great rooms fit their exteriors

Great rooms are de rigueur in smaller houses, offering open space for multiple and ever-changing uses. On a practical level, furnishings should be carefully selected based on how you spend time. It’s also important to consider aesthetics, the styles that make houses beautiful and delightful.

To gain aesthetic perspective, let’s take a look at great rooms and exteriors from four homes. Some of the rooms fit naturally, while others seem a little surprising. Why not be the jury and judge here?

A traditional, yet new, small cottage beckons you with all its quiet charms. The curved roof-line, woodsy green color, white and natural wood accents bring the home together. Gilann Ridge is well-sited and landscaped in Washington State. (Ross Chapin)

A traditional, yet new, cottage beckons you with all its quiet charms. The curved roof-line, woodsy green color, white and natural wood accents bring the home together. Gilann Ridge is well-sited and landscaped in Washington State. (Ross Chapin)

In Gilann Ridge’s great room, you see a very efficient use of space with a built-in nook, side bench, well-proportioned chairs and love seat. Its yellow paint, white, tan and wood decor complement the exterior. (Ross Chapin)

In Gilann Ridge’s great room, you see a very efficient use of space with a built-in nook, side bench, well-proportioned chairs and love seat. Its yellow paint, white, tan and wood decor complement the exterior. (Ross Chapin)

"“I’ve had people knock on the door, wanting to see this house,” says Gary Beaudoin, owner and builder of a bright yellow and red-trimmed storybook home. Located in Bend, OR, the cutie measures 875 sq. ft. (Bend Bulletin)

“I’ve had people knock on the door, wanting to see this house,” says Gary Beaudoin, owner and builder of a bright yellow and red-trimmed storybook home. Located in Bend, OR, the cutie measures 875 sq. ft. (Bend Bulletin)

This storybook home is all about light. Upstairs is the great room, with a view towards the sky, sun, trees and valley below. It is arranged with a few simple pieces of furniture and creature comforts. (Bend Bulletin)

This storybook home is all about light. Upstairs is the great room, with a view towards the sky, sun, trees and valley below. It is arranged with a few simple pieces of furniture and creature comforts. (Bend Bulletin)

An oak framed and stone clad structure gets curved into a summer home, giving it modern sensibility. Light pours from skylights, windows and french doors. Located in Devon, UK, the getaway overlooks a river. (Carpenter Oak)

An oak-framed and stone-clad structure gets curved into a summer home, giving it modern sensibility. Light pours from skylights, windows and french doors. Located in Devon, UK, the getaway overlooks a river. (Carpenter Oak)

Devon's great room reveals strong bones through its interior wood trusses. The home is well-used for living, dining and also gazing at the views. There are plenty of bookshelves against one wall, as a terrific bonus. (Carpenter Oak)

Devon’s great room reveals strong bones through its interior wood trusses. The home is well-used for living, dining and also gazing at the views. There are plenty of bookshelves against one wall, as a terrific bonus. (Carpenter Oak)

In a Nomad Live micro-sized home, it's possible to set up and live inside a container-style structure with plenty of windows. The pre-fab home has a 100 sq. ft. footprint, and may be directly shipped to you. (Nomad Homes)

In a Nomad Live micro-sized home, it’s possible to set up and live inside a container-style structure with plenty of windows. The pre-fab home has a 100 sq. ft. footprint, and may be directly shipped to you. (Nomad Homes)

On the lower level, there's a small great room to sit and even watch TV. Outside views make a huge difference, as the home looks and feels far larger than its measurements. (Nomad Homes)

On the lower level, there’s a small great room to sit and even watch TV. Outside views make a huge difference, as the home looks and feels far larger than its measurements. (Nomad Homes)

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