We believe every room in your home should be great, but some spaces are so grand in size and design that we have to call them, well, great. In its simplest form—and the spaces are anything but simple—a great room is an area that combines elements of traditional spaces like family and living rooms. They’re frequently built near the middle of a home and can have raised ceilings.
Not every home is constructed with a great room, but those who have one (or those hoping to have one) often showcase the owners’ personal style—whether they prefer a certain color palette, a contemporary design, farmhouse vibe or more. Keep reading to see seven great rooms featured in NJ HOME and BERGEN magazines; perhaps you’ll pick up some inspiration that you can use when you’re redoing your own space.
To tame the sheer size of this two-story room in Glen Rock, designer Elizabeth Akguc of Agape Design Group in Franklin Lakes added elements of warmth and comfort. A pair of velvet chairs, a linen blend sofa and an area rug from Kane Carpet bring softness to the room’s overall grandeur. Two pieces of abstract art fill much of the wall.
Pam Cooper of Cooper Interiors in Watchung worked with Judbar Construction to turn the old flat ceiling in this Far Hills room into a 20-foot-tall planked barrel ceiling. A trio of chandeliers, a floor-to-ceiling fireplace with wraparound wood mantel and a cozy shag rug ensure physical warmth and coziness. Pops of red are seen in floral and plaid chairs, elements that Cooper used from the homeowner’s previous residence.
A Wyckoff family uses its vacation home as homebase for their ski retreats, and they asked Rina Capodieci-Quinn of Ramsey’s RCQ Design to give it a “feeling of grandness.” A ski-lodge-caliber fireplace made of hefty chunks of fieldstone is the centerpiece of the great room, while a custom chess table—paired with two wing chairs of mohair and leather—is more than a conversation piece.
To ensure visual interest in this Livingston great room, Karen B. Wolf of her eponymous Short Hills firm had the dark fireplace framed in Calcutta white marble with black streaks. She handpicked other warm touches, from comfy velvet sofas and colorful accent pillows to patterned drapes along the wall of French doors.
The overall design of this Bergen County home earned Kurt Otto of ENV Architects in Englewood Cliffs an American Institute of Architects award. One of the noted elements was the family-slash-great room’s two-sided fireplace, which, despite being made of raw concrete, adds plenty of warmth. Large windows and a series of lighting choices—custom lighted beams and seven black Gabriel Scott pendants—create a contemporary feeling of airiness.
Designer Elizabeth Akguc of Agape Design Group in Franklin Lakes brought a modern vibe to the interior of a traditional Franklin Lakes home. She carried a black-and-gold color palette to the great room, giving the Midas touch to the floor-to-ceiling fireplace and oak beams. A pair of custom Chesterfield-style sofas in black (note the gold accent pillows) and a Safavieh rug add a timeless note to the space.
To open the first floor of this Mahwah home, Michael Mariotti, owner of an eponympous Haworth design firm, removed the wall between the kitchen and the great room. He then softened the look in the great room, selecting a pair of white velvet Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sofas with curved backs and installing rustic wood beams for warmth. The painting of horses, hung over the kitchen entryway, was commissioned by the homeowners.