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The Great Room Evolves
Photo courtesy of Bassenian Lagoni Photography by Eric Figge
Eight new residential design trends turned heads at the annual Best in American Living Awards (BALA), presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at the 2012 International Builder’s Show. One of the most-buzzed-about was a changing approach to “the family triangle.” The term refers to the three activities and spaces that generally draw families together: cooking (kitchen), eating (dining area) and relaxation (living/family/great room). The latest approach creates spaces that link these activities, as a traditional great room would, while also allowing private nooks.
 More than a big room
 The family triangle goes beyond just a big room by defining different areas for different tasks and comfort levels.
 But the family triangle is more than just a big room. It modifies the conventional open floor plan by including “different areas for different tasks and levels of comfort,” says Amy Martino, principal of Building Site Synergy, an architectural firm in Media, Pa. “It should be able to accommodate large groups, but should also feel comfortable if just one person is in the room.” For instance, eliminating the living room and adding a flex space or den near the kitchen and family room allows for privacy when needed, but let’s family members in different parts of the space easily interact with one another.
 Emphasizing the practical
To help the home live bigger, a plan that emphasizes the family triangle will eliminate spaces that aren’t needed and add practical touches to spaces that are. Case in point: Don’t count on hallways sticking around. “The spaces that people never use are gone,” says McCune.
To view the full article from Moen, click here.