The main living area is the central core space in your home. It is both public and private – a space that you share with family members and with guests. From the main living room, one should be able to connect easily with dining areas, kitchen, and hallways to bedrooms. The living area should be given top priority in the hierarchy of rooms. Often it is not.
Sometimes the front door opens right into the living room, and the passage deeper into the house cuts right through it. Please! Before you go a step further, stop to imagine how you will furnish and enjoy sitting in a room like this. If you home has this layout, consider some serious surgery to correct this problem. Never allow walkways to cross through the middle of living areas. This creates a division within the space which no amount of furniture placement will help. If you have this floor plan, face up to it, and make the necessary changes before moving on.
Most buyers today prefer two or more living areas. These may include a main living room, plus a family room or den, a study, and a game room. Keep in mind that the trend today is to avoid wasted space. Rooms that are used primarily for display have very little real use and value. Consider converting an unused formal living room to a study. Sometimes a wall can be opened up to bring a seldom used room into a real relationship with the house. This is much cheaper than adding on more space. Remodeling tip: Make better use of the space that you have.
The “greatroom” is a popular layout that combines the living-dining-kitchen space. This open style is efficient in its use of space, combining multiple uses. The house seems bigger than it would if divided into small rooms. People are able to work in the kitchen and talk with family members or guests in the living area. If you can open a kitchen wall to allow a connection between spaces, you will be making a change that most buyers prefer.
If budget allows, a gameroom is a space that serves a multitude of functions. It is a more private living area that is often used for TV watching, computers, pool table, or children’s toys. It is often an upstairs common area that connects to bedrooms. Special media rooms are sometimes added, although the trend today away from little used spaces.
You cannot talk about living areas without considering the flow through rooms. A natural and logical flow will guide people from the front door into the heart of the home – the main living area. The pathway should not wind through the middle of rooms, or make you skirt around furniture. Visitors should not be confused as to where to go. A logical floor plan is crucial to making visitors feel welcome and comfortable in your home. A great living area draws people into it in a natural way, and provides a center for common activities. Remodeling decisions that place great value on this space add value to the home.