People talk about their holiday plans as an intention to really have time to gather together with family and friends and to connect. I have to say I agree. Not only are our dear ones more dispersed geographically, but demands on everyone’s time has grown and no one is very far away from interruptions like business calls and texts and work crises. Even the kids in school! Busy lives!

Jaffa Group Design & Build and K. Rocke Design

This week I am featuring intimate spaces for connecting. Call them hearth rooms, break-ways, conversation nooks, or gathering rooms, they share the same intention — providing for connections. 

Interior design by Karen Butera, Inc.

What the rooms have in common is a sense of intimacy with comfortable furnishings grouped closely for easy conversations, usually a fireplace, places for refreshments, and an eye to comfort.

Kent Construction and Michael Abrams Interiors

Whether the football playoffs are on TV or a Champion Jeopardy, a soft sectional with throws lets you all pile on and enjoy it together. 

Architecture by Upwall Design; Interiors by LMK Interior Design

There seems to be a real design art to creating nest space and to establish a scale for connections even in a substantially sized luxury home. It often means working with open plans to divide spaces by stonework, partial walls, drops in elevation, and variations in ceiling height or treatment. 

Architecture by Ron Lee; Interiors by K. Rocke Design

An alternative approach for dealing with the challenge of creating privacy and closeness in an open floor plan is to dedicate a room as a gathering space, as with this one.  

Jaffa Group Design & Build

The other connection important to mountain design is to the outdoors: the place and views. Stepping outside, there is a semi-private deck that connects with the larger outdoor living area much like a nook in an open floor plan. 

Upland Development

An interesting way to take an intimate room outdoors is this four-season screened porch with sunlight coming in on two sides. An energy-efficient window system combines transparent plastic with the screens to easily make adjustments as the day changes. 

Built by Landmarks West

This timber-framed pergola offers extended season comfort on the high deck with a wood-burning fireplace and heaters. The party can easily move from the seating area to a table for refreshments and never miss a minute of the dazzling sunset. 

As lives get busier and we become more separate from one another, it’s wonderful to see how home experts are countering this trend with options for spaces that consciously bring us together. Here’s to connections!

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Header Image Interior by K. Rocke Design.