New homes are getting bigger again, after years of trending smaller. That’s according to a survey done by the American Institute of Architects done earlier this year. What’s more, a few new features are brightening up the designs and bringing nature closer to everyday life.
The old “greatroom” that serves as general purpose family room, living room, and dining room is not dead, but it’s being transformed. The “Indoor/Outdoor” room with abundant convertible doors that lead to a patio is bringing big spaces to a whole new level. Fireplaces and a lot of natural materials shape the look into an organic, coherent whole.Decorating such a space can be a challenge, but today’s “eclectic look” of mix ‘n’ match is moving up a notch to meet it. It’s a look that can be used to brighten up even older homes that have a strong connection to the outdoors.
Comfort is very much a part of the look, defined by natural colors and textures like real hardwoods wherever possible. The trend is for furniture that looks just as much in place indoors as outdoors, emphasizing timeless designs that can match with anything else.
Fitting a formal dining room table and related pieces into this style requires attention to detail, but it’s not hard. The look and feel of real hardwoods is a key part of it, bringing both elegance and natural color indoors. It’s also important to stay whimsical and free, not being afraid to match up pieces that otherwise may not seem to fit all that well.
Think of it as a marriage between modern life and the great outdoors — something old, something new, and each brings its own personality to a complicated relationship. In the end its about being comfortable and warm more than standing out to make its own statement.
Surveys can help identify trends and point to the latest looks and colors, but for any of us it’s about what we want to live with. The new “Indoor/Outdoor” rooms make a great opportunity to create a beautiful and comfortable space that pulls many things together. There is a lot of room for simple craftsmanship and the beauty of real hardwood to make the look functional, warm, and ultimately a great trend for the old Greatroom.