A great room is an area that combines several different spaces into one—the family room, the television area, the living room, and the computer space. Some great rooms, which usually boast a two-story ceiling, may even have an area for a table and chairs, while others boast a walkway or loft area that looks down on the great room.

It may be located relatively near the kitchen and typically features a large fireplace that more often than not extends all the way up to the two-story ceiling.


The best feature of the great room is that it is flexible. One large area encompasses many smaller rooms creating a place in the home where everyone can be “together,” no matter what activity they are involved with.  The great room draws people together in a time when busy schedules compete for each person’s attention.

Jamie Lowe, Managing Broker for MLS Realty, agrees: “The advantage of the great room over the traditional compartmentalized rooms is flexibility,” he says. “Many homeowners these days get very little use from their living rooms and dining rooms. Great rooms in combination with large kitchens offer unparalleled spaces for entertaining and daily family life.”


Great rooms are usually found in larger U.S. homes built toward the end of the century.  In fact, older homes never have great rooms unless they were created as an addition.

Smaller homes may have a family room, a more common choice in the past, which is similar to the great room, except in size and ceiling height. A family room is similar to a living room; in fact, in some homes it replaces the more formal, and seldom used, living room.

The family room is almost always adjacent to the kitchen and typically features a fireplace, but at a smaller scale than a great room fireplace.  The room is generally located at the rear of the home so often has an exit to the deck or backyard.