2019 Idaho Real Estate Blog

Great Room Design Main Idaho Real Estate Insights

The term GREAT ROOM is a space which combines the functionality of several rooms ( the family room, the living room, the study, etc.) into a singular unified room. Great rooms were originally at or near the center of the house and have been common in American homes since the early 1990s.

Great Room Description

Boise Idaho Great Room ConceptThe concept of a great room hearkens back to the romanticized ideal of great halls and great chambers in medieval castles, which contained one large central room where everything happened. Developers of mid-range suburban homes in America tried to solve the problem of the "dead" living room and the split between the living and family rooms by "returning" to the idea of the great room. The general concept is one relatively central room, the crossroads of the house to be used for all of the family functions traditionally split between living and family rooms. The dominant feature of the great room is the raised ceiling, higher than other parts of the house, typically two stories with arching ceilings often referred to in real estate jargon as "cathedral ceilings".

Different great rooms will combine different functions, e.g. some may incorporate a reading area, thus bringing the traditional study function into the scheme of the room, while others may forgo this particular function. Some great room designs incorporate the functions of the traditional dining room as well. In the most general sense, great rooms are typically found on the lower level of American multi-story homes built in the second half of the 20th century. In many houses the great room will also adjoin the kitchen, often separated just by a counter instead of a full wall.

History of the Great Room

The modern great room concept traces back to the "multipurpose room" in modernist homes built by Joseph Eichler in California in the 1950s and 1960s.[4] Developers started building high-end houses with great rooms in the 1970s and 1980s, at first simply adding vaulted entryways to ranch-style houses. An example of this is the house in the television series The Brady Bunch. Great rooms became a nearly ubiquitous feature of suburban homes constructed in America in the 1990s and 2000s.

However, by the mid-2000s, Wall Street Journal reported that home buyers were not as enthusiastic about great rooms. Common complaints included the cost to heat and cool them, that they were difficult to clean and paint due the height and irregular angles, and that they simply were wasted space.

Great rooms were initially popular with homeowners. According to builders asked by the Wall Street Journal, this was because homeowners wanted a way to show off wealth in a growing economy. But about 15 years after great rooms became widely popular in the early 1990s, developers across America were getting fewer demands for houses with great rooms, preferring instead houses with increased floor space and numbers of rooms. Owners of existing homes with great rooms were sometimes opting to add new rooms or lofts in the great room's ceiling space, which can cost as much as 50% less than adding a conventional addition to the house. According to the United States Census Bureau, from 2005 to 2007 the number of expenditures on interior restructuring of homes rose about 40% but spending on new-room additions fell 57%, which a census bureau statistician said can be explained in part by the retrofitting of great rooms. However, much of the motivation for working within the existing footprint of the home may be due to state and municipal regulations which may trigger higher taxes, additional permit hurdles, or septic system redesigns when a building's footprint increases.

In 2007, Money listed great rooms as a fad whose time had passed. The magazine reported that a typical great room costs $150 to $350 per square foot, whereas building conventional rooms cost $125 to $250 a square foot, and concluded that the supposed benefits of a great room (unifying family activities into one room) did not justify its cost and maintenance difficulties.


Search Boise Idaho Homes for Sale

Posted by tlangford at 7/31/2012 2:53:00 PM
Comments (0)
No comments yet, login to post a comment.

Michelle Penick, Build Idaho Client Real Estate Services

Michelle Penick

208.629.0217 |

Contact Agent

follow us in feedly

<August 2019>
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
June 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
October 2005
Current Weblogs
There are no blogs in this Group.
★★★★★ 5 stars - "Our experience with Full Sail/ Build Idaho was great from start to finish! "

Ask a Question | Schedule a Tour | Make an offer

*Full Name:*Phone Number:*Email Address:
*I'm looking for:MessageSource