Designing Zones in a Great Room
A combined living/dining area is carved into a modern space for entertaining and relaxing.
Peter and Anna decided to undergo a full-scale renovation of their home to double the amount of living space. But just when they thought the end of their work was near, they ran out of steam, and ideas, while attempting to finish the last room, their great room.
They wanted the combination living/dining room to be the focal point of their house -- a hip, modern space in which they could relax, entertain and have fabulous dinner parties. The room was uninviting and bland, with walls that were still covered in primer because the couple couldn't decide on a color. So I decided to turn this merely great room into a fantastic room, with heaps of style and substance.
The room is open-concept in nature, so the challenge was to seamlessly connect the living and dining areas to each other and to the adjoining kitchen. I started by painting the whole room in a subtle, neutral shade and then set about creating zones that would differentiate the living and dining areas but have them work together in their shared space.
In the living area I created a stunning feature wall. On half the wall I put up rich cherry-toned wood cabinetry that discreetly incorporates a media center and matches the cabinetry in the kitchen; on the other half, I installed a streamlined gas fireplace with a modern facade of back-painted glass and a surround of river-stone tiles.
I anchored the space with a gorgeous faux-sheepskin area rug and brought in some comfortable furniture: two cotton-striped club chairs, a caramel-colored, L-shaped sectional and a variety of modern and traditional accent pieces with wood and mirror finishes.
I generally use only one feature wall per room, but this large space required more drama, so I added a second in the dining area. Along this wall I created a supersize upholstered banquette and seating bench in a dreamy shade of pool blue. Next to the banquette I placed a dark wood dining-room table with new tan and green upholstered chairs that speak to the furniture in the living room.
To create a seamless flow between the two zones, I put up a whole wall of light gauzy sheers in a soft striped pattern. They're flanked by luxurious, handcrafted cream-colored drapes.
The ceiling was already full of recessed lights, so I simply added small puck lights near the banquette and a chandelier over the dining-room table for some added pizzazz.
Basement Renovation Transforms a Cold Space Into a Warm Family Room
See the before and after photos from another amazing Candice Olson basement makeover, and get tips on how to turn your home's lowest level into a welcoming place to gather.
A Great Room With a View
Designer Mary Bokovoy explains how she transformed a dining room, kitchen and living area into an updated, modern space with a gorgeous view.
Stylish Great Room Redo
Designer Michael Abrams provided a much needed makeover for this outdated room.
Contemporary Classic Living Room
A traditional yet modern makeover calms down an overly busy space.
Sophisticated Loft Living Room
Designer Gioi Tran transforms a generic loft living room into a modern living space with subtle tones and textures.
From Victorian Tearoom to Cozy Living Room
Elegant fixtures, traditional finishes and comfortable furniture transform golfers’ gathering place.
Living Room Makeover on a Budget
HGTV Magazine met a family who jettisoned everything but their leather sofa and a round mirror—then did a total revamp on a budget.
Contemporary Great Room and Dining Room
Designer Jeff Tohl combines the functions of living, dining and cooking into one open great room.
Contemporary Living Room Makeover
Designer Jean Larette shares her story of how she gave a contemporary update to a living room that was stuck in the past.
Living Room/Dining Room Makeover: From Gutted to Gorgeous
Candice Olson transforms an empty large main floor into a great room — in more ways than one.
Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.
Photo Friday: Cooking and Dining in the Great Outdoors
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 28, 2015 by Beth Rucker
This or That: Pick Your Favorite Vintage Find From Fixer Upper
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 27, 2015 by Farima Alavi
6 Essentials for the Perfect Tailgate Party + Win the 1 Thing You Really Need
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 25, 2015 by Farima Alavi
Discover the Winning Hue in Our Color Vs. Color Competition!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 24, 2015 by Kayla Kitts
Copy This Room: Get Beach Flip Style in Your Living Room
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 24, 2015 by Shannon Petrie
4 Ways to Personalize Your Dorm Desk + College Goodie Giveaway!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 21, 2015 by Farima Alavi
The Easiest (and Cutest!) DIY Dorm Roommate Mugs Ever
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 20, 2015 by Marianne Canada