Great (Room) Expectations

As the home columnist for Wacoan magazine, I’m psyched to share my insights and ideas about interior design and home decor each month. Here’s an excerpt from my current column, “Great Expectations: The Great Room is the New Heart of the Home”. Read the full article over at, and check out the article archive here.

A fresh and colorful great room designed by award winning Lesley Myrick Art + Design in Waco Texas

Since the early 1990s the great room has become a common alternative, and I’ve got to say, I dig it for both practical and aesthetic purposes. A great room incorporates the functions of several more traditional rooms into one space. Think of it like combining the family room, living room and study into one. Often great rooms have raised ceilings and are located at the center of the home.

The New York Times has called the great room “the McMansion’s signature space.” I’m not sure how I feel about that slightly snarky observation — or how I feel in general about McMansions, which are large, mass-produced homes with little attention to architecture and design.

I’m a big fan of the great room, and it’s a trend I’d like to see continue.

There is often so much square footage in a home that goes unused, and I’m thrilled to see a functional, family-friendly space becoming the norm.

I believe a home should be livable, delightful and unexpected. Livable is first in that list for a reason. What’s the point of designing a home you love only to admire it from afar? Pretty and practical is the name of my game, and the great room checks both of those boxes.