Add Visual Space with a Two-Story Great Room

Make a statement in your great room with a two-story, cathedral or vaulted ceiling. Modern homeowners are looking to build smaller and more thoughtful homes. By eliminating redundant rooms, like a breakfast nook and a formal dining room, you can reduce square footage while still maintaining the function that you need in your house. One way to make a smaller home plan feel larger is a two-story great room. Simple house plans with a vaulted ceiling in the great room will appear larger and airier. Elevated ceiling also allow space for large windows that will bring natural light into your living spaces. Two-story homeplans with a cathedral or vaulted ceiling may have a balcony or loft on the second floor that overlooks the great room and adds dimension.

Add Character to your Two-Story Great Room

There are many ways to decorate your cathedral or vaulted ceiling to add character to your great room. Decorative beams can be a simple addition to give your home rustic charm or you can create a more elaborate design. Your fireplace can become a statement piece with stone work extending from the base to the top of the cathedral or vaulted ceiling.

Find a Two-Story Great Room

Donald Gardner Architects has a wide range of house plans with two-story great rooms. Find small to luxury designs and in square footages ranging from modest to luxury.

The Braxton home plan 1343 features a two-story great room with a gorgeous curved staircase. A balcony overlooks the great room and the foyer.

Another example is the Eastlake 1256. This Farmhouse enjoys an open great room with a fireplace and access to the rear porch. A second floor balcony offers views to the great room and foyer below.

Compare Checked Plans

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House Plan The Elise
House Plan The Elise
  • 3062Total Sq. Ft.
  • 4Bedrooms
  • 3Bathrooms
  • 1.5Stories

This Craftsman exterior is highlighted with multiple front-facing gables and accented by arched windows. Front porch arches mirror the windows and columns provide definition. The front porch leads into a spacious foyer with coat closet and nearby, the study offers a full closet and adjacent bathroom. The two-story great room welcomes rear views and a fireplace and built-ins are instantly welcoming. A coffered ceiling tops the dining room and a column creates distinction from the open kitchen. A central island with sink simplifies meal prep and an over-sized walk-in pantry is just steps away. A multi-functional utility room and mudroom, with seating area and storage closet, provide much needed organization for busy households. After gardening or yard work, a side entry porch allows entry directly to the mudroom for easy cleanup. Completing the first floor is an opulent master suite with sitting room, dual walk-in closets, and a luxury bathroom. Rear porches, including a screened porch with fireplace and summer kitchen, bring the joy of indoor entertaining to the outdoors. Two sets of stairs provide access to the second floor. The open great room is visible from the balcony above offering a loft with desk and built-in shelves. Two bedrooms share a bath and a bonus room provides space for future expansion.

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House Plan The Hedlund
House Plan The Hedlund
  • 3347Total Sq. Ft.
  • 5Bedrooms
  • 4.5Bathrooms
  • 3Stories

This stone-and-shake home plan features a whimsical exterior with sloping gables, arched elements, and metal accents. Exceptional details highlight the first floor, from the island kitchen and oversized walk-in pantry to the multi-functional utility room. Expect royal-treatment from the master suite with a vast, tray ceiling topped bedroom, abundant closet space, and an opulent bath. The second floor offers secondary bedrooms, a bonus room, and a convenient laundry chute. Bonus space on the third floor is a treat for the homeowner to add a home theater, game room, or gym.

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House Plan The Wallace
House Plan The Wallace
  • 2940Total Sq. Ft.
  • 5Bedrooms
  • 4Bathrooms
  • 2Stories

Cedar shakes mix with siding and stone to create a richly textural Craftsman exterior. This floor plan is ideal for large or growing families with open living spaces making it easy to be together. The master suite and a bedroom/study are downstairs while three large bedrooms with walk-in closets are upstairs. A second-floor pocket office is a great space for children to complete homework or projects and a bonus room provides additional square footage for recreation or storage.

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House Plan The Oscar
House Plan The Oscar
  • 2370Total Sq. Ft.
  • 3Bedrooms
  • 2.5Bathrooms
  • 2Stories

The storybook exterior features a front facing garage that is ideal for narrower lots. The arched garage bays add character to the whimsical exterior. This home enjoys a spacious single dining area while the kitchen is multi-functional with a center cook-top island and bar seating for casual eating and gathering. Two additional bedrooms are found upstairs, and are separated by a loft for privacy.

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House Plan The Pennyhill
House Plan The Pennyhill
  • 1867Total Sq. Ft.
  • 3Bedrooms
  • 2.5Bathrooms
  • 1Stories

Quaint and cozy on the outside with porches front and back, this three-bedroom country home surprises with an open floor plan featuring a large great room with cathedral ceiling. Nine foot ceilings add volume throughout the home. A central kitchen with angled counter opens to breakfast area and great room for easy entertaining. The privately located master bedroom has cathedral ceiling and nearby access to the deck with optional spa. Operable skylights over the tub accent the luxurious master bath. A bonus room over the garage makes expanding easy.

