The Great Room makes Holiday Parties Memorable.

By Thomas Reilly, owner Renovations

We all have a place in our homes where we feel comfortable entertaining our friends and family. Over the past decade or so in homebuilding and design, there has been a trend toward what is called, the “Great Room,” which is the large space comprising the living room and typically the dining room, and, in many cases, the kitchen. The living room has truly become the family room.

Historically kitchens served as the ultimate gathering space. They may have been cramped and crowded, but we all squeezed in. The moms and kids hung out, usually during the preparation of the family meal, while dads hung out in the family room or living room watching sports on TV.

Now, all of that has changed. The Great Room is our indoor entertaining place. Separation of family members or guests is no longer desired or even accepted. The kitchen is open to the family room and the dining table is there as well. The separation between kitchen and living is a bar height counter (sometimes referred to as a breakfast bar) where everyone gathers, talking to the cook(s), munching on appetizers and enjoying an adult beverage.

This trend is seen in many of the new home designs. The trend is so strong that many folks are having the designers at Renovations come in and remove walls that separated spaces—and friends and family—so the whole gang can be together. Furniture hasn’t changed much with the possible exception of stools at the breakfast bar.

So what is new in this open space, designed for accommodating family and friends?

Modern designs include some special appliances whose function is to assist in preparing, holding, and supporting meal preparation. Warming drawers and cooling drawers are among the newer additions. We install a lot more wine cabinets these days as well.

Often the Great Room leads to the outside patio, or a deck area that serves as an outdoor entertainment space. With the quad city area’s fantastic climate, outdoor entertainment is a staple. This combination really expands on the square footage available to accommodate a bigger crowd.

Now, these outdoor spaces have morphed over the years. They have become Great Rooms in and of themselves. They include outdoor TVs, couches, chairs, tables for dining, and outdoor kitchens. These entertainment items are not just for guests, either. Many families use these spaces to simply relax and refresh.

Whether you are entertaining friends, family or simply rejuvenating yourself, we like the spaces open and connected, just like our guests!

For more information visit Renovations at 142 South Alarcon Street; Prescott, AZ  86303; call 928-445-8506; or visit