We are often asked to design great rooms or sections of great rooms, always with the challenge of tying them together and making sure they are very functional for the families living in them. One of the biggest challenges we face is dealing with the two-story family portions of great rooms. Lately these seem to be my bread and butter, as multiple clients have requested our assistance designing these spaces. Clients often ask what on earth we can do with those tall walls and high ceilings. I love this challenge. I see those tall walls and ceilings as blank canvases, opportunities for adding drama (that can often help reduce echo, a common problem in two-story rooms). Here are a few of my favorite solutions as of late.

BeforeChallenges: Echo, empty walls, fireplace with little charm or style.

After: Added tile with bronze banding over fireplace.
Added custom made fabric art panels to diffuse sound.

After – Added wallpaper, painted coffers a dark blue, added wall art and draperies to soften/dampen sound.

Before: Dull, boring space with no visual interest. Tall, empty walls. Echo.

After: Color to accentuate walls and create pop, draperies soften lines and dampen sound, Canvas art fits the scale and dampens sound. New tile over fireplace adds texture and modern style.

After: New molding adds visual interest and breaks up tall walls. Wallpaper and paint add texture and color. Art adds color and style, mirrors add texture and light reflection. Draperies soften the lines and dampen sound. Rug dampens sound.

For more great room design tips, see the first blog post in this series here.