal for a media room, but not necessarily for a family room. The roofline and foundation are both overly complex (as exemplified by the silly garage jog) and contribute greatly to an expensive build without adding much to a gracious layout.

This isn't a plan that I would feel is ready to move forward with without extensive reworking.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Green- I think extra insulation would help with any privacy issues...and with the screened porch, the great room won't have a lot of natural light...making it the perfect place for the TV.

The kitchen is typical of a smaller space, with a corner pantry. I think it's fine, unless there are a lot of people walking through or two cooks...and then a prep sink by the range, might be a nice idea.

As for the layout, the only 'problem' that I see (safety wise) is the front door opening againt the top of the basement stairs. If this will be a high traffic area, then switching the stairs and hall closet placement, might be a good idea.

If the great room is for the TV (and there's plenty of interior lighting) I would gladly have that room a bit darker, for the benefits of a screened porch...especially if it allows more indoor/outdoor living. I'm guessing the view is out the back and what better way to enjoy it...than bug free! :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 11:20AM
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We don't mind losing some natural light in the great room as the screened porch is very important to us to enjoy the lake view. We are planning on insulating walls between bedrooms and gathering areas. GreenDesigns I would be curious about your concerns and what changes you might make. Thank you everyone for your input.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:13PM
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