The great room: the perfect description of that wonderful room where the family room and kitchen meet! Food is prepared, partaken and good times had. Growing up in the Midwest we had a living room completely separate from the kitchen and we missed a lot of life together. Modern great rooms solve the problem of too much separation of activities and family. Here are some solutions to a few design issues that come with combining the two areas:

  • “My end tables are different from my kitchen cabinets. Do I have to match the woods?” This is where your personality comes in! Some people are more comfortable matching their wood tones, but staying within a “family” of wood colors is the most successful. If your cabinets are a rich, warm alder, your great room tables can be in the range of a deep chestnut to light fruitwood.


  • My great room needs updating. How can I get a smooth transition with new family room furniture when I still have white washed cabinets that I’ll be changing out in a few years? This is the perfect opportunity to begin that transformation. First determine what the long-term style of your great room will be: contemporary, transitional, or traditional. Create your color scheme with your upholstery and sprinkle that color into your kitchen with accessories. Either use painted wood or consider using a material other than wood for your family room tables. Stone, glass or metal tables will update your look without tying you into your existing white washed cabinet color.


  • I want my great room to be comfortable and family friendly, but still stylish. How can I accomplish that? In your great room your family will gather and it can become cluttered. It’s the hub of many activities. There are many multi-functional pieces that look great during the day, but have a completely different purpose when needed. These include our storage ottomans which look great, let you get your feet up, but also have hidden space to put those magazines, throws or toys quickly under cover. Also consider a lift top cocktail table, stylish and functional, but can instantly become a desk for homework, snacks or computer work.

When designing your great room remember that it’s all about family, friends and good times. Think about multi-function pieces that will do double duty and find a color scheme that makes you happy.  You’ll love your new GREAT ROOM when you’re finished…promise!


Julie Coleman


Interior Designer Allied Member ASID

Director of Design – La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Arizona

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Welcome to the home of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® of Arizona. We believe that everyone should “Live life comfortably”. It is our mission to help you do just that with our free In-Home design service offered at all 10 of our Arizona locations.