In contrast to last week’s “Special Places to Gather,” we also need places to Get Away. Our hectic lifestyles are refreshed by ‘get-away’ rooms such as dens, sitting rooms, and sunrooms, which allow us to take “mini-vacations,” or escape for brief retreats without leaving home.

In times past, dens were generally masculine rooms furnished in dark wood, leather furniture, and filled with big, heavy books and the smell of pipe tobacco. While today’s dens are still considered adult sanctuaries, ideally they should be located away from the home’s busiest areas and should definitely have a door to close out distractions. Design features such as cathedral ceilings, fireplaces, and French doors have changed the ambiance of the traditional den into an inviting sanctuary for any member of the family. The den in the Windrush Estate (plan #9198, featured) features a bayed window and cathedral ceiling with French Doors.

Design Basics Kincaid House Plan 6710

History lesson: Sunrooms were originally developed in Britain as a means to grow oranges during the winter. Today, their main purpose is to provide a transition space between inside and outside, with several options for design—three- and four-season porch, screened, and solarium styles. They can also be designed as a separate room or an extension of your home, often designed off the kitchen/dining area or great room. The Kincaid (plan #6710, above) features a three-season porch, while the Alliston’s (plan #5497) sunroom is an extension of the dining area.

Design Basics Philipsburg Home Plan #5520fe

At the end of the day, we need a refuge to come to, a quiet, secluded place to wind down. Often located off a master bedroom, sitting rooms are delightful spots to relax, reflect on the day’s events, enjoy a private conversation with a spouse, or have one-on-one time with a child. The sitting room can be designed as an alcove, an extension of the master bedroom, or can be a separate room to create a private space. The sitting room in the Philipsburg (plan #5520, above) is a semi-private space connected to the master bedroom.

The fast-paced lifestyles most of lead have made incorporating quiet havens into our homes more important than ever!

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