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House Plan The Priestly
House Plan The Priestly
  • 2132Total Sq. Ft.
  • 4Bedrooms
  • 3Bathrooms
  • 1Stories

This charming exterior features a combination of stone, shakes, and vertical siding. Special details include a front porch, dormer, and gables with curved accents. The cathedral topped great room opens to a relaxing screened porch while the kitchen enjoys a nearby pantry and the single dining area is highlighted with columns and a tray ceiling. This open floor plan is great for keeping busy families connected and makes entertaining easy. The master suite gains vertical space with a cathedral ceiling and private porch access is perfect for enjoying morning coffee or letting pets outside. A spacious walk-in closet is suitable for two and the master bath boasts dual vanities, a standing shower, and a luxurious soaking bathtub. Three additional bedrooms are positioned around the utility room, making laundry drop-off and redistribution a breeze. Two additional baths and linen closets are available for children and guests. The garage is located at the rear of the home with two bays and extra storage. A bonus room above the garage offers additional storage or can be finished as a children's play room or an entertainment room for teenagers.

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House Plan The Sawyer
House Plan The Sawyer
  • 1645Total Sq. Ft.
  • 3Bedrooms
  • 2Bathrooms
  • 1Stories

This modern farmhouse enjoys the best of both worlds with a classic front porch and stylish curb-appeal. A second sprawling porch to the rear continues outdoor enjoyment. The open floor plan maintains an easy flow for families to relax and enjoy meals together. The master suite is free of distractions and tucked away for privacy while the utility room with laundry sink is nearby for convenience. Two additional rooms are available for children, guests, or a study.

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House Plan The Norfolk
House Plan The Norfolk
  • 2653Total Sq. Ft.
  • 3Bedrooms
  • 2.5Bathrooms
  • 2Stories

This two-story Traditional home plan, with a front entry garage, is the perfect solution for a narrow lot. Gables and dormers create an interesting exterior while the front porch is framed in columns for an inviting entry. Inside, the foyer opens directly into the spacious vaulted great room with fireplace. The open dining room is set apart by columns and a tray ceiling. A kitchen peninsula overlooks the living spaces and an island and pantry are valuable additions. A rear porch expands living outdoors and a study provides a quiet place to work. All of the bedrooms, along with the utility room, are upstairs and a balcony overlooks the great room below.

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House Plan The Courtney
House Plan The Courtney
  • 1859Total Sq. Ft.
  • 3Bedrooms
  • 2.5Bathrooms
  • 1.5Stories

This classic cottage home plan offers maximum comfort for its economic design and narrow lot width. A cozy front porch invites relaxation, while twin dormers and a gabled garage provide substantial curb appeal. The foyer features a generous coat closet and a niche for displaying collectibles. The great room gains drama from two clerestory dormers and a balcony that overlooks the room from the second floor. With plenty of space for more than one cook, the kitchen services both dining room and great room with ease. Topped by an elegant tray ceiling, the home plan's first floor master suite enjoys a private bath and walk-in closet, while the upstairs bedrooms and bonus room share a hall bath with linen closet.

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House Plan The Oliver
House Plan The Oliver
  • 2015Total Sq. Ft.
  • 3Bedrooms
  • 2Bathrooms
  • 1Stories

This Craftsman design offers copious curb-appeal with an angled garage, decorative gables adorned with timber wood accents, a shed dormer, and a column-framed front porch. This floor plans thoughtful layout maximizes its square footage. The kitchen cooktop-island overlooks the great room and the spaces share a cathedral ceiling. A luxury screened porch enjoys a fireplace for year-round enjoyment and is topped with a cathedral ceiling and skylights. The master suite enjoys privacy at the rear of the home and opens to a relaxing porch. A mud room, oversized utility room, and walk-in pantry provide added functionality.

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House Plan The Galway
House Plan The Galway
  • 2546Total Sq. Ft.
  • 4Bedrooms
  • 3.5Bathrooms
  • 2Stories

An arched entry complements this quintessential country porch, framed in columns, while a metal roof adds character. The floorplan matches the simplicity of the exterior providing an easy flow throughout. Modern amenities include an oversized pantry and utility room with sink and wrap-around counters. This design features a large master suite and study and three additional bedrooms upstairs.

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House Plan The Miranda
House Plan The Miranda
  • 1622Total Sq. Ft.
  • 3Bedrooms
  • 2Bathrooms
  • 1Stories

This Cottage exterior is adorned with multiple gables and a center dormer. The front porch is framed in tapered columns and an arched entryway is a charming addition. Cedar shakes and stone lend rustic characteristics to this small home plan. Inside, the foyer offers a coat and storage closet, aiding organization. The large dining room is accented with columns and a tray ceiling. Defining openness, the kitchen island overlooks the great room and they share a cathedral ceiling. A screened porch with fireplace offers versatile outdoor living. The split bedroom design provides privacy to all rooms. The master suite enjoys private patio access, dual walk-in closets, and a well-appointed bath. The generously sized secondary bedrooms share a bath and hallway linen closet.




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