Majority of new home designs are including family rooms in addition to formal living rooms. They are sometimes labeled as a grand room when the size and scale of the space is beyond normal design criteria. This space is geared toward a more informal living due to the leisure time many families experience in this day and age. It is also a place to entertain close family and friends if your home is without a recreation room.
Family Room Function
The primary function of this room is to provide an area of the home for families to engage in bonding activities. It should be design for the whole family, kids and adults. In smaller homes, it may serve as a multipurpose room that include the activities of a game room or play room. In larger homes, it may act as a room for television entertainment for the whole family. In both cases, it can also act as an extension of the kitchen and breakfast room in a open floor plan design.
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The family room should be located in the living area of the home. Because it is used daily by all household members, it should be near or adjacent to the kitchen. The room design should have as much separation from the formal living and dining rooms as possible. This insures that the family room will not become an extension of the formal spaces for social activities.
Positioning the family room near the service area is another option to consider. However, be mindful of the traffic patterns created when doing so. Make sure that traffic flowing from the garage, mudroom, or laundry room doesn't create the effect of a hallway through the family room. The rooms should coexist with one another and provide a transition leading to each room without breaking the living or functional space. A hallway is not exactly necessary if you arrange room layouts to provide a nature pathway with furniture placement.
Size and Shape
The size and shape of a family room is generally determined by how the room will be used. Space will be limited in a small home, so this room will likely be the largest area in the house. In a larger scale home, the family room may be of significant size but not an overwhelming space when compared to other rooms in the home. The ideal is to get the most square footage possible to be included in this space.
While it isn't an exact science, the family room should at least calculate at or above 250 square feet so that the space can feel comfortable and also accommodate an entire family at the same time. The arrangement of the room dimensions can vary; however, be careful not to design the room to be too long or too narrow